Cunningham pitches lights out again for shutout win

ccubase-Alex Cunningham vs AStateFor the second straight outing, Alex Cunningham threw a complete-game shutout to lead Coastal Carolina to a 4-0 win over Georgia State in the teams’ series opener Friday at the GSU Baseball Complex. The Chanticleers improve to 17-10 overall, 5-2 in the Sun Belt, while the Panthers drop to 11-15, 1-6.

Cunningham (4-0) is just the Chanticleer on record (since 1999) to throw back-to-back, complete-game shutouts, joining Austin Kerr who accomplished the feat in 2014 versus Gardner-Webb and Presbyterian. Cunningham is also just the third Chant (since 1999) to throw back-to-back complete games along with Kerr and Ricky Shefka, who threw a pair of two-run CGs in 2005.

The senior allowed a two-out double in the first inning and retied nine in a row until allowing a two-out single in the fourth. Then, after allowing a leadoff single in the fifth, Cunningham retired his next 13 batters before allowing a one-out single in the ninth. GSU added a second hit before Cunningham got a fly out and a strikeout to end the contest. He finished with 11 strikeouts, did not walk a batter and allowed five hits.

Cunningham has not allowed a run in 18.2 innings and has allowed just six hits – throwing a one-hitter in his last start – with 21 strikeouts and just two walks.

While Cunningham was dealing on the mound, Jordan Gore paced the offense, going 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI. Wood Myers, Dalton Ewing and Cory Wood each contributed two hits.

Gore gave Coastal Carolina an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first as the number two batter lifted a home run down the left field line for his second round-tripper of the season.

In the top of the fifth – and for the third consecutive inning, the Chants had a leadoff hit as Seth Lancaster lined a double down the right field line. Ewing followed with a bunt single to put runners on the corners. Wood then came through with an RBI single through the right side of the infield, scoring Lancaster. Later, with two outs, Gore drilled an RBI single to right field to plate Wood.

The Chants tacked on an insurance run in the eighth. Kevin Woodall Jr., and Myers had back-to-back, one-out singles. Ewing then sent a two-strike pitch back up the middle to drive in Woodall for the 4-0 lead.

Coastal and Georgia State will play game two of the series on Saturday with first pitch set for 2 p.m.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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