Coastal Carolina scored in its first eight innings, including a 10-run fourth, and Kevin Woodall Jr., hit two home runs with six RBI and tied a CCU record with five runs scored to defeat Arkansas State 26-14 Saturday night at Tomlinson Stadium/Kell Field.
The 30th-ranked Chanticleers improve to 14-7 overall, 2-0 in the Sun Belt while the Red Wolves drop to 8-7, 0-2. Due to the threat of rain, Sunday’s series finale will now start at Noon (CT)/1 pm (ET).
In the high-scoring game,
· The 26 runs by CCU is its fifth-most in school history and its most since winning at Charleston Southern 29-13 on Mar. 20, 2010.
· The CCU record for runs in a game was a 36-3 win over Stony Brook on Mar. 6, 2009, followed by a 29-1 win over Voorhees on Mar. 25, 1982 and a 28-4 win over St. Mary’s on Feb. 27, 1996, .
· The 26 runs by CCU is the most Arkansas State has ever allowed.
· The last time CCU had a double-digit scoring inning was also scoring 10 in the fourth versus Stony Brook in the NCAA Myrtle Beach Regional in a 25-7 win on June 6, 2010/
· The 12 walks by Chanticleer pitchers tied a CCU record (marking the fourth time it has happened.
· The 18 walks by Red Wolves pitchers set an A-State record.
· The 30 combined walks ties for the second-most in a game in NCAA history.
· Woodall tied a CCU record with five runs scored, being the fifth Chant to do so. Ironically, the last player to do so was Rico Noel in that 29-13 win at Charleston Southern in 2010.
· Lee Sponseller and Zach Biermann each scored four runs.
· It marked the second time this season (and his career) Woodall had six RBI in a game.
· Kieton Rivers had a career-high five RBI.
· Kyle Skeels was 4-for-6 with three RBI and three runs scored.
· Seth Lancaster, Biermann, Sponseller and Keaton Weisz each walked three times.
Lost in the box score is the fact that Patrick Orlando improved to 2-0, pitching 2.1 scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and two walks. Also, Trevor Damron earned his first collegiate save as he worked the final four innings. While he did allow nine hits and seven runs (six earned) with three walks, he struck out a season-high eight.
The Chants grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first thanks to a Woodall line drive home run to left field.
A-State answered with five runs in the bottom of the first. Drew Tipton drew a leadoff walk, Tobias Johnson singled and Grant Hawkins loaded the bases with a walk. Kyle MacDonald brought the three runners home with a double to the right-center field gap. The Red Wolves after a walk and hit batter. Andrew Lannon then walked to force home MacDonald. Tipton hit a slow roller to second to score Logan Anderson.
Coastal bounced back in the second inning with two runs to make the score 5-3. Skeels had a leadoff single and Sponseller walked. After Rivers’ team-leading fifth sacrifice bunt, Chavers doubled off the right field fence to plate both Skeels and Sponseller. Chavers finished the evening going 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored.
Woodall was responsible for another run in the third. The senior walked to start the frame and moved to third on a Biermann single. Skeels followed with a sacrifice fly to right field to bring home Woodall to cut the CCU deficit to one, 5-4.
Coastal scored for the fourth time in four innings, this time matching a feat that had not been done since the 2010 NCAA Regional as the Chants scored 10 runs in the inning. Chavers drew a leadoff walk and tied the game, 5-5, on a Weisz double down the left field line. Weisz now has 15 hits this season with seven being doubles. Lancaster walked and stole second to set-up Woodall’s three-run home run to put the Chants up 8-5. Zach Biermann and Skeels followed with singles and CCU loaded the bases on a Sponseller walk. Rivers accounted for the fifth and sixth runs on the inning on a two-run single. Chavers walked, as did Weisz, Lancaster and Wood, the last three forcing in runs. The last run came when Weisz crossed the plate on a passed ball.
Sponseller made it five straight innings with at least a run as he hit a solo home run for his second four-bagger of the year.
The Red Wolves snapped a four-inning dry spell with two runs in the bottom of the fifth to make the score 15-7. Caleb Squire walked to start the home half and Casey Vaughan walked. Lannon loaded the bases with a walk. Tipton plated Squire with a single to center. While Johnson fouled out, the ball was deep enough to allow Vaughan to tag and score.
Coastal got those two runs back, plus one, to push its advantage to 18-7. With bases loaded and two outs, Rivers hit a three-run double to left-center field.
However, two doubles and a single led the three runs in the bottom of the sixth as CCU’s lead was cut to eight, 18-10. Jeremy Brown doubled and scored on an Anderson single. Squire followed with a double to drive in Anderson. After a passed ball, Squire scored on an RBI ground out by Jaylon Deshazier.
The Chants piled on six more runs in the top of the seventh, thanks to a two-run single by Woodall, to lead 24-10. A-State would go away, scoring two in the bottom of the seventh.
Both team scored two runs in the eighth to provide the 26-14 final score.