CONWAY, S.C. – The Chanticleers launched a season-high four home runs, including back-to-back home runs from Alex Gattinelli and BT Riopelle in the bottom of the fourth inning to pull away with a 10-5 win over the No. 23 nationally-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday afternoon at Springs Brooks Stadium.
Coastal improves to 4-2 on the season with the win and to 3-2 versus top-25 nationally ranked opponents on the season. West Virginia falls to 3-3 on the year with the loss.
Shortstop Eric Brown had himself a career day, as the sophomore went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run, the first of his career, and drove in a career-high four RBIs. Fellow infielder Dale Thomas (1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 runs) hit his first career home run as a Chant, while lead-off hitter Nick Lucky (3-for-4, HBP, run) continued swinging a hot bat with a team-high three base hits.
On the mound it was right-handed pitcher Shaddon Peavyhouse (1-1) picking up the win in a relief role, as he settled down after a shaky first few batters in the sixth inning to strikeout four WVU hitters and walk two over the final 3.2 innings in the win.
The Mountaineers, who took the lead into the bottom of the fifth, had eight hits on the day led by Austin Davis (2-for-5, run, SB) and Vince Ippoliti (2-for-4, RBI, run) with two hits apiece. Victor Scott (1-for-3, SF, 2 RBIs) drove in two RBIs, while Matt McCormick (1-for-5, 2B, RBI, run) had the lone extra-base hit for WVU.
Despite 10 strikeouts, CCU was able to run WVU starter Adam Tulloch out of the game in the fifth with five runs on five hits and got to the Mountaineers’ bullpen in the sixth inning to give the loss to reliever Zach Ottinger (0-1) who gave up two runs on two hits, one walk, and three strikeouts.
West Virginia opened the game with a run in the top of the first inning on a sacrifice fly to center field off the bat of Scott to take a 1-0 lead after just one half inning of play only to see the home-standing Chanticleers take advantage of a hit-by-pitch and two errors to plate one in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game up at 1-1 after one complete inning.
The two starting pitchers settled in over the next two innings until Gattinelli and Riopelle hit back-to-back solo shots to left and center field, respectively, in the bottom of the fourth to put Coastal in front 3-1 heading into the fifth inning. Riopelle’s home run sailed over the 20-foot batter’s eye in straightaway center field making him the 11th player to hit a home run over the giant wall since the stadium was built in 2015.
The lead did not last for long however, as the Mountaineers got to Coastal starter Nick Parker in the top of the fifth, as three-straight two-out hits drove in three runs to drive Parker from the game and give the lead back to the visitors in blue at 4-3.
Coastal quickly took back the lead in the bottom half of the inning, as Brown hit a two-run home run to left field to put the Chanticleers back on top at 5-4 with four innings left in the contest.
After the Mountaineers tied the game up once again at 5-5 on an unearned run set up by a walk, throwing error, and a wild pitch in the top of the sixth, the Chants took advantage of a lead-off single by first-baseman Tyler Johnson and a throwing error on the WVU pitcher on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Thomas to retake the lead at 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh.
Brown would add another run to the lead in the seventh on an RBI single to score Thomas from third to push the Chants’ lead out to two at 7-5.
The next inning Thomas would provide some more insurance runs for Peavyhouse and the Chants, as he blasted a two-run home run to left field in the bottom of the eighth to extend the lead to 9-5. Three batters later, Brown drove in his fourth RBI of the day on a sacrifice fly to center field to put the score at 10-5 going into the ninth.
That was more than enough for Peavyhouse, as he struck out the first two hitters in the ninth and then got some help in right field as Makenzie Pate made a diving catch on a slicing line drive for the third and final out of the game.
Coastal left five runners on base compared to the Mountaineers six, while the pitching staff walked just three hitters compared to eight strikeouts.
The Chants (4-2) will wrap up the CCU Baseball Tournament versus Kennesaw State (3-2) tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. ET.
COURTESY: COASTAL CAROLINA ATHLETICS