Conway, SC - – In a back-and-forth game it was only appropriate that UL Monroe would score two runs in the top of the ninth to take a one-run lead only to see Coastal Carolina rally in the bottom half of the frame as Seth Lancaster hit a two-run, walk-off home run to lead the 16th-ranked Chanticleers to a 17-16 victory Sunday afternoon at Springs Brooks Stadium.
With the win, Coastal Carolina (31-14 overall, 17-4 Sun Belt) sweeps the Warhawks (18-25, 7-14). The walk-off victory is the Chanticleers' fifth this season and secures CCU's third conference sweep of the season. Overall, Coastal has won all seven league series this season and 11 straight dating back to last season, including eight sweeps while winning 28 of its last 32 league games.
Coastal scored first in the second inning, but ULM would take a 9-4 lead after hitting a grand slam in the sixth inning. However, Coastal scored 10 runs over the next two innings – four in the sixth and six in the seventh – to lead 14-9. The Warhawks battled back to score five in the eighth to tie the contest at 14-14. With bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth, Coastal scored on a wild pitch for a one-run lead.
However, in the ninth, ULM loaded the bases with one out on a walk, single and hit by pitch. Then with two outs, Brendan Jordan walked to force in the tying run. On the next pitch, Will Daniels was hit by pitch to force in a second run and a temporary 16-15 lead. With bases still loaded and Peyton Lacoste facing a 2-2 count, Coastal turned to Trevor Damron out of the bullpen. The freshman threw one pitch to strike out Lacoste to limit the damage.
In the bottom of the ninth, Keaton Weisz drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a Matt Beaird sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, Lancaster hit his 12th home run of the season to lift the Chanticleers to the victory.
Not only did the teams combine to score for 33 runs in a contest that last 4:56 minutes, but they combined for 36 hits (20 by CCU and 16 by ULM). Kieton Rivers led the way, going 5-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. ULM's Dino Marucci came off the bench to go 4-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored.
In addition to Rivers, Lancaster, Kevin Woodall Jr. and Lee Sponseller, each had three hits while Woodall, who scored four times, and Parker Chavers each drove in four. Sponseller also had three RBI and three runs scored.
Damron (1-1) get the win. He was one of 13 pitchers used in the game. Derek Martin (0-1) suffered the loss.
The scoring started in the second inning as Rivers and Weisz each had doubles to give Coastal Carolina 1 1-0 lead.
The Warhawks tied the game in the top of the third when Spencer Hemphill hit a leadoff home run. ULM added a second run as Johnny DeLaCruz hit a two-out single, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a CCU error.
Coastal put three runs on the scoreboard in the third to regain the advantage, 4-2. Lancaster and Woodall singled prior to a two-out double by Sponseller. Rivers followed with a two-run double for a two-run CCU advantage.
ULM jumped back on top, 5-4, with three runs in the top of the fifth. Joey Jordan singled and Braedon Barrett walked to set up a three-run triple by Marucci. DeLaCruz then plated Marucci with a sac fly to right field.
The Warhawks pushed their lead to 9-4 in the sixth as Barrett hit a two-out grand slam. Daniels walked with one out. Joe Jordan singled with two outs and Spencer Hemphill walked to load the bases. Barrett then cleared the bases with his grand slam over the 20-foot batter's eye in centerfield, marking the sixth person to accomplish the feat in this the third year of Springs Brooks Stadium and third of which being a grand slam.
Coastal answered with four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Lancaster walked and Woodall hit his 16th home run of the season. It also marked the third straight day Woodall had two RBI. With two outs, Sponseller and Rivers singled. Chavers then delivered a two-run double down the left field line to make cut the CCU deficit to one, 9-8.
The Chanticleers then put a six-spot on the board in the seventh to take a 14-9 lead. Beaird started the home half with a single and Cory Wood laid down a bunt single. After a Lancaster sacrifice bunt, Woodall beat the shift ULM put on him by chopping a single through the right side of the infield and driving in both Beaird and Wood. Two batters later and with two outs, Sponseller cleared the right-center field wall for a two-run homer, his sixth home run of the season. After a Rivers single, Chavers duplicated Sponseller with a two-run home run over the right-center field wall. Chavers now has five home runs this season.
ULM did not go away, scoring five in the top of the eighth to tie the game, 14-14. Hemphill hit a leadoff double and scored on a Barrett double. Marucci brought home Barrett with an RBI single to right-center. Chad Bell singled and Jordan walked to load the bases. Daniels made it a one-run game with a two-run single to left field with Jordan taking third on the play. Peyton Lacoste then tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center field.
Coastal bounced back with a run in the bottom of the eighth. Woodall walked with one out. Two batters later, Cameron Pearcey and Buis were hit on back-to-back pitches to load the bases with two outs. ULM's Cole Gray threw a wild pitch to bring home Woodall.