Coastal can’t climb out of early hole to Mountaineers

ccubase-connorowingsCoastal Carolina sophomore first baseman Connor Owings was 3-for-4 and hit his first career home run but West Virginia (4-4) scored two in the first inning and two in the sixth en route to a 6-2 victory Saturday afternoon at the Caravelle Resort Tournament, played at Pelicans Ballpark.

The Chanticleers (3-6) will return to action Saturday night, hosting Marshall at approximately 9:30 pm, and conclude the event Sunday by hosting Duke. All fans will be admitted free for the Sunday CCU contest, which is slated to begin at 5 pm.

West Virginia jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Taylor Munden reached on a leadoff infield single and Bobby Boyd followed with a bunt single. Jacob Rice plated Munden on a hit-and-run. A walk loaded the bases and Justin Fox drove in Boyd with an infield single.

With two out in the second, the Mountaineers pushed their advantage to 3-0. Boyd, who reached on a fielder’s choice, went from first to third on a failed pickoff attempt. On the play, a second throwing error allowed Boyd to score from third.

The Chants cut their deficit to one, 3-2, in the bottom of the third inning. Nick Oberg drew a leadoff walk and, after a Michael Paez sacrifice bunt, Owings hit a two-run home run down the right field line.

The Mountaineers pushed their advantage to 4-2 in the fifth. Two walks and a single to start the frame loaded the bases for Justin Fox, who was hit by a pitch to bring home Ryan McBroom. With bases loaded and no outs, CCU freshman Chase Adkins came out the bullpen to record three straight ground outs to limit the damage.

West Virginia loaded the bases again in the sixth with no outs and scored once when Jacob Rice hit into a double play. Pinch hitter Max Nogay was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with two outs. A throwing error on a failed pickoff attempt allowed Billy Fleming to score to give WVU a 6-2 cushion.

WVU starter Sean Carley (1-0) earned the win. He pitched seven complete innings and scattered six hits and two walks with five strikeouts. Ross Vance pitched the final two innings, allowing one walk, no hits and no runs.

Coastal’s Tyler Herb (0-3) was saddled with the loss. The senior allowed eight hits and four runs (three earned) over four-plus innings. G.K. Young added two hits for Chants.

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