Chants’ bats, pitching wake up to rally past The Citadel

ccubase-31pitchCoastal Carolina allowed four runs in the first inning, but settled down and scored nine unanswered before allowing two runs in the ninth to claim a 9-6 victory over region rival The Citadel Tuesday evening at Riley Park.

After allowing the home run in the first to go down 4-0, Anthony Veneziano retired 14 straight with five strikeouts and no walks before exiting after five innings. Overall, CCU pitchers would retire 16 in a row after the home run and 24 of their next 28 through the eighth inning.

On the flip side, the CCU offense pounded out 14 hits with eight Chants getting at least one hit in the win – six getting two hits each. Billy Cooke, Kevin Woodall Jr., Wood Myers, Peyton Isaacson, Dalton Ewing and Seth Lancaster each had two hits with Woodall, who had two doubles, driving in three and Isaacson getting two RBI. Jordan Gore scored a game-high three runs.

Bobby Holmes came in for Veneziano and picked up the win to improve to 3-3. The junior allowed one hit and one walk with three strikeouts.

The Citadel raced out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Jonathan Sabo and Bryce Leasure had back-to-back singles. William Kinney followed with an RBI double. Joe Sabatini cleared the bases with a three-run home run go the early 4-0 lead.

Coastal answered with a run in the top of the second. Myers singled, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Isaacson.

While Veneziano was putting up zeros, the Chants were able to tie the game, 4-4, in the fifth. Lancaster doubled to right-center field and later scored on an RBI single to center by Cooke. After a walk to Gore, Woodall welcomed new Citadel pitcher Aaron Lesiak with a two-run double off the centerfield wall, scoring both Cooke and Gore.

In the seventh, Coastal took its first lead. Cooke hit a one-out double and Gore was hit by a pitch. After an out, Myers walked to load the bases. Kieton Rivers then delivered a sharp single to right field to bring home Cooke and put CCU on top 5-4. Isaacson ran the count full before drawing a walk to force home Gore to put the Chants up two.

In the bottom of the seventh, Bobby Holmes allowed a leadoff triple but rallied to strikeout the next three to leave the runner stranded.

Coastal rode that positive momentum into the top of the eighth, scoring twice for an 8-4 lead. Lancaster walked to start the frame and moved to second on a Matt Beaird sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, Gore lined a single back up the middle to bring home Lancaster. Then, for the second time, Woodall doubled to drive in Gore.

The Chanticleers padded their advantage in the ninth. Isaacson and Ewing had back-to-back singles. Lancaster followed with an RBI single off the left-center field wall for a 9-4 cushion.

The Bulldogs tacked on two runs in the bottom of the ninth to provide the 9-6 final.

Coastal Carolina will return home to face Sun Belt foe Troy for a three-game weekend set. Game times are 6 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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