Chants top Mavs to move into first in Sun Belt East

ccubase-beckwithAfter allowing a run in the seventh, Coastal Carolina scored two in the eighth and two in the ninth to claim a 4-1 win at Texas-Arlington on Saturday afternoon to clinch the series win over the Sun Belt West Division leader.

The 29th-ranked Chanticleers improve to 33-17-1, 18-7-1 Sun Belt, moving them into a virtual first-place tie with East Division leader South Alabama (18-7 Sun Belt), which has a doubleheader with Appalachian State on Sunday. The 24th-ranked and West Division-leading Mavericks fall to 29-20, 19-7. The CCU-UTA series concludes Sunday at 2 p.m.

UTA’s lone run came with the help of a CCU error. Otherwise, Andrew Beckwith showed what made him the College World Series MVP last season. The senior, who was 15-1 last year, improved to 7-1 this season, including a 7-0 mark in league play. He left after allowing a leadoff single in the ninth, scattering five hits and four walks with three strikeouts. Austin Kitchen came on to relieve Beckwith and the junior lefty retired all three batters he faced to earn his team-best fifth save.

While Coastal only scored four runs, the Chants out-hit the Mavericks 14-5. Jordan Gore (3-for-5) and Kevin Woodall Jr., (3-fo-5 with his league-leading 17th home run) each had three hits, while Kieton Rivers and Cory Wood each added two.

UTA broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the seventh. Noah Vaughan drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on a single by Aaron Funk. However, a throwing error on the play allowed Vaughan to score for the 1-0 lead.

Coastal responded with two runs in the top of the eighth. Gore hit a leadoff double and later scored on a two-out double down the left field line by Rivers. UTA loaded the bases with walks to Seth Lancaster and Josh Crump. Wood then cued an infield single to bring home Rivers for the 2-1 lead. With the RBI, Wood has now contributed nine CCU wins as he has scored the game-winner five times and driven in the game winner four times.

The Chants added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth, all with two outs. First, Woodall hit his 17th home run of the season to move into 11th on the CCU single-season list (record is 22). UTA left fielder Quinton Rohrbaugh nearly robbed the ball, but the ball was just out of his reach. Wood Myers followed with a single, stole second and scored on a Rivers’ RBI past the UTA third baseman.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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