After clawing its way to a 3-2 come-from-behind win in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader at Troy, Coastal Carolina scored five runs in the first inning and only allowed four hits in game two but needed a strong relief pitching performance from Matt Eardensohn to hang on for a 5-4 win in game two to sweep the doubleheader.
The 17th-ranked Chanticleers (26-12 overall, 12-3 overall) also win the weekend series, won its fifth conference series in five tries this season and have won nine straight league series dating back to last season. Ironically, the streak started much as it did this weekend. The Trojans (23-12, 8-7) won the opener last year and this year before Coastal won the last two games of each series.(Since losing that series opener versus Troy last season, Coastal won its next 19 league games and has won 25 of its last 28 Sun Belt contests.)
Eardensohn, who got the win in his first start at Wake Forest Tuesday, earned his third save of the season, pitching the final four innings. He entered with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth. While he allowed those three runners to score – the only inherited runs he has allowed to score in this his 11 appearance of the season, he allowed just two hits with no walks and five strikeouts. For the year, Eardensohn is 4-0 with three saves, a 1.17 ERA in 30.2 innings, six walks, .189 opponent batting average and 29 strikeouts.
Coastal raced out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first. Cory Wood, who was 3–for-4, had a leadoff double. Seth Lancaster walked and Zach Biermann followed with an RBI single to right. Kevin Woodall Jr., walked to load the bases and Lee Sponseller promptly cleared them with his third grand slam of the season. Sponseller’s fifth round-tripper of the season gave Coastal its 5-0 advantage.
Troy cut into the deficit with a run in the third. Sadler Goodwin hit a leadoff triple and scored two batters later on a Matt Sanders sacrifice fly to right field.
The Trojans scored three in the sixth to make it a one-run game, 5-4. Drew Frederic drew a leadoff walk, Joey Denison singled and Brandon Lockridge walked to load the based. Brody Binder hit a ground ball, scoring one run and putting runners on the corners. Rigsby Mosely lined a double to left-center field to score two.
Troy put two runners on base in the eighth, but Eardensohn got a a strikeout looking to end the threat. In the ninth with two outs, Keaton Weisz made a nice diving catch and throw to first to end the game.
Anthony Veneziano (4-0) got the win as CCU improved to 7-1 in the eight games he has started. He only allowed two hits, but walked five in five-plus innings while being saddled with four runs.
Coastal Carolina will conclude its five-game road swing with a game at region rival UNC Wilmington this Wednesday at 6 pm.