Chants blast past Wolves, eye series sweep Sunday

ccubase-Matt Beaird vs Ark State 3-25 1Matt Beaird had a career-high five RBI to lead Coastal Carolina to an 11-6 victory over Arkansas State Saturday afternoon at Springs Brooks Stadium. The Chanticleers (14-9, 3-2) and Red Wolves (11-11, 2-3) will complete the three-game series on Sunday with first pitch set for 1 pm.

Beaird entered Saturday’s game with just eight RBI for the season, including two Friday thanks to his first career home run. In today’s win, the junior was 3-for-5 with a three-run home run and two RBI singles. Billy Cooke was a home run shy of the cycle, going 4-for-4. Seth Lancaster added three hits and two RBI while Dalton Ewing and Cory Wood each contributed two hits.

The Red Wolves got on the scoreboard first with a run in the top of the third inning when Alex Howard drove a leadoff home run over the left-center field wall. Howard was 4-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored.

Coastal exploded for seven runs in the fourth inning to take a 7-1 lead. The Chants not only sent 11 men to the plate, but they hit for the cycle in the frame thanks to four singles, a double, a triple and a home run. Kevin Woodall Jr., drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on Wood Myers’ double down the third base line. Lancaster followed with an RBI single to right-center field that scored Woodall. With runners on the corners, Ewing delivered an RBI single to left field that plated Myers. Wood laid down a perfect bunt for a single, but a throwing error on the play allowed Lancaster to score from second and put Ewing on third. Then, for the second time in as many days, Beaird hit a home run, this time a three-run shot for his second career round-tripper. Cooke followed with a triple and scored on a Jordan Gore single up the middle.

Arkansas State bounced back with four runs in the fifth to make the score 7-5. With one out, Howard singled and Drew Tipton was hit by a pitch. Grant Hawkins loaded the bases with an infield single to shortstop. Joe Schrimpf walked to force home Howard. Garrett Rucker plated Tipton with an RBI ground out and Justin Felix capped the scoring with a two-run double.

The Chants answered with two runs in the home half of the fifth. With one out, Ewing and Wood had back-to-back singles. Beaird followed with an RBI single, bringing home Ewing and moving Wood to third. Cooke then plated Wood with a sacrifice fly to left field for the 9-5 lead.

Coastal tacked on another run in the sixth. Peyton Isaacson singled, took second on a balk, advanced to third on a ground out and scored when Lancaster hit a line drive off the pitcher’s glove for an infield single.

In the seventh, Beaird had his third hit and drove in his fifth run of the game to give the Chants an 11-5 cushion.

Arkansas State used a leadoff double by Howard and a one-out single by Hawkins, who was 3-for-5, to provide the final 11-6 score. However, the Red Wolves made it interesting in the ninth innings as they loaded the bases with no outs. Will Latcham came out the CCU bullpen to induce a game-ending double play to pick up his second save of the season.

Andrew Beckwith (2-1) recorded his second-straight win as he allowed eight hits and five runs in 5.2 innings.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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