Cory Wood and Matt Beaird each had three hits while Jason Bilous and Matt Eardensohn only allowed four hits to lead #27 Coastal Carolina to a shutout win, 8-0, over #30 Texas State in the Sun Belt series opener Friday evening. The Chanticleers win their fifth straight and improve to 17-7 overall, 4-0 in the Sun Belt. The Bobcats fall to 14-6-1, 3-1.
Due to inclement weather in the forecast for Sunday, the teams will now play a doubleheader Saturday (Mar. 24) with game one set for 1 pm. Game two will be played approximately 30-45 minutes after the completion of game one. Tickets for both Saturday’s originally scheduled game as well as Sunday’s game will be honored to gain admittance to the doubleheader.
Wood (3-for-5 with two runs scored) was a home run shy of the cycle and Beaird (3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored) hit his second home run of the season. Kevin Woodall Jr., added to his Sun Belt-leading RBI total, driving in two on two hits, to give the senior 31 runs driven in in 24 games played this season.
Bilous only allowed two hits in 4.1 scoreless innings, but issued seven walks to accompany his six strikeouts. Eardensohn (3-0) entered with two runners on in the fifth and left them both stranded. He would only surrender one hit – a leadoff single in the ninth – with no walks and two strikeouts.
Both teams left the bases loaded in consecutive at bats – Coastal in the bottom of the second and Texas State in the top of the third. However, Coastal broke through in the bottom of the third. Wood hit a leadoff single, stole second, moved to third on a throwing error and scored on Lee Sponseller’s RBI single to left field.
The Chants took a 2-0 lead in the fourth on the strength of Beaird’s second home run of the year.
In the fifth, Wood got his third hit in as many at bats, hitting a leadoff triple, to start a four-run inning. Woodall followed with a single past the drawn-in infield to score Wood for the 3-0 lead. Sponseller drew a four-pitch walk and Kyle Skeels put runners on second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Parker Chavers walked to load the bases. Woodall scored on a Kieton Rivers’ sac fly, Sponseller scored on a the back end of a double steal with Chavers and Chavers scored on Beaird’s RBI single to right to give the Chants a 6-0 cushion.
For the fourth consecutive inning, CCU got on the scoreboard. Seth Lancaster hit a leadoff single, moved to second on a ground out and stole third. For the second time in as many innings, Woodall lined a single past the drawn-in infield for an RBI and 7-0 advantage.
Coastal kept the pedal down in the seventh, scoring once to grab an 8-0 lead. With two outs, Beaird hit a seeing-eye single past the Bobcat second baseman. Keaton Weisz followed with a double to the right-center field wall to drive in Beaird from first base.
Connor Reich (3-1) suffered the loss as he allowed seven hits, five runs (four earned) and two walks with four strikeouts.