Big Inning Dooms Chants in Loss to MTSU on Saturday

Big Inning Dooms Chants in Loss to MTSU on Saturday
Coastal Carolina falls to 9-5 on the season with a loss to Middle Tennessee State on Saturday (Source: Coastal Carolina Athletics)

CONWAY, S.C. – Coastal Carolina baseball saw an early 1-0 lead evaporate with a 10-run third inning from Middle Tennessee as the Blue Raiders evened the series at one game apiece with a 12-5 win over the Chanticleers are Saturday afternoon at Springs Brooks Stadium.

The loss drops Coastal to 9-5 on the season, while with the win the Blue Raiders improve to 5-9.

The Chants offense had six hits from five different players led by senior shortstop Scott McKeon (2-for-4, run) and his team-high two base hits. Cooper Weiss (1-for-4, HR), Nick Lucky (1-for-4, run), and Alex Gattinelli (1-for-4, HR, 3 RBIs, 2 runs) each had one hit apiece in the loss.

MTSU’s offense registered 12 runs on 15 hits, highlighted by five home runs, four of which came in the 10-run third inning. Hunter Sullivan (3-for-4, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs, 3 runs), Nathan Sanders (3-for-5, HR, 2 RBIs, 2 runs), Brycen Thomas (3-for-5, HR, 2 RBIs, run), and Mark Engle (1-for-3, HR, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) all homered in the win.

CCU’s Scott Kobos (0-3) suffered the loss, as the senior lefty gave up eight runs on eight hits, all in the third inning while striking out four batters over 2.2 innings.

Reliever Alaska Abney closed out the game for the Chants, throwing a career-high 6.1 innings after entering the game in the third inning. He allowed four runs on seven hits, a walk, and struck out a career-high eight batters.

MTSU starter Peyton Wiggington (1-1) earned the win, as the lefty threw 125 pitches over 8.0-complete innings. He held Coastal to just five runs, four of which were earned, on six hits, one walk, and six strikeouts.

Coastal took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on a solo home run over the batter’s eye off the bat of Weiss.

The home run to straightaway center field is just the ninth home run in the stadium’s six-year history to clear the 20-foot batter’s eye in center field.

However, the lead didn’t last for long, as the Blue Raiders exploded with 10 runs in the top of the third on four home runs, two doubles, three singles, and two doubles.

Down 10-1 after the big inning, the Chants scored one run in the bottom of the fourth on back-to-back MTSU errors and three more runs in the fifth on a two-out three-run home run by Gattinelli to cut the MTSU lead to five at 10-5.

Neither team would score over the next two innings until the Raiders tacked on a run in the eighth on a Sullivan solo home run and then one more in the ninth on a Thomas RBI single to put the final score at 12-5.

Both teams left four runners on base, while Coastal turned its 17th double-play of the season.

The Chants (9-5) and Blue Raiders (5-9) will play the rubber match tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. ET at Springs Brooks Stadium.