Monroe, La. – No. 16 Coastal Carolina took advantage of 14 walks and two hit-batsmen to have 10 different players score at least one run in the 14-2 win over the ULM Warhawks in Sun Belt Conference play on Saturday afternoon at Warhawk Stadium in Monroe, La.
Coastal improved to 15-4-1 overall, 2-0 in league play and 8-0 all-time over ULM with the win.
For the second-straight game, the Chants used two big innings, four runs or more, to pull away for the win. CCU is now 10-1-1 when posting a big inning in a game this season.
While the offense was walking around the bases, the pitching staff was solid from start to finish.
Left-handed pitcher Austin Kitchen (4-0) remained unbeaten on the season, as the redshirt-junior allowed just two runs, one of which was earned, on seven hits, one walk and one strikeout over 5.0-complete innings.
The bullpen was even better, however, as Dylan Gentry (3.0 IP, 3 BB, 5 K) and Alaska Abney (1.0 IP, 1 hit, BB) allowed just one hit over the final four innings of the game. Gentry’s five strikeouts were a career-high.
At the plate, senior Mike Koenig (1-for-2, GS, BB, 4 RBIs, 2 runs) entered the game in the seventh as a pinch hitter and hit a grand slam in the eighth inning to put the game out of reach. Shortstop Scott McKeon (3-for-4, HR, BB, 2 RBIs, 2 runs, SB) stayed hot with a solo home run to start the scoring in the fifth.
Outfielders Kieton Rivers (1-for-3, 2 BB, 3 RBIs, 2 runs, SB) and Jake Wright (1-for-1, 3 BB, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) each drove in multiple RBIs in the win.
ULM starting pitcher Trey Jeans (0-3) was saddled with the loss, as he gave up three runs, on one hit, five walks and four strikeouts in 4.0 innings. He was superb from the start as he kept the Chants hitless over the first four innings. However, after McKeon hit a solo home run to start the fifth, the lefty walked back-to-back hitters and left the game up 2-1.
The Chants got to the ULM bullpen, adding three more runs in the fifth, one in the sixth, two in the seventh, six in the eighth and one more in the ninth in the blowout win.
The Warhawks offense again was led by a trio of players in outfielder Trent Tingelstad (2-for-4, 2B, RBI), Braedon Barrett (2-for-4, 2B, RBI) and Ryan Humeniuk (2-for-4, BB, 2 runs).
ULM got on the scoreboard first in the first inning, as Tingelstad dropped in a two-out single into center field to score Humeniuk from third and put the home team on top 1-0 early.
The Warhawks doubled their lead two innings later on a Barrett sacrifice fly to take a 2-0 lead into the fourth inning of play.
The Chants bats came alive in the top of the fifth, as McKeon led off the frame with a solo home run to right field. The long ball was his second of the season.
After back-to-back walks to Keaton Weisz and Cory Wood, ULM got two-straight infield pop-ups to get two outs in the inning, before a walk to Kyle Skeels loaded the bases.
Wright, who hit a grand slam in Friday night’s win, lined a two-out single to right center field to score both Weisz and Wood and give the Chants a 3-2 lead.
The inning did not stop there, as Rivers followed with an RBI single to plate Skeels and put the visitors in front by two at 4-2.
Zach Biermann added an RBI ground out in the sixth, while the Chants scored two more runs in the seventh on a McKeon RBI single and a ground ball into a double play to extend their lead out to 7-2 heading into the seventh-inning stretch.
Coastal blew the game open in the next inning, as Rivers drew an RBI bases-loaded walk, which was followed by a grand slam to right field off the bat of Koenig to put the Chants in front at 12-2.
Three batters later, Wood capped the inning off with an RBI single to right field to put the visitors in front by 11 at 13-2.
Rivers added an RBI ground out in the top of the ninth after a Bradley Riopelle walk and a Morgan Hyde double to put the final score at 14-2.
The Chants drew a season-high 14 walks and picked up double-digit hits for the 15th game this season with 11 base knocks.