Conway, SC - Coastal Carolina scored three runs in the first inning and three more in the second to take a 7-3 victory over Georgia State Saturday afternoon at Springs Brook Stadium. The 16th-ranked Chanticleers (27-14, 13-4 Sun Belt) and Panthers (19-19, 6-10) will play the rubber match of the series at 1 pm on Sunday.
Coastal took advantage of five Georgia State errors as just two of the Chants' seven runs were earned.
The Panthers jumped out a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Leadoff batter Justin Jones was hit by a pitch and Nick Gatewood followed with a single to put runners on the corners. Jones then scored on a wild pitch.
Coastal used a hit batter and three errors to start its first inning and take a 3-1 lead. Cory Wood was hit by a pitch and moved to third on two ground outs. The Panthers looked to be out of the inning, but an error on a Kevin Woodall Jr., ground ball allowed Wood to score. Seth Lancaster followed with an infield single, but a throwing error put Woodall and Lancaster third and second, respectively. Once again, the Panthers looked to end the inning on a pop fly but the ball was dropped to bring home both Woodall and Lancaster.
The Chants padded their lead with three runs in the second inning. Parker Chavers and Keaton Weisz combined to walk on nine pitches. Wood laid down a sacrifice bunt, but a throwing error allowed Chavers to score while Weisz advanced to third and Wood moved to second. Turner Buis had an infield hit to bring home Weisz. Two batters later, Woodall had an RBI ground out that plated Wood for the 6-1 lead.
Georgia State cut its deficit to three, 6-3, in the fourth after Gatewood hit a two-out, bases loaded single back up the middle.
In the bottom of the fourth, Coastal answered with a tally to go up 7-3. Zach Biermann drew a one-out walk and Woodall singled. Two batters later, Kyle Skeels, who was 2-for-4, lined an RBI single to left field.
Jason Bilous improved to 5-1 on the season as he scattered seven hits and three walks over five innings. He allowed three runs and struck out six. Matt Eardensohn, the reigning Sun Belt Pitcher of the Week, earned his fourth save – and second consecutive 12-0out save. The junior pitched the final four innings, allowing two hits, no run and no walks with two strikeouts.