Bucs stop Chants’ six-game win streak with big inning

Coastal Carolina’s six-game win streak came to an end thanks to a five-run fourth inning by Charleston Southern as the host Buccaneers (22-30, 11-11 Big South) defeated the Chanticleers (33-19, 16-6) 7-3 Thursday night.

Despite Coastal getting nine hits and hitting two home runs, Charleston Southern belted four doubles – three in the critical fourth inning. The Bucs also received a strong pitching performance from Ryan Gunther (7-4). He scattered eight hits and did not walk a batter over eight innings, allowing three walks and striking out five.

Coastal broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fourth. Will Remillard, who was 2-for-4, ripped a one-out single, stole second and scored on Alex Buccill’s RBI single to center field.

Charleston Southern answered and then some in the home half of the fourth. Alex Tomasovich and Chase Shelton hit back-to-back doubles to knot the score at 1-1. The Buccaneers would load the bases after a pair of walks before Jaren Sustar cleared the bases with a three-run double. Kevin Hickey followed with an RBI single for a 5-1 CSU lead and chase CCU starter Ben Smith (4-3), who had retired 11 in a row from the second batter of the game until the eruption.

Ryan Connolly, who moved to ninth on the NCAA all-time list for appearances by a pitcher, came in with the bases loaded and got a ground out to end the fourth. Connolly has now inherited 26 baserunenrs this season with just one scoring.

Coastal got one run back in the fifth as Colin Hering, who was 2-for-4, hit a 1-0 pitch over the right field fence to start the frame. However, Charleston Southern bounced back to regain a four-run lead. Shelton had a leadoff single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Robbie Street singled to center and Shelton was able to score.

The Buccaneers extended their advantage to 7-2 in the seventh. Tomasovich was hit by a pitch to start the home half and Shelton followed with an RBI double down the right field line.

The Chants made it a four-run ballgame again in the eighth, 7-3, as Jacob May hit a one-out, solo home run to right field for May’s team-leading sixth home run.

Smith suffered the loss. He pitched a season-low 3.2 innings, allowing six hits – five in the fourth inning – and five runs with three walks and three strikeouts.

Game two of the weekend series will be Friday night at 6 pm.

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