Chanticleers Drop Sun Belt Conference Opener at Louisiana

Chanticleers Drop Sun Belt Conference Opener at Louisiana
CCU baseball (Source: WMBF)

LAFAYETTE, La. – Coastal Carolina gave up six runs in the second and three in the third in a 9-2 loss at Louisiana on Friday night in the two teams’ Sun Belt Conference opener in Lafayette, La.

The loss drops the Chants to 13-7 overall and 0-1 in the Sun Belt, while Louisiana moves to 12-10 overall and 1-0 in the Sun Belt with the victory.

Coastal’s offense was led by the duo of Eric Brown (2-for-3, 2B, BB) and Dale Thomas (2-for-4) who had two hits apiece, while both Makenzie Pate (1-for-2, RBI) and Lorenzo Morello (1-for-2, run) each had one hit off the bench.

CCU’s Reid VanScoter (2-1), who had allowed just one run over his last 13 innings pitched entering the contest, took the loss as he gave up nine runs, six of which were earned, on eight hits, one walk, and two strikeouts over just 2.0 innings of work.

Reliever Josh Jarman did a great job out of the bullpen for the Chants, as the senior lefty struck out a career-high nine batters over 5.0-scoreless innings to eat up innings for a depleted pitching staff with three games to play over the next three days.

Freshman pitcher Connor Kurki made his collegiate debut on Friday night, pitching a 1-2-3 eighth inning.

The Ragin’ Cajuns offense had three players with two hits each in Bobby Lada (2-for-5, 3B, 3 RBIs, run), who had a team-high three RBIs, and Conn Kimple (2-for-3, RBI, 2 runs) and Carson Roccaforte (2-for-3, 2 runs) who both scored two runs in the win.

The win went to Louisiana’s Spencer Arrighetti (4-1), as the right-hander held Coastal’s offense to one run on three hits, three walks, and two hit batters while striking out 11 over 7.1 innings.

The two teams combined to strand 16 runners on base, eight for each team.

After the Chants stranded two runners on base in both the first and second innings, the Ragin’ Cajuns used a six-run second inning to run out to a 6-0 lead after two innings of play.

The home team used six hits and one walk to plate the six runs on a Kimple RBI single, a Kevin Fitzgerald two-run single, a Lada two-run triple, and a fielder’s choice to take the lead.

Louisiana added to its lead with some help from the Chants in the bottom of the third on just one hit, three Coastal errors, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch to extend its lead to 9-0 after three innings played.

While Jarman was able to keep the Cajuns off the scoreboard over the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, including striking out the side in the sixth, the CCU offense struggled at the plate as LA’s Arrighetti struck out nine Coastal over the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh innings to keep the shutout intact heading into the eighth frame.

The Chants were able to spoil the Cajuns’ shutout attempt in the top of the eighth as back-to-back walks set up Pate who came through with an RBI single to right-center field to put the visitors on the scoreboard.

Coastal added a run in the ninth inning on two singles and an error to put the final score at 9-2.

Coastal (13-7, 0-1 Sun Belt) and Louisiana (12-10, 1-0 Sun Belt) will play game two of the series tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET.