Chavers’ Three-Run Home Run in the Ninth Propels Chants to 8-7 Win

Chavers’ Three-Run Home Run in the Ninth Propels Chants to 8-7 Win
CCU baseball (Source: WMBF)

ARLINGTON, Texas – Coastal Carolina redshirt junior Parker Chavers hit the ball over the gap and the wall for a three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to propel the Chanticleers to an 8-7 win over the UT Arlington Mavericks on Saturday afternoon in Arlington, Texas.

After a lead-off fly ball out to start the top of the ninth, Dale Thomas reached base on a throwing error by the third baseman. Lead-off hitter Billy Underwood followed with a single to left field to put two runners on and one out in the top of the ninth inning.

Chavers then hit a 1-0 pitch to deep right-center field for a three-run home run to put the Chants in front by one heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Freshman reliever Teddy Sharkey (1-1) then got two quick outs in the bottom of the ninth and pitched around a pair of two-out singles to get pinch hitter Anthony Dominquez to fly out to shallow left field to complete the ninth-inning comeback win.

Sharkey got his first collegiate win throwing 2.0-scoreless innings, allowing just two hits in the ninth.

The loss went to UTA’s Michael Wong (1-1), as the righty gave up three runs, two of which were earned, on three hits, while striking out two over the eighth and ninth innings.

CCU’s offense registered 11 base hits, two each from Chavers (2-for-5, HR, BB, three RBIs, run), Eric Brown (2-for-6, RBI, run), and Nick Lucky (2-for-4, BB, RBI, run). Designated hitter Tanner Garrison (1-for-3, 2B, HBP, 2 RBIs) drove in two RBIs, while Thomas (1-for-4, RBI, run) added one RBI in the win.

For the Mavericks, Phillip Childs (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) and Boone Montgomery (1-for-4, HR, BB, RBI, 2 runs) each had a home run, while Andrew Miller (3-for-5, 2B, 2 RBIs) had a game-high three hits and drove in two more runners in the loss.

The two teams combined to leave 24 runners on base, 14 for the Chants and 10 by the Mavs.

The Chanticleers struck first, as Underwood drew a walk to open the contest and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Brown lined a single off the glove of the shortstop and into left field to plate Underwood from second and give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

CCU tacked on another run with the help of two walks, a fielder’s choice, and a hit-by-pitch to take a 2-0 lead into the bottom half of the first inning.

However, the lead did not last long, as the Mavericks used a solo home run from Montgomery to start the inning and then a two-run home run three batters later off the bat of Childs to take a 3-2 lead into the second inning.

Coastal retook the lead in the top of the third, as the Chants’ rally started with a one-out double down the right-field line from BT Riopelle. Lucky followed with an RBI single back up the box to plate Riopelle for the first run of the frame.

Left fielder Alex Gattinelli then doubled to the left-field corner to put runners on second and third for Garrison who hit a ground ball down the left-field line to drive in Lucky and put the Chants on top at 4-3.

Two batters later, Thomas chopped a two-out single through the left side of the infield to score Gattinelli and push the lead to two at 5-3 midway through the third inning.

The Coastal bullpen of Keaton Hopwood and Alaska Abney was able to strand a combined five runners over the four innings with a 4-6-3 double play ending the fifth frame for the Mavs to keep the visitors in front by two at 5-3.

Following a clean, 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the sixth, the Chanticleers loaded the bases in the top half of the seventh only to strand all three runners and failed to get a run across.

The Mavs took advantage in the bottom half of the inning, as back-to-back walks and a throwing error on a failed pick-off attempt put runners on second and third with no outs.

UTA then tied the game with back-to-back sacrifice flies and Coastal appeared to be out of the inning on a strikeout, however, the passed ball got away from the catcher and allowed the UTA hitter to reach first safely.

With the inning prolonged, the Mavs got a single from Dylan Paul and then a pop fly to right field that dropped inside the right-field line by Miller to score two runners that were running on contact to put the home team in front at 7-5 with two innings to play.

Neither team would score in the eighth to set up the ninth-inning heroics by Chavers.

Coastal (15-9, 2-2 SBC) and UTA (12-17, 3-4 SBC) will return to Clay Gould Ball Park for game two of the three-game series on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. ET.