Cameron Pearcey had a career-high four RBI, thanks to a three-run home run, while Keaton Weisz and Kieton Rivers each hit two-run home runs to lead #16 Coastal Carolina to a 14-4 victory over UL Monroe in a Sun Belt Conference series opener Friday night at Springs Brooks Stadium.
Weisz and Rivers each finished with two hits and three RBI, while Seth Lancaster added two hits and he was one of four Chanticleers to score twice. Overall, eight CCU starters had at least one hit and eight CCU starters scored at least one run.
Coastal Carolina improves to 29-14 overall, 15-4 in the Sun Belt, while ULM falls to 18-23, 7-12. Game two of the series is set for Saturday at 2 pm. The series finale is set for Sunday at 11 am.
Zack Hopeck (4-3) earned the win. He allowed seven hits and four runs, including two double and two runs in the first inning. He settled down and allowed just two hits over his next three innings. In the fifth, he once again allowed two hits to start the frame that led to ULM’s other two runs. However, Hopeck only walked one and struck out five. Davie Inman (three innings) and Patrick Orlando (one inning) combined to pitch four scoreless, hitless innings while allowing no walks and getting one strikeout.
The Warhawks grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Johnny DeLaCruz hit a leadoff double and Braedon Barrett followed with a double of his own. DeLaCruz scored on a Turner Francis RBI ground out and Chad Bell delivered a sacrifice fly to bring home Barrett. The Chanticleers loaded the bases in the bottom of the first, but could not take advantage.
However, Coastal would explode for six runs in the second inning. Matt Beaird hit a one-out double and Weisz cranked a two-run home run to left-center field, his second round-tripper of the season. Cory Wood walked, stole second and moved to third on a Lancaster single. After Lancaster stole second to put runners on second and third, Kevin Woodall Jr., lined a two-run double down the left field line. Two batters later, Rivers capped the scoring in the inning with a two-run home run into the CCU bullpen for the 6-2 lead.
The Chants pushed their lead to 7-2 in the third, using a tried-and-true method. Pearcey walked, stole second, moved to third on a Beaird sacrifice bunt and scored on a sac fly by Weisz.
In the fourth, Coastal loaded the bases on three straight walks to Lancaster, Woodall and Zach Biermann. Rivers lined an RBI single to bring home Lancaster and, with bases still loaded, Pearcey walked to force in Woodall. Beaird came through with a sacrifice fly and plated Biermann for the third run of the frame to lead 10-2
ULM turned two singles to start the fifth into two runs to cut its deficit to six, 10-4. Pierce Khan and DeLaCruz each singled to start the fifth. After a sacrifice bunt, Francis had an RBI ground out and Chad Bell had an RBI single up the middle.
However, the Chants answered with run in the bottom of the fifth. Wood walked and Lancaster singled. The pair stole third and second, respectively, and Biermann plated Wood with an RBI ground out.
Pearcey provided the eventual 14-4 final score in the eighth with a three-run home run, his first blast of the season and third for his career. Prior to the home run, Turner Buis had a pinch hit single. He is now 4-for-8 as a pinch hitter this season including hits in his last three appearances. Pinch hitter Tor Sehnert followed with a walk. Sehnert is now 4-for-7 with three walks in 10 pinch hit appearances.
ULM starter Chase Beal (2-6) suffered the loss as he allowed five this, five runs and three walks in 1.2 innings of work.