Chants lose Sun Belt debut in marathon 14-inning duel

ccubase-11Ryan Newman, who was 5-for-7, hit a leadoff home run in the 14th inning to lift Texas State to a 5-4 win over #20 Coastal Carolina Friday night at Bobcat Ballpark.

This was both the teams’ conference opener and marked Coastal baseball’s first Sun Belt Conference contest. Texas State improves to 11-7 while the Chants fall to 11-8. Game two of the three-game series is set for 5 p.m. The contest will be broadcast in the Myrtle Beach area on Time Warner Spectrum, channel 323.

Both teams had numerous opportunities in extra innings – Coastal left four runners on base and Texas State seven – and both teams scored a run in the 12th. In fact, CCU freshman Patrick Orlando (1-1) recorded a strikeout with bases loaded in the 13th. However, Newman’s blast in the 14th secured the win for the Bobcats.

For the third consecutive outing, Alex Cunningham pitched well, but once again did not factor in the decision. He left with a 3-1 lead in the seventh inning with his final line reading 6.2 innings pitched, five hits, one run, no walks and six strikeouts.

Coastal grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the third inning. Jordan Gore, who had three hits, had a leadoff double and took third on a passed ball. With two outs, Billy Cooke hit a chopper up the middle, including a big hop over the head of second baseman Jonathan Ortega, to bring home Gore. After a walk to Cory Wood moved Cooke to second, Wood Myers plated Cooke with an RBI single to right field

Another leadoff double by Gore led to a Chanticleer run in the seventh for a 3-0 advantage. After the double, Coastal would load the bases on a bunt single by Dalton Ewing and international walk to Cooke. With one out, pinch hitter Kieton Rivers delivered a sacrifice fly to center field to bring home Gore

Texas State broke up the shutout bid in the bottom of the seventh as Theodore Hoffman hit his sixth home run of the season. The Bobcats put two runners on before Cunningham got two outs and turned the inning over to Bobby Holmes, who promptly got a ground out to end the seventh.

The Bobcats then made it a one-run ballgame, 3-2, in the eighth inning as Derek Scheible hit a leadoff home run. Then, with two outs, Hoffman singled, stole second and scored the tying run on a double by Jaylen Hubbard.

Both teams had base runners in the 10th and 11th innings. In fact, the Bobcats loaded the bases in the 11th before Austin Kitchen recorded a strikeout to end the threat.

Coastal took a 4-3 lead in in the top of the 12th thanks to four walks. Josh Crump started the frame with a free pass and stole second. Kevin Woodall Jr., was intentionally walked and Peyton Isaacson, who had three hits, just missed a three-run home run as his deep fly ball to left-center field was caught at the wall. However, Seth Lancaster followed with a walk to load the bases. Jordan Gore, with a 3-2 count, hit a high pop foul but close to home plate. However, the Bobcat catcher could not make the play. The next pitch was a ball to allow Crump to score.

The Bobcats tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the 12th. Ortega hit a leadoff single but an error on the play allowed him to take second. A single by Newman put runners on the corners. Coastal elected to concede the tying run in order to turn a double play, which is what happened. Kitchen then recorded a strikeout to send the game to the 13th.

Holmes struck out four in 3.1 innings with no walks, but allowed five hit and two runs. Kitchen worked 2.1 innings and allowed an unearned run with three strikeouts.

Photo by CCU Athletics

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