Chanticleers Hold On for 8-7 Midweek Win Over CofC
CONWAY, S.C. – The Chanticleers hit two home runs and struck out 12 College of Charleston hitters to hold on for an 8-7 non-conference midweek win over the Cougars on Tuesday night at Springs Brooks Stadium.
With the win, the Chants improve to 2-0 in midweek contests on the season and 13-6 overall. CofC falls to 5-10 on the year with the loss.
The offense broke out with eight runs on 10 hits and struck out just eight times in the home win.
Freshman Billy Underwood (3-for-4, 2B, 3 runs) recorded his first career three-hit game as a Chant while both sophomore Eric Brown (2-for-3, 2B, BB, SF, RBI, run) and junior BT Riopelle (2-for-5, RBI, run) had two hits in the win. Designated hitter Alex Gattinelli (1-for-5, HR, 2 RBIs, run) and Parker Chavers (1-for-4, HR, HBP, 3 RBIs, run, SB) provided the fireworks with each hitting a two-run home run.
On the mound, the Chants used six arms overall with not one pitcher throwing more than 2.0-complete innings. Earning the win out of the bullpen was Shaddon Peavyhouse (2-1), as the redshirt junior pitched the eighth inning while the save went to junior closer Alaska Abney (5) who recorded a 1-2-3 ninth.
For the Cougars offensively, first baseman Ari Sechopoulos (3-for-3, 2 HR, BB, 3 RBIs, 3 runs) led the way with two home runs and three RBIs, while center fielder Brody Hopkins (1-for-4, HR, 3 RBIs, run) hit a three-run home run.
The loss fell to Connor Campbell (2-1), as the Cougars’ fourth pitcher of the night, allowed one unearned run in the bottom of the eighth which gave the Chants the 8-7 win.
Coastal left eight runners on base but were solid defensively highlighted by another outfield assist from Chavers from center field in the first inning.
After both teams stranded a runner in scoring position in the first inning, with Chavers’ outfield assist at home plate keeping the Cougars off the scoreboard, Charleston’s Hopkins hit a two-run home run to left field with two outs in the top of the second to put the visitors on top first at 3-0.
Coastal quickly tied the game in the bottom of the third inning on a two-out RBI single through the right side by Riopelle followed by a two-run home run off the bat of Gattinelli to put the score at 3-3 heading into the fourth inning of play.
Following a second scoreless inning from reliever Daniel Kreuzer in the top half of the fourth, the Chants tacked on a run in the bottom half of the frame on an RBI single up the middle from sophomore second baseman Dale Thomas to put the men in Teal in front at 4-3.
CCU’s scoring continued with a two-run home run from Chavers in the bottom of the fifth, his second home run of the season, before the Cougars used a long ball of their own in the top of the sixth inning from Sechopoulos to cut the home team’s lead to two at 6-4.
The Chants were able to get the run back in the bottom half of the sixth inning on an Underwood single, a walk, a sacrifice bunt, and a sacrifice fly to pull back out in front by three at 7-4 with three innings to play.
The sacrifice fly proved to be important, as the Cougars pushed across three runs in the top half of the eighth inning on a two-out RBI single from Tanner McCallister and a second home run by Sechopoulos, this time a two-run shot, to tie the game back up at 7-7.
In the bottom of the eighth, Underwood led off the inning with his third hit of the night, a single through the left side. After Thomas reached base on an error by the second baseman on a sacrifice bunt attempt, Brown drew a walk two batters later to load the bases for Chavers.
The veteran leader of the team took one for the team literally, as he took the first pitch of his at-bat off his helmet to force in Underwood from third and put the Chants back in front at 8-7.
Abney did the rest, as the side-twirler used just 12 pitches to get a ground out to second, a strikeout, and another ground out up the middle on a great play by Brown at shortstop to seal the one-run win for the home team.
The Chants will now set their sights on Sun Belt Conference play, as the preseason Sun Belt East Division favorites will hit the road for four games at Louisiana on March 26-29 in Lafayette, La.