Chants Split Twin Tilt with Bobcats on Saturday; Take the Series Win

Coastal Carolina baseball
Coastal Carolina baseball(WMBF)
Published: Mar. 25, 2023 at 11:43 PM EDT
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CONWAY, S.C. – The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers totaled 21 runs over the two games versus the Texas State Bobcats on Saturday, yet split the conference twin tilt with the conference foe with a 13-6 win in game one and a 10-8 loss in game two.

With the game one win, the Chants took the Sun Belt Conference series win over the Bobcats 2-1.

Game 1: Coastal 13, Texas State 6

In the first game of the twin bill, the Chanticleers continued what they did in Friday’s 19-0 series-opening win, scoring a run in each of the first four innings to pull out in front early to cruise to the 13-6 win.

The Coastal offense scored 13 runs on 14 hits and eight walks and struck out just five times to lead from start to finish in the series-clinching win.

CCU designated hitter Derek Bender (3-for-5, 3B, BB, RBI, 3 runs) continued to swing a hot bat, as he had three base hits, while outfielder Chad Born (4-for-5, grand slam, 2B, 4 RBIs, 2 runs) had a career game with four hits, highlighted by a grand slam in the third inning.

Lead-off hitter Payton Eeles (2-for-2, 2 BB, RBI, run, SB) reached base safely in each of his four plate appearances, while both power hitters Zack Beach (1-for-3, HR, BB, 2 RBIs, 3 runs) and Tanner Garrison (2-for-4, HR, 2B, BB, 2 RBIs, run) each belted a home run in the win.

Texas State’s offense, which did most of its damage late with a five-run ninth inning, was led by home runs from August Ramirez (2-for-5, HR, RBI, 2 runs) and Cade Manning (1-for-4, HR, 3 RBIs, run).

Picking up his second win of the season was sophomore Matthew Potok (2-0), as the right-handed pitcher recorded his second consecutive quality start allowing just one earned run on four hits, two walks, and a career-high 10 strikeouts over 6.0-complete innings.

CCU once again roughed up the Bobcats’ starting pitcher, as Nathan Medrano (1-2) gave up eight runs, seven of which were earned, on eight hits, one walk, and two strikeouts over 2.1 innings pitched.

The TXST bullpen again did not fair well, as all but the final pitcher allowed two or more earned runs in the loss.

Coastal picked up where it left off in the 19-0 win on Friday night, as Eeles reached base on a lead-off single and then came around to score on a two-out triple off the bat of Bender that got past the center fielder to put the home team on top 1-0 after one inning played.

After the Bobcats used a long ball from Ramirez in the top of the second inning to tie the game up at 1-1, the Chanticleers quickly retook the lead in the bottom half of the inning on a solo home run of their own from Garrison to go up 2-1.

Three batters later, following a Ty Dooley single and a Born double, shortstop Dean Mihos grounded out to plate Dooley from third before Eeles laced a single through the left side to score another Born and push the lead out to 4-1.

Coastal doubled its runs total in the bottom of the third inning as the Chants’ loaded the bases with a single, two Texas State errors, and a walk for Born, who belted a ball deep to left-center field for his first career grand slam to extend the lead to 8-1 heading into the fourth inning of play.

After Potok pitched around a one-out double by striking out back-to-back Bobcat hitters in the top of the fourth, the Chants scored yet again in the bottom of the fourth frame on an RBI double off the wall in right-center field by Garrison and added another run on a sacrifice fly to center from Dooley to reach double digits at 10-1.

Neither team would score in the fifth inning, which ended the Chants’ scoring streak at 13 consecutive innings. However, the Men in Teal quickly got back on track in the next inning, as Beach blasted a two-run home run to left field before Mihos followed with a sacrifice fly to push the lead out to 13-1 with three innings to play.

The bullpens would settle down to throw back-to-back scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth innings to keep the score at 13-1 heading into the ninth.

Texas State, who had only scored one run over the first 17 innings of the series, plated five runs in the top of the ninth, highlighted on a three-run home run off the bat of Manning to put the final score at 13-6 in favor of the Chanticleers.

CCU left nine runners on base in the win, while the Bobcats stranded eight runners of their own.

Game 2: Texas State 10, Coastal 8

In game two of the doubleheader, it was the Texas State offense that provided the double-digit runs total, as the Bobcats held on for a 10-8 win to avoid the series sweep to the Chants.

CCU’s offense was led by Eeles (2-for-5, HR, BB, RBI, 2 runs) and Graham Brown (2-for-5, HR, 2B, 3 RBIs, 2 runs) who each had two base hits, including a home run, while Kameron Guangorena (2-for-3, BB, RBI), Bender (2-for-5, HBP, RBI, 2 runs), and Dooley (2-for-5, RBI, 2 runs) all had two hits apiece in the loss.

Texas State’s offense had five different players with two hits apiece in the nightcap, led by Ramirez (2-for-4, HR, HBP, 3 RBIs, 2 runs) with a home run and a team-high three RBIs, while both Ben McClain (2-for-3, 2 2B, 2 BB, 2 RBIs, run) and Davis Powell (2-for-5, HR, 2B, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) added two RBIs each in the win.

In his first career start, sophomore hurler Darin Horn (1-1) was handed the loss. The middle reliever gave up seven runs on seven hits, three walks, and three strikeouts over 1.2 innings of work.

The win went to Texas State reliever Jack Stroud (1-1), as he relieved starter Zeke Wood (4.0 IP, 3 hits, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) in the fifth inning and allowed three runs on four hits, one walk, and three strikeouts in 1.0 inning of work.

Earning the save was Rhett McCaffety (2), as he got the final out in the bottom of the ninth inning with the tying run on second base and the winning run at the plate.

Texas State took its first lead of the series in the top of the first inning, as the Bobcats took advantage of a double and a pair of wild pitches to go up 1-0 midway through the first inning.

Coastal quickly answered in the bottom half of the inning, as Eeles hit a solo home run over the bullpen behind the left-field fence to tie the game up at 1-1 just one hitter into the bottom of the first inning.

His home run marked the fourth time this season that the Chanticleers’ lead-off hitter has hit a home run to start the bottom of the first inning.

However, the Texas State offense that was one of the best in the Sun Belt entering the weekend, exploded for six runs in the top of the second, highlighted by an RBI double from McClain, a two-run home run by Powell, and then a three-run shot to right-center field by Ramirez to pull back out in front at 7-1 midway through the second frame.

Looking to get back into the contest, Coastal’s Brown ripped a home run to left field, this one a two-run shot in the bottom of the fourth inning to close the gap to 7-3 heading into the top of the fifth.

The Chants duplicated the two-run inning in the bottom of the fifth, this time plating two runs on a Caden Bodine RBI double off the wall in right-center field followed by an RBI single just inside the first base line by Bender to cut the Bobcats’ lead to two at 7-5 with four innings to play.

With the duo of Liam Doyle and Davis Tyndall combining to strand two Bobcat runners on base over the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, the offense continued to claw its way back into the contest as a two-out RBI single off the end of the bat by Guangorena in the bottom of the sixth inning trimmed the Bobcats’ lead to one at 7-6.

However, the Bobcats were able to get some offense going in the top of the seventh inning, as a hit batter and fielding error put two runners on with just one out. Manning then doubled down the right-field line to score one run, while Ryder Hernandez followed with an RBI single to left to push the lead back out to three at 9-6.

Texas State would add another run on a wild pitch, which allowed a runner to walk in from third base to put the Bobcats on top by four at 10-6 heading into the seventh inning stretch.

Coastal continued to try to fight back in the late innings, yet stranded one runner in the bottom of the seventh and two more runners in the eighth to send the game to the ninth.

Following a 1-2-3 ninth inning from Colin Yablonski (2.2 IP, 0 hits, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) to keep the score at 10-6, the Chanticleers were quickly down to their final out following a lead-off single by Bender and back-to-back strikeouts.

Refusing to throw in the white towel, Brown laced a two-out double to left-center field to score Bender and then scored on a Dooley RBI single through the right side to cut the Texas State lead back to two at 10-8.

Garrison came off the bench to deliver a pinch-hit double to put runners on second and third and bring the winning run to the plate.

However, Texas State’s McCaffety was able to get a ground ball out to end the threat and save the Bobcats with a 10-8 conference road win.

While the Chants outhit the Bobcats 13-12 for the game, CCU stranded 11 runners compared to Texas State’s seven.

Coastal (14-7, 4-2 Sun Belt) will open up a five-game road swing at nationally-ranked North Carolina on Tuesday, March 28. The Chants will then play a three-game road series at Georgia State on March 31-April 2 before another midweek road game at Clemson on April 4.