CONWAY, S.C. – Coastal Carolina’s offense recorded six extra-base hits, including four home runs, while the pitching staff fanned 10 batters in the 13-6 series-opening win over Middle Tennessee on Friday night at Springs Brooks Stadium.
Led by designated hitter Alex Gattinelli (4-for-4, HR, 4 RBIs, 2 runs) who had four hits, including his first career home run as a Chant, the offense drove in 13 RBIs in the victory.
Also homering for the Chants on Friday was BT Riopelle (2-for-3, HR, BB, RBI, run), Scott McKeon (1-for-4, HR, SF, BB, 3 RBIs, 2 runs), and Zack Beach (1-for-1, HR). The home run was Beach’s first career home run.
CCU’s Nick Lucky (2-for-3, 2B, BB, RBI, 3 runs) scored a game-high three runs, while Eric Brown (1-for-2, BB, 3 RBIs, SB) drove in three RBIs in the win.
MTSU’s offense was led by designated hitter Jacob Williams (4-for-4, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 2 runs) who hit two home runs and drove in five of the Blue Raiders’ six runs on the night.
While it was a team effort on offense, the junior duo of Zach McCambley and Josh Jarman did the work on the mound. McCambley (3-1) recorded his third quality start of the season in the win, as he allowed just three runs, two of which were earned, on six hits, two walks, and eight strikeouts.
Jarman did the rest, as the lefty allowed three unearned runs, all on a three-run home run, on three hits, two walks, and two punch-outs over the final 2.0 innings of the contest.
The Blue Raiders’ starter Aaron Brown (1-3) was saddled with the loss, as he was hit up for six runs on eight hits and four walks over 3.2 innings of work. He did not record a strikeout in the defeat.
Coastal jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first, as Lucky lined a one-out double off the left-center field wall. The extra-base hit was the first of three-straight hits, as Gattinelli roped a home run to left field for a two-run shot, which was followed by a solo home run to right off the bat of Riopelle to put the home team on top 3-0 after one inning of play.
The back-to-back home runs in the first inning marked the second time this season that the Chants have hit home runs in two-straight at-bats with the last time coming by way of Makenzie Pate and McKeon against Maryland on Feb. 29.
MTSU got two runs back in the top of the second on a lead-off double and a two-run home run by Williams to cut the Coastal lead to one at 3-2 midway through the second frame.
However, with one swing of the bat, the Chants doubled their lead to two runs at 4-2 with a 400-foot solo home run by McKeon to left-center field in the bottom of the second.
After the Blue Raiders scored a run in the top of the third on a CCU throwing error and a wild pitch, the Chants answered with a Pate triple and a McKeon sacrifice fly to get the run back and retake a two-run lead at 5-3.
The Chants added another run on a bases-loaded walk to Brown to double-up the Blue Raiders at 6-3 heading to the fifth inning.
In the fifth, the home team blew the game open with a six-spot on four hits, two walks, a hit batter, and a throwing error to pull out in front by nine at 12-3.
In the inning, the Chants picked up a bases-loaded RBI walk to McKeon and an RBI single from Lucky, followed by a two-run single off the bat of Gattinelli past the drawn-in infield.
Two batters later, Brown sent a ball through the right side to plate two more CCU runs and put the home team on top 12-3.
MTSU cut the Chants’ lead to six with a three-run blast from Williams in the top of the eighth, before Coastal’s Beach got in the act with a solo home run to right field in the bottom half of the inning to put the final score at 13-6.
Both teams left a number of runners on base for the contest, MTSU with eight and Coastal with nine.
The Chants (9-4) and Blue Raiders (4-9) will return to Springs Brooks Stadium tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. ET.
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Courtesy: Coastal Carolina Athletics