Parker Chavers was 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored while Seth Lancaster drove in three to lead #30 Coastal Carolina to an 8-3 win over Arkansas State Sunday afternoon and a sweep in the season-opening Sun Belt series at Tomlinson Stadium/Kell Field.
The Chanticleers improve to 15-7 overall, 3-0 in the Sun Belt, and the Red Wolves fall to 8-8, 0-3.
In a weekend riddled with walks (teams combined 38 in the first two games of the series), Zack Hopeck (1-2) only walked one over his six innings while striking out a season-high eight – one off his career high. He earned his first win of the season as he scattered five hits and allowed one run.
Coastal grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Lee Sponseller walked and moved to third on a Kieton Rivers double. Parker Chavers placed a single down the left field line to drive in both Chanticleers.
The Red Wolves got one of those runs back in the bottom of the second. Kyle MacDonald hit a leadoff double and scored on a blooper single to right by Logan Andersen.
The Chants converted another walk into a run in the third. Cory Wood walked, stole second and took third on the play thanks to a throwing error. Zach Biermann followed with an RBI ground out to give CCU a 3-1 lead. The Red Wolves threatened in the bottom half, but Zack Hopeck stranded the bases loaded by getting an inning-ending pop out.
Coastal took then advantage of three A-State errors in the fourth inning to extend its lead to 5-1. Chavers drew a one-out walk and Keaton Weisz singled. An error on the play put runners on the corners. On wild play, Weisz stole second, but a passed ball allowed Chavers to score from third. Also on the play, a throwing error on the play allowed Weisz to take third. Seth Lancaster plated Weisz with a sacrifice fly.
For the third time in the game – second time for Sponseller, a Chanticleer drew a leadoff walk that resulted in a CCU run. After Sponseller’s walk, Chavers singled and Weisz was hit by a pitch to load the bases and set the stage for Lancaster’s RBI ground out to give the Chants a 6-1 advantage.
In the ninth, Biermann singled and scored on a Sponseller double to deep centerfield to cap the scoring for CCU.
A-State took advantage of a CCU error to tack on two runs in the ninth to provide the 8-3 final. Pinch hitter Andrew Lannon reached on an error and pinch hitter Winston Welch walked. After a pair of strikeouts, Grant Hawkins hit a two-run triple to the right-center field gap.
Coastal will return home to host Clemson on Tuesday (Mar. 20)) with first pitch set for 6 pm.