Coastal Thrashes Tigers, 17-2

Dale Thomas had a career-high 7 RBI in the victory.
Dale Thomas had a career-high 7 RBI in the victory.(WMBF)
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 12:50 AM EDT
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CLEMSON, S.C. – In front of the largest crowd inside Springs Brooks Stadium this season with 3,516 fans in attendance, the home-standing Coastal Carolina Chanticleers did not disappoint, scoring early and often in a 17-2 win over the Clemson Tigers on Tuesday night in Conway, S.C.

With the double-digit win, the Chanticleers completed the two-game series sweep over the Tigers and outscored the team from the Upstate 33-9 in the two wins (16-7 and 17-2).

The win propelled CCU to 34-16-1 overall and extended its current home winning streak to eight consecutive games. The loss dropped Clemson to 32-21 overall on the season.

With their 17-run outburst on Tuesday night, the Chanticleers’ offense has scored double-digit runs in six of their last nine games and 13 times on the season.

Junior infielder Dale Thomas (3-for-4, GS, SF, 7 RBIs, 2 runs) drove in a career-high seven RBIs, one off the CCU single-game record, while his grand slam was his 13th home run of the season.

Also driving in multi-RBIs in the win were Austin White (1-for-5, 2B, BB, 3 RBIs), Kameron Guangorena (1-for-1, HR, BB, 2 RBIs, 2 runs), and Matt McDermott (2-for-5, 2 2B, 2 RBIs, 2 runs), while Christopher Rowan, Jr. (3-for-4, 2B, BB, 3 runs) matched Thomas with a team-high three base hits.

For the Tigers, Benjamin Blackwell (1-for-4, 2 RBIs) drove in the lone two RBIs on the night, while both Blake Wright (2-for-4) and Jonathan French (2-for-4, run) had two base hits. All eight of the Tigers’ base hits on the night were singles.

Earning his fourth win of the season in his first career start, Matthew Potok (4-0) fired a career-high 5.0-complete innings, allowing two runs on four hits, a walk, and four strikeouts.

The loss fell to Nick Hoffman (3-6), as the sophomore gave up four runs on three hits and a hit batter over 1.2 innings on the mound.

The Tigers threw nine pitchers overall on the night, seven of which gave up at least one earned run in the loss.

Coastal struck first in the bottom of the second, as Rowan, Jr. picked up the first hit of the game on a single to center field. Rowan, Jr. then moved up to third on a Nick Lucky single and error on the right-fielder before scoring on a Thomas sacrifice fly to right field.

Three batters later, after Guangorena was hit by a pitch, McDermott laced a double to left field to plate Lucky to double the lead to 2-0. With one swing of the bat, White doubled up the lead with a double to right field to switch places with McDermott and drive in both Guangorena and McDermott to push the lead to 4-0 after two innings of play.

The Chants put up another four-spot in their next at-bat, as the inning started just like the second frame with back-to-back base hits from Rowan, Jr. and Lucky. After Rowan, Jr. scored on a ground ball to the shortstop, in which Thomas reached base safely on the throwing error, Graham Brown singled through the left side to plate Lucky and increase the lead to 6-0.

Following a walk to Guangorena, McDermott hit a sacrifice fly to right field to drive in Thomas before White followed with an RBI-ground out to cap the four-run inning and push the lead out to 8-0 after just three innings.

The Men in Teal poured it on in the bottom of the fourth inning, as the home team sent 12 batters to the plate and tacked on seven more runs to take a double-digit lead.

Thomas got the big inning started with a grand slam over the bullpen in left field to put the Chants on top 12-0. Two batters later, following a walk to Graham Brown, Guangorena launched a two-run shot over the right-center field wall to add two more runs to the lead.

Three batters later, McDermott would scurry home from third base on a wild pitch to put the score at 15-0 in favor of the home team with five innings to play.

After holding Clemson to just one hit over the first four innings, the Tigers got to CCU’s Potok in the fifth frame, as the freshman gave up three singles with the third base knock plating two runs to get the visitors in purple on the scoreboard at 15-2.

CCU’s Thomas struck again in the bottom of the sixth inning, as the junior ripped a single to right field to drive in Tyler Johnson from second to grow the lead to 14 runs at 16-2 heading into the seventh inning.

Following back-to-back scoreless innings by Connor Kurki (2.0 IP, 2 hits, 1 BB) out of the bullpen, the Chants added another run with the help of a hit-by-pitch, a pair of walks, and an RBI-single from pinch hitter Derek Bender to give the home team 17 runs.

Coastal’s Jonathan Blackwell (1.0 IP, 1 hit, 1 K) pitched a scoreless eighth, and fellow Chant Teddy Sharkey (1.0 IP, 1 hit) followed with a scoreless ninth frame to end the 17-2 win.

CCU held a distinct advantage at the plate, as the Chants hit .300 (3-for-10) with two outs, .357 (10-for-28) with runners on base, and .318 (7-for-22) with runners in scoring position.

Coastal Carolina will wrap up the regular season slate with a three-game Sun Belt Conference series versus South Alabama (30-20, 16-11 SBC) on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, May 19-21, at Springs Brooks Stadium.