CCU can’t close out sweep; rematch with Tar Heels next

ccubase-batter2015Coastal Carolina took a one-run lead into the ninth inning, but surrendered four runs in the frame and fell 10-7 to Longwood Saturday afternoon at Springs Brooks Stadium.

The 23rd-ranked Chanticleers won their third straight conference series, but fall to 23-8 overall and 7-2 in the league. The Lancers improve to 13-17, 4-8.

With one out in the ninth inning for the Lancers, Connar Bastaich, who was 3-for-5 Saturday and 8-for-14 for the series, reached on a high chopping single that was lost in the sun. Kyri Washington followed with a single off the center field wall to put Bastaich on third. Travis Biddix executed a squeeze bunt, driving in Bastaich and reaching first as all runners were safe on the play. Brandon Delk, who had a career-high six RBI Saturday, delivered a two-run triple and later scored on a wild pitch for the 10-7 advantage.

Delk, who accounted for seven of Longwood’s 10 runs, was 4-for-5 with two home runs, a single and a triple in the win. Washington, Alex Lewis and Michael Osinski each added two hits as the Lancers pounded out 15 hits, the most surrendered by the Chanticleers this season.

Luke Simpson (2-1) shut Coastal out for the final 4.1 innings, allowing just one hit with four walks and five strikeouts, to get the win.

The loss spoiled was a career-high performance for CCU relief pitcher Mike Morrison. The junior struck out a career-high seven with no walks in 5.1 innings pitched. He allowed six hits and one run. Andrew Beckwith (2-1) took the loss, allowing four hits and four runs in 2.1 innings.

For the third consecutive game, Bastaich and Washington had one-out hits in the first inning. However, unlike the previous games, the Lancers scored more than one run in the frame as Delk hit a three-run home run to right field. After a single by Lewis, Osinski made it 5-0 with a two-run shot over the left-center field wall.

Coastal answered with a pair of runs in the home half of the first. Anthony Marks drew a leadoff walk and Michael Paez singled. After a Conner Owings sacrifice bunt, G. K. Young delivered an RBI single, scoring Marks and moving Paez to third. Paez later scored on a wild pitch.

The Chants, like Longwood did in the first inning, used a three-run home run and two-run home run to put a five spot on the board in the third to take a 7-5 lead. Marks singled and Paez doubled to set-up the three-run shot by Owings. Two batters later, Zach Remilard singled and scored on a two-out, two-run blast by David Parrett.

Owings now has four home runs, matching his team-leading total from last year, while Parrett has nine homers, the most by a Chanticleer since 2011 Big South Player of the Year Tommy La Stella and 2012 Big South Player of the Year Daniel Bowman had 14 and 12, respectively in 2011.

Longwood trimmed its deficit to one, 7-6, in the fifth inning when Delk hit his second home run of the game.

Coastal’s offense was led by Marks (2-for-3), Paez (3-for-5) and Owings (three RBI).

Coastal Carolina will return to action Tuesday with a trip to Chapel Hill to face North Carolina. Coastal defeated then #11 Tar Heels 13-2 on Mar. 10 at Springs Brooks Stadium.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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