Conway, S.C. – Coastal Carolina baseball rode the right arm of junior hurler Zach McCambley and got three doubles and a game-high four RBIs from freshman first baseman Zack Beach to down UNC Greensboro 12-4 in the season opener on Friday night at Spring Brooks Stadium on day one of the Brittain Resorts Baseball at the Beach event.
Coastal improves to 6-0 all-time in home openers at Springs Brooks Stadium and 32-13 in season openers since 1974.
Under head coach Gary Gilmore, the Chants are now 21-4 in season openers and 23-2 in home openers.
Making the season-opening start for the second-straight season, McCambley (1-0) registered a quality start, surrendering two unearned runs on five hits, no walks, and eight strikeouts over 7.0-complete innings.
Beach led the offensive charge as he was 3-for-3, three doubles, a walk, and four RBIs, while senior outfielder Morgan Hyde was 2-for-4 with a home run, three RBIs, and three runs scored. BT Riopelle (1-for-4, HR, RBI) blasted his first career home run for the first run of the game, while junior college transfer Alex Gattinelli (1-for-4) drove in two RBIs.
UNCG’s Jake Lewis (0-1) was handed the loss, as he was hit up for six runs, two of which were earned, on three hits, one walk, and six RBIs.
Offensively, the Spartans matched the Chants with nine hits, led by two hits apiece from Greg Hardison (2-for-4, BB), Jacquez Koonce (2-for-4, RBI, 2 runs), and Sam Koruschak (2-for-4).
The difference in the game was in unearned runs, as Coastal scored nine unearned runs compared to two for the Spartans.
Riopelle opened the scoring up in the bottom of the second inning with a solo home run to right field, before CCU added an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth on a ground out off the bat of Gattinelli to put the home team in front 2-0 after four innings of play.
While McCambley cruised through the first five innings on the mound, striking out six Spartan hitters and stranding three runners on base, the Chants broke the game wide open with an eight-run fifth inning, highlighted by a home run from Hyde and a pair of doubles and two RBIs by Beach.
In the big inning, Coastal took advantage of two hit batters, a walk, a throwing error, and five base hits to pull out to a 10-0 lead with four innings to play.
After UNCG plated two unearned runs in the top of the seventh to spoil the Chants’ shutout bid, the offense quickly got the two runs back in the bottom half of the inning on a two-run double from Beach to put Coastal in front 12-2.
UNCG added two runs in the top of the ninth to put the final score at 12-4.
Freshman Griffin Holcombe finished off the game by allowing two runs on four hits, one walk, and two strikeouts over the final 2.0 innings in the win.
The Chants struck out 10 batters and walked just one.
UNCG stranded eight runners on base compared to Coastal’ s four.