Chants go deep to sweep Hose, take over first place

ccubase-owings vs pitt 3 (2)Coastal Carolina blew open a tight game with two home runs in the eighth inning to defeat Presbyterian College, 9-3, Saturday afternoon and complete the series sweep.

The Chanticleers (20-21, 11-7 Big South) also move into first place in the Big South’s South Division, while the Blue Hose fall to 12-26-1 overall and 5-13 Big South.

Coastal, down 3-1 through fourth-and-a-half innings, tied the game in the bottom of the fifth and went on top 4-3 thanks to a pinch hit, RBI double by Kyle Jackson in the sixth. Then, in the eighth, pinch hitter Riley Norton hit a leadoff home run to spark a five-run outburst to secure the win.

Connor Owings, who hit a three-run in the decisive eighth inning, was 2-for-3 with three runs scored and three RBI in the win. Tyler Chadwick added two RBI while Colin Hering and Steven Whitaker each contributed two hits.

CCU starter Chase Adkins pitched 5.2 innings before leaving the contest with the game tied. He allowed five hits and three runs – all in the second inning – with three walks and four strikeouts. Andrew Beckwith (3-1) picked up the win in relief. He pitched 2.1 innings, allowing just one hit and one walk with a strikeout. Mike Morrison struck out two in the ninth inning to close out the game.

Coastal Carolina manufactured a run in the bottom of the first. Owings had a leadoff single and moved to second thanks to a throwing error on an attempted pickoff. Michael Paez and Tyler Chadwick came through with back-to-back ground outs, allowing Owings to take third and score, respectively.

The Blue Hose answered with three runs in the top of the second. Brandon Paul Drew a leadoff walk and, after a sacrifice bunt, Jacob Midkiff reached on an infield single. Nate Chong followed with a two-run triple off the left-center field wall. A hit by pitch put runners on the corners once again and Chong scored on a Jay Lizanich’s RBI fielder’s choice.

Coastal tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth. With Whitaker on third and Owings on second, a wild pitch brought Whitaker home and put Owings at third. Two pitches later, Chadwick lined an RBI single to right field, plating Owings.

The Chanticleers regained the advantage in the bottom of the sixth. Richard Carter drew a one-out walk to chase PC starter Aaron Lesiak (1-4). The Blue Hose brought in left-handed pitcher Paul Sanders and CCU countered with the right-handed hitting Jackson, who drove in Carter from first with a double to left-center field.

Coastal hit two home runs and scored five runs in the eighth to blow the game open. Norton started the home half with a solo home run, his first round-tripper of the season. The Chants then loaded the bases thanks to a Hering single and a pair of hit by pitches. Hering scored on a passed ball. Two batters later, Owings hit his third home run of the season, a three-run blast to right field to provide the 9-3 final.

Lesiak suffered the loss, allowing six hits and four runs (three earned) in 5.1 innings.

Coastal Carolina will return to TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark Tuesday when it hosts the College of Charleston. The game is set for 6 pm and will be Coastal’s last home game before embarking on an 11-game road swing. CCU will then close the 2014 season with a three-game home stand versus Campbell (May 15-17).

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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