Arlington, Texas – Coastal Carolina got two home runs from senior Mike Koenig, 5.2 strong innings out of the bullpen from senior Matt Eardensohn and scored two runs in the top of the 11th inning as the Chanticleers defeated the UT Arlington Mavericks 8-6 in extra innings on Friday night at Clay Gould Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.
The Chants move to 3-1-1 in extra-inning games on the season with the 11-inning win and improve to 28-20-1 overall and 13-11 in Sun Belt play. The Mavericks fall to 29-21 overall and 15-10 in league play with the series-opening loss.
Coastal tied the game up in the top of the ninth on a bases-loaded walk to Parker Chavers and then scored two runs in the top of the 11th on an RBI triple by Chavers and a Cameron Pearcey RBI single to pick up the extra-inning win.
Shortstop Scott McKeon scored both the game-tying run in the ninth and the go-ahead run in the 11th in the victory.
Eardensohn (5-1) pitched back-to-back 1-2-3 innings in the ninth and 10th, and then handed the ball over to fellow right-handed pitcher Zach McCambley (1) who picked up his first career save with a clean 11th inning in the win.
At the plate, the Chants had six players with multiple hits for the game led by Koenig (3-for-5, 2 HR, BB, 3 RBIs, 2 runs), McKeon (3-for-5, 3B, SF, RBI, 3 runs), Chavers (3-for-6, 3B, 2B, BB, 2 RBIs, run) and Kyle Skeels (3-for-7, 2B, run). Zach Biermann (2-for-5, 2B, RBI) and Nick Lucky (2-for-4, BB) each had two base hits on the night.
With his two home runs in the game, Koenig became the third Chanticleer to accomplish the feat this season as Skeels hit two home runs in game one of the doubleheader at South Alabama on April 6, while Kieton Rivers has done it twice this season in wins versus UNCW on March 27 and in game one of the twin bill versus Georgia Southern on April 20.
The win went to Eardensohn who allowed just one run on five hits and one strikeout over 5.2 innings of work out of the bullpen, entering the game in the fifth with the Chants trailing 5-2.
For UTA offensively, designated hitter Anthony Dominguez (2-for-4, 2 HR, BB, 3 RBIs, 2 runs) led the way with two home runs while Dylan Paul (1-for-5, 2B, 2 RBIs) drove in two RBIs and Zac Cook (0-for-3, SF, RBI) added another on a sacrifice fly.
The Mavericks ran out to an early 1-0 lead in the very first inning, as the home team got a solo home run from Dominguez with two outs in the bottom of the first inning to take the early lead.
However, the Chants answered with a long ball of their own in the next half inning as Koenig followed a McKeon triple with a two-run home run off the batter’s eye in straight-away center field to put the visitors in front for the first time at 2-1 midway through the second inning.
After CCU starter Anthony Veneziano (4.1 IP, 4 hits, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) sent the Mavs down in order in the second, UTA took advantage of two walks in the bottom of the third to put two runners on before a fly out to left field ended the inning with the Chants staying in front at 2-1 after three innings of play.
Veneziano and the Chants were not as fortunate in the bottom of the fourth as the Mavs led-off the inning with a double from Will Olson, then saw a fielding error allow Olson to move up to third base before a ground ball to the right side scored the catcher to tie the game up at 2-2.
UTA retook the lead in the next inning, plating three runs in the bottom of the fifth on a lead-off single, a CCU throwing error, a sacrifice fly and a two-run home run from Dominguez, his second of the game, to put the score at 5-2 heading into the sixth inning.
Coastal refused to throw up the white flag, as the Chants scored two runs in the top of the seventh on a Biermann RBI single and a sacrifice fly off the bat of McKeon. However, the inning would come to an abrupt end as the trail runner in Rivers was called out at first base for leaving early on the play to end the inning with the Chants down 5-4 heading into the seventh-inning stretch.
A second home run by Koenig with one out in the top of the eighth tied the game up at 5-5. However, UTA responded with a two-out single and a misplayed ball in right field went for an RBI double to put the home team back in front by one at 6-5 with one inning to play.
The relentless Chants got back-to-back two-out singles from McKeon and Lucky in the top of the ninth to put the tying and go-ahead runs on base in the inning. Back-to-back walks by UTA’s Gross to Koenig and Chavers tied the game up at 6-6 to send it to extra innings.
Coastal stranded 17 runners on base on the night but drew seven walks compared to just six strikeouts. UTA left six runners on base, as the Chants’ pitching staff issued only two walks on the night.