Chants wrap up sweep with historic shutout of Panthers

ccubase-swingblackCoastal Carolina loaded the bases at least once in five of its seven innings – thanks to 12 hits and 14 walks – and scored five runs in three separate innings to claim a 17-0 win at Georgia State. The game was shorted to seven innings due to a run-rule.

Coastal sweeps its second straight Sun Belt Conference series, improving to 7-2 in the league and, with wins in eight of its last 10, are now 19-10 overall. The win over the Panthers (11-17, 1-8) was CCU’s second shutout of the weekend and is the third-largest shutout win in CCU history. (Coastal shutout High Point 21-0 in 2000 and shutout Allen 20-0 in 1980.

Dalton Ewing capped a strong week by collecting career highs in hits (4-for-5) and RBI (5) and scored twice thanks to a first-inning grand slam. Seth Lancaster and Jordan Gore each had two hits while Wood Myers drove in three.

While the CCU was piling up the runs, CCU started Zack Hopeck (2-2) was cruising on the mound. He only allowed one hit in his four innings, that coming with two outs in the fourth, with no walks and a strikeout. Georgia State only managed three hits in the game.

For the third straight game Coastal scored in the first inning for an early lead. Billy Cooke (1-for-1 with two RBI, two runs scored and two walks) drew a four-pitch walk to start the game. Cooke stole second and took third on an error. With two outs, Kevin Woodall Jr., lined an RBI single to left field to bring home Cooke. The Chants went on to load the bases thanks to walks to Myers and Lancaster. Ewing cleared the bases by hitting a 3-2 pitch over the left field wall for his first career grand slam and fifth dinger of the season to give CCU a 5-0 lead.

The Chants loaded the bases in the second, but could not take advantage. That was not the case in the third inning. Coastal sent 11 men to the plate and scored five runs to lead 10-0. With bases loaded, Cooke lined an RBI single to right field to score Ewing while Cory Wood scored on an error on the play. Gore then brought home Kyle Skeels, who reached on a catcher’s interference, with a single back up the middle. With bases loaded for the second time in the frame, Myers dumped a two-out single to right field to score Gore and Peyton Isaacson.

Coastal loaded the bases again – and batted around again – in the fourth as Wood and Cooke walked before Gore reached on an error. With two outs, Woodall was hit by a pitch to force home Wood and Myers drew a four-pitch walk to force in Cooke. Seth Lancaster welcomed a new Panther pitcher with a two-run single and Ewing had an RBI single to make the score 15-0.

Rafi Vazquez, in his ninth career plate appearance, started the sixth inning with his first career home run, which was also his first collegiate hit. The Chants then loaded the bases after a walk and two singles. Josh Crump forced home Myers with an RBI walk to provide the eventual 17-0 victory.

Coastal Carolina will stay on the road to face region rival The Citadel on Wednesday. First pitch at Riley Park Is set for 6 pm. The Chanticleers return to Springs Brooks Stadium for a key weekend series with nationally-ranked Louisiana April 7-9.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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