CONWAY, S.C. – In their first home game at Springs Brooks Stadium since March 23, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers scored just two runs and gave up six runs over the middle three innings to fall to the Georgia Southern Eagles by a score of 8-2 on Friday night in game one of the three-game conference series.
The loss drops CCU to 16-12 on the season and 2-5 in Sun Belt play, while the win extends Georgia Southern’s winning streak to seven consecutive games and puts the Eagles at 20-13 overall and 8-5 in league play.
Coastal’s offense was led by sophomore first baseman Zack Beach (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs, run) who hit his first home run of the season and drove in his first two RBIs on the year. Underclassmen Eric Brown (1-for-3, 2B, BB) and Billy Underwood (1-for-4, 2B) each had a double on the night, while both Parker Chavers (1-for-4, SB) and Alex Gattinelli (1-for-3, BB, run) had a single in the loss.
The Chants again used the bullpen, as CCU threw six pitchers on the night led by starter Shaddon Peavyhouse (2.1 IP, 4 hits, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K), who was making his first start on the mound for CCU since 2018.
The loss fell to freshman Keaton Hopwood (4-2), as the right-handed pitcher allowed four runs, three of which were earned, on seven hits, and one strikeout over 2.0 innings.
Despite the four errors in the field, the defense for the Chants came up with some big plays, as catcher BT Riopelle ended the Eagles’ scoring threat in the second inning by gathering up a wild pitch and making a diving tag on the Eagle runner trying to score from third base.
Riopelle ended the Eagles’ third inning by throwing out a would-be base stealer at second base, while in the fifth inning left fielder Lorenzo Morello threw a dart to Riopelle at home plate to nail the GS runner trying to score from second base on a single to end the inning.
The Eagles’ offense ripped out six extra-base hits as all nine starters in the lineup had at least one hit in the win. Outfielders Mason McWhorter (3-for-5, HR, BB, 2 RBIs, run) and Christian Avant (2-for-5, 3B, HBP, run) led the way going a combined 5-for-10 in the top of the lineup while both Jason Swan (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBIs, run) and Jarrett Brown (1-for-5, HR, RBI, run) matched McWhorter with a home run.
GS starter Tyler Owens (5-0) remained undefeated on the season with the win, as the righty held Coastal to just two runs on five hits, three walks, and six strikeouts over 6.2 innings.
Both teams got on the scoreboard in the second inning, as Swan put the visiting Eagles up 1-0 in the top half of the inning with a solo home run to left field before a Beach two-out RBI single in the bottom half of the frame tied the game up at 1-1.
The Eagles would fly back out in front in the top of the fourth again by way of the long ball, as Brown homered to left-center field to put the visitors in front at 2-1. However, this time, the Eagles tacked on two more runs in the inning on a McWhorter RBI single and a two-out RBI single off the bat of Noah Ledford to push the lead to 4-1 midway through the fourth inning.
While the Chants stranded one runner on base in each of the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, the Eagles added to their lead with a two-out RBI double off the wall in right-center field by Parker Biederer in the fifth and back-to-back two-out RBI base hits from Austin Thompson and Swan in the sixth to put the score at 7-1 with three innings to play.
Coastal got one run back in the bottom of the seventh on a line drive solo home run to right field by Beach, but left one runner stranded in the seventh and eighth innings and would not score the rest of the way.
McWhorter added to the Eagles’ lead with a solo home run to start the top of the eighth inning to put the score at 8-2, where it would stand after the nine innings of play.
The Chants left 13 runners on base, six more than the Eagles’ seven stranded.