Conway, S.C. – A two hour and five minute-lightning delay nor two Appalachian State comebacks would deter Coastal Carolina on Saturday afternoon, as the Chanticleers held on for a 9-6 home win over the Mountaineers in the two teams’ regular-season finale at Springs Brooks Stadium.
With the win, the Chants finished the regular-season slate at 30-23-1 overall and 15-13 in Sun Belt play, while the Mountaineers end their regular season at 22-30 and 13-16 in league play with the loss.
Leading the way for the Chants was senior Zach Biermann (3-for-4, HR, 5 RBIs, run) who matched his career-high with five RBIs in the victory. Catcher Kyle Skeels (1-for-3, 2B, SF, BB, 2 RBIs, run) added two RBIs, while middle infielders Cory Wood (2-for-5, 2 2B, 2 runs) and Scott McKeon (2-for-5, 2B, run) each had two hits apiece for the game.
Appalachian State matched CCU with 10 base hits led by Tyler Leek (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBIs, run) and Luke Allison (2-for-3, 2B, 2 RBIs, run) who each had two base hits and two RBIs in the loss.
Redshirt junior pitcher Scott Kobos (2-2) picked up the win in a relief effort, allowing two runs on three hits and two strikeouts over 3.0 innings of work, while fellow lefty Dylan Gentry (1) earned his first career save getting the last two outs of the game with the tying run at the plate.
The loss fell to Bobby Hampton (0-2), who was roughed up for five runs, one of which was earned, on five hits, three walks and four strikeouts over 3.0 innings out of the bullpen.
The Chants started their first at-bat of the game with a lead-off double from Wood who came around to score two batters later on a 6-4-3 double-play to put the home team in front 1-0 after one inning of play.
The Mountaineers took their first lead of the game two innings later in the top of the third, as the visitors in black and gold took advantage of a lead-off walk to pick up an RBI double to tie the game up at 1-1 before a Bailey Welch RBI single gave them the lead at 2-1.
Biermann gave the Chants the lead in the back in the bottom of the fourth, as the senior first baseman followed a Skeels double with a two-run home run to right field to put the score at 3-2 in favor of the home team. It was Biermann’s team-high 12th home run of the year.
After App State retook the lead in the top of the fifth on a Leek solo home run and Kendall McGowan RBI double into the right-field corner, the Chants answered in the bottom of the fifth with two runs of its own on a Wood lead-off double, a Mountaineers’ dropped fly ball in left field, an RBI ground out by Skeels and a go-ahead RBI single to center field from Biermann to put Coastal in front once again by one at 5-4.
That is where the score would stand for over two hours, as a lightning delay was called before the start of the sixth inning and lasted two hours and five minutes before the two teams returned to the field with Kobos throwing back-to-back 1-2-3 innings over the sixth and seventh frames.
With Kobos holding the App State offense at bay, the Chants offense added three more runs in the bottom of the sixth on a Mountaineer throwing error and a two-run single from Biermann once again to take an 8-4 lead into the seventh.
Following a 1-2-3 inning from Jay Causey (1.1 IP, 3 hits, 2 ER, BB, K) in the top of the eighth, Coastal added an insurance run in the bottom half of the inning on a Skeels sacrifice fly. The run was set up by a stolen base and throwing error by the App State catcher to allow pinch runner Cameron Pearcey to move up to third before Skeels fly ball pushed the home team’s lead out to five at 9-4.
App State refused to go down without a fight and scored two runs in the top of the ninth on a double and back-to-back RBI singles before Gentry got a strikeout and a ground out to end the game with the Chants on top 9-6.
The Chants stranded 10 runners on base, while the Mountaineers left six on in the loss.