Chants mount late-inning rally to slip past Seahawks

ccuKevin Woodall Jr., who was tabbed the Sun Belt Player of the Week on Monday, continued his offensive prowess by delivering a two-run double in the eighth inning to lead #18 Coastal Carolina to a 4-1 over UNC Wilmington Wednesday evening at Brooks Field, CCU’s first road game of the 2017 season. Coastal improves to 5-5 while the Seahawks drop to 3-4.

While waiting for the bats to heat up, CCU pitchers Anthony Veneziano, Bobby Holmes and Austin Kitchen held down the Seahawks, combining to record a season-high 14 strikeouts. Veneziano had nine strikeouts in 4.2 innings, Holmes (1-1) had four in 3.2 innings) and Kitchen (save) struck out one of the two batters he faced.

The Seahawks struck first, taking advantage of a CCU error. Robbie Thonburn reached on an error. Then, with two outs, Mason Berne lined an RBI double to left-center field.

Veneziano allowed a leadoff hit and walk in the third, but got a fly out and two strikeouts to keep it a one-run game. Then, in the top of the fourth, Coastal loaded the bases with two outs before Clay Lockamon recorded a strikeout to end the threat.

Veneziano left with two out in the fifth but trailing 1-0. He did strike out nine, a season high by a Chanticleer pitcher this season and the most since Mike Morrison fanned 10 in a win over Arizona at the College World Series last June. Veneziano scattered five hits and walked five, but recorded six strikeouts with Seahawks in scoring position to limit the damage.

In the seventh inning, Coastal tied the game at 1-1. Seth Lancaster hit a leadoff double and moved to third on a Wood Myers sacrifice bunt. For the second time this season, Dalton Ewing had an epic at bat. Facing a 3-2 count, the junior fouled off 10 straight pitches before drawing a walk. (Last week versus College of Charleston, Ewing fouled off nine pitches before hitting his lone home run of the season.) Then, Lancaster slid in just ahead of the tag at home on Matt Beaird’s sacrifice fly to right field to even the score.

Coastal put three runs on the board in the eighth to take a 4-1 lead. Cory Wood snapped an 0-for-18 spell with a leadoff single. The freshman stole second and moved to third on a ground out. Peyton Isaacson walked to put runners on first and third. Camerson Pearcey came on to pinch run for Isaacson and promptly stole second. Woodall broke the tie with a line drive double to the center field wall to score both Wood and Pearcey. Lancaster followed with an RBI single to give Coastal a 4-1 advantage.

The Chanticleers return to action this weekend by hosting the Tidelands Health Classic, welcoming Albany, San Francisco and Winthrop.

Photo courtesy of UNCW Athletics

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