Coastal Carolina hit three, two-run home runs, including one in the ninth inning, but could not complete the comeback as Illinois held on for a 7-6 victory Saturday afternoon in the Britain Resorts Invitational at Springs Brooks Stadium.
Illinois (2-3) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the second when Jeff Korte hit three-run home run, bringing home Doran Turchin and Michel Massey.
The Illini added to their lead with four runs in the fifth. Zac Taylor singled to start the frame and Ben Troike was hit by a pitch. After a sacrifice bunt, Bren Spillane delivered a sacrifice fly to bring home Taylor. Michael Massey followed with an RBI double. Turchin made it 7-0 contest with a two-run home run to left field.
Coastal (5-2) trimmed its deficit with two runs in the home half of the fifth. Kyle Skeels hit a leadoff double and Zach Biermann followed with a two-run shot to right field, his first home run as a Chant, to make the score 7-2.
The Chants make it a 7-4 ballgame in the sixth. Keaton Weisz singled and scored on Seth Lancaster’s two-run home run to right field. It was the senior’s second round-tripper of the season.
CCU’s third, two-run home of the game made it a one-run game, 7-6, in the ninth. Kyle Skeels walked and, two batters later, Lee Sponseller hit his first home run as a Chanticleer. However, Joey Gerber struck out the next batter to preserve the win and earn his first save.
Illini starter Ty Webber (1-0) allowed five hits and four runs over six innings to get the win. CCU starter Zack Hopeck (0-1) allowed eight hits and seven runs (six earned) with no walks and four strikeouts.
Coastal will host West Virginia on Sunday at 2:30 pm.