Chants fall to Golden Bears, face elimination from NCAA

ccubase-29ncaasCalifornia, the third seed and ranked 16th nationally, scored eight runs in the final five innings to claim a 9-3 victory over second seed and 25th-ranked Coastal Carolina Friday afternoon in the opening game of the NCAA College Station Regional, played at Texas A&M”s Blue Bell Field.

The Chanticleers will face the loser of Texas Southern/Texas A&M, which plays Friday night, on Saturday at 1 pm (ET) in an elimination game.

The Golden Bears scratched the scoreboard first. Chris Paul hit a leadoff triple to right-center field and scored on an RBI single to center field from Mitchell Kranson, who was 3-for-4 with two RBI on the day.

Tyler Chadwick tied the game with one swing of the bat in the home half of the second as he deposited a two-out home run over the left field wall for his fifth round-tripper of the season.

Cal regained the lead with back-to-back doubles in the fifth. Preston Grand Pre dumped a single into shallow right-center field and scored two batters later on an RBI double from Aaron Knapp. On the next pitch, Devin Pearson lined an RBI double down the left field line to give Cal a 3-1 lead.

The Bears extended their lead to 4-1 in the sixth. Kranson delivered a one-out single, advanced to second on a throwing error and took third on a single to right field by Brett Cumberland. Brian Celsi grounded out, but Kranson was able to score on the slow chopper.

Coastal threatened in the bottom of the sixth as Josh Crump and Michael Paez each walked. However, Cal starting pitcher Daulton Jefferies recorded a pair of strikeouts to end the inning.

Jefferies (6-5) earned the win as he allowed just three hits and one run through seven innings. The sophomore walked three and struck out five.

Cal started the eighth with back-to-back singles from Lucas Erceg and Chris Paul. Kranson then laid down a sacrifice bunt, but a throwing error on the play allowed Erceg and Paul to score for a 6-1 advantage.

The Bears padded their lead with three runs in the ninth. Knapp drew a leadoff walk, stole second and moved to third on a single from Pearson. Erceg hit a ball that landed perfectly between three players just inside the left field line for an RBI double. Paul followed with a sacrifice fly to left field to plate Pearson. Kranson lined an RBI double down just inside the right field line.

Coastal provided the 9-3 final with two runs in the bottom of the ninth. G.K. Young, who had two of CCU’s four hits in the game, hit a leadoff double, Chadwick reached on a fielder’s choice and Set Lancaster walked to load the bases. Pinch hitter Kevin Woodall, Jr., walked to force home Young. Josh Crump followed with an RBI ground out.

Shane Sawczak (4-5) suffered the loss. The freshman allowed six hits and three run through five innings.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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