Chants break out bats in Baton Rouge, blast LSU

ccubase-lsuG.K. Young, Connor Owings and Zach Remillard each hit home runs while Seth Lancaster was 4-for-4 with two doubles to lead #11 Coastal Carolina to an 11-8 victory over #7 national seed and fifth-ranked Louisiana State in the opening game of the NCAA Baton Rouge Super Regional at Alex Box Stadium.

The teams will meet again Sunday night (9 pm ET/8 pm CT) and the contest will be televised on ESPNU as Coastal Carolina will play for the right to advance to the 2016 NCAA College World Series.

Owings (2-for-4) and Remillard (3-for-5) each scored twice and drove in a pair of runs and Billy Cooke added two RBI as well.

The Chants (48-16) were down 3-1 after four innings, but scored at least one run in the remaining frames, including four in the sixth and three in the seventh, to secure the win. LSU (45-20) was trailing by six heading into the bottom of the ninth and made the game interesting by scoring three runs. However, All-American Mike Morrison earned his 11th save of the season by working the final three innings. The senior allowed two hits and three runs (two earned) with a walk.

Young gave Coastal an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. The junior roped a solo home run down the left field line for his 17th round-tripper of the season.

The Tigers used the long ball to take a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Jake Fraley started the home half with a single and Kramer Robertson was hit by a pitch. Greg Deichmann cleared the bases with a three-run home run to right field.

Coastal got one of those runs back in the top of the fifth to trim its deficit to one, 3-2. Lancaster lined a double down the right field line. The play was reviewed and upheld but Lancaster was forced to stay at second due to interference in the LSU bullpen. Lancaster would take third on a wild pitch and score on a Cooke RBI ground out to second base.

LSU responded a run in the bottom of the fifth to lead 4-2. Michael Papierski hit a leadoff double and Cole Freeman followed with a bunt single to put runners on the corners. Antoine Duplantis then lined a single off Andrew Beckwith’s foot to score Papierski. With runners on second and third and one out, Bobby Holmes came out of the bullpen to get a ground out and foul out to limit the damage. For the season, Holmes has now inherited 16 runners with just one scoring.

Holmes (5-2) would earn the win in relief. The sophomore pitched 1.2 innings, allowed two hits and one run with three walks and a strikeout.

The Chanticleers answered with four runs in the top of the sixth to take a 6-4 lead. Antony Marks drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single back up the middle by Michael Paez. Owings put runners on second and third with his 17th double of the season. Remillard followed with a strikeout. However, a wild pitch on the play allowed Paez to score, tying the game at 4-4, and allowed Remillard to reach first to put runners on the corners. Young loaded the bases with a walk and Lancaster delivered his third hit of the hit, driving in Owings. Cooke welcomed new LSU pitcher Parker Bugg with a deep fly ball to center to score Remillard.

In the seventh, the Chants padded their advantage to with three runs thanks to back-to-back home runs. Marks reached on a leadoff bunt. Two batters later, Owings deposited a 1-2 pitch into the right field bleachers for his 16th blast of the season. Four pitches later, Remillard hit a laser over the left field wall. The senior now has 20 home runs – the third-best single-season total in school history – and gave CCU a 9-4 lead.

LSU bounced back to score once in the bottom of the seventh to make the score 9-5. Freeman hit a leadoff single, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single back up the middle by Duplantis. With two runners on and no outs, CCU turned to Morrison. As he has all season, the senior escaped without allowing a run as he got a ground out and a pair of fly outs to end the inning.

Coastal rallied with two outs in the eighth to push a run across for a 10-5 cushion. Paez and Owings each walked with two outs before Remillard came through with an RBI single to left field.

After relying on the long ball earlier, the Chanticleers used small ball to take an 11-5 lead in the ninth. Lancaster hit a leadoff double and moved to third on a Cooke sacrifice bunt. After Kevin Woodall Jr. was hit by a pitch, Matt Beaird executed a squeeze bunt to plate Lancaster.

The Tigers scored three times in the ninth to provide the 11-8 final score. Freeman hit a leadoff single and scored two batters later on an RBI triple by Jake Fraley. Fraley scored two pitches later on a wild pitch. Robertson walked and Morrison got Deichmann to line out to left field. With two outs, pinch hitter Jordan Romero hit a pop fly. However, an error on the play allowed Robertson to score just prior to Coastal throwing out Romero, who tried to take second base on the play, for the game’s final out.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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