Coastal Carolina drops series opener at Troy, 9-7
CONWAY, S.C. – Capped off by a grand slam from freshman outfielder Billy Underwood, the Chanticleers scored six runs in the fourth inning but saw its comeback bid fall short in a 9-7 conference loss at home to the Troy Trojans on Friday afternoon in Conway, S.C.
The two teams combined to score 13 runs with two outs over the nine-inning contest with Troy scoring eight two-out runs and the Chants plating five.
The Chants’ offense scored seven runs on eight base hits from six different players led by two base hits apiece from Underwood (2-for-5, GS, 4 RBIs, run) and Alex Gattinelli (1-for-4, HR, BB, 2 RBIs, run) who both hit a home run in the fourth inning.
Troy had four players with multiple-hit games in Logan Cerny (3-for-4, BB, HBP, RBI, 2 runs, SB), Rigsby Mosley (2-for-6, RBI, run), Caleb Bartolero (2-for-4, HBP, RBI, run), and Dalton Sinquefield (2-for-4, HBP, RBI, run), while both Jesse Hall (1-for-3, HR, 3 RBIs, run) and Drew Frederic (1-for-4, HR, 2 BB, RBI, run, SB) hit a home run in the win.
The CCU pitching staff struck out 10 Trojan hitters and walked just three batters but plunked six Trojans on the day.
Junior Alaska Abney (1-2) was handed the loss, as the right-handed pitcher gave up seven runs on nine hits, two hit batters, and three strikeouts over 3.2 innings.
Troy starter Garrett Gainous (7-4) picked up the win despite giving up seven runs on seven hits, two walks, and three strikeouts over 6.0-complete innings.
The Trojans took a 4-0 lead right out of the gate as Sinquefield lined a two-out RBI single to right field for the first run of the game while Hall followed with a three-run home run to left field.
After Troy extended its lead to 7-0 with three runs in the top of the fourth on three consecutive two-out RBI singles from Cerny, Mosley, and Bartolero, the Chants quickly got back into the game with six runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Gattinelli put the home team on the scoreboard with a two-run shot to left field, which started the big inning. BT Riopelle and Zack Beach followed with back-to-back singles to right field, and after a strikeout and a walk to load the bases, Underwood hit the first pitch he saw to left field for his first career grand slam and cut the lead to one at 7-6.
The two teams would each plate a run in the sixth frame with Troy’s coming on a throwing error and the Chants’ by way of a two-out triple off the wall in right-center field by Cooper Weiss to put the score at 8-7 with three innings to play.
However, Troy added a solo home run to start the top of the seventh while the Chanticleers stranded two runners in the seventh, one runner in the eighth, and one more in the ninth.
CCU nearly tied the game up with two outs and a runner on first base in the bottom of the ninth as Gattinelli sent a fly ball to the right-center field wall where a leaping Cerny made the catch against the teal barrier to end the game with the Trojans on top 9-7.
CCU stranded seven runners on base while the Trojans left 12 on for the game.
Coastal (21-19, 5-8 SBC) and Troy (22-21, 8-8 SBC) will play game two of the three-game Sun Belt Conference series on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.