Eighth-inning rally propels No. 18 Chants past Panthers

ccubase-gkyoungMichael Paez, G.K. Young and Zach Remillard each hit doubles in the eighth inning and Coastal Carolina scored five runs in the frame as the 18th-ranked Chanticleers rallied for a 6-4 win at High Point Saturday night at Williard Stadium.

The win the series opener improves Coastal to 24-9 overall, 8-2 in the Big South, while the Panthers drop to 17-15, 6-4.

The game was a pitchers’ duel through the first seven innings with High Point’s John McGillicuddy holding the upper hand. The senior struck out a career-high 10 and allowed just two hits and one run with four walks. However, he was lifted in the eighth after throwing 111 pitches through seven complete. For Coastal, Alex Cunningham did not strike out any Panthers, but only surrendered three hits and three runs (one earned) with five walks in 5.1 innings. While he did not factor in the win, the Chanticleers improved to 9-0 on the season when Cunningham is the starting pitcher.

Coastal Carolina freshman Bobby Holmes (3-0) earned the win. He allowed one hit and one unearned run with no walks and two strikeouts in 3.2 innings.

Anthony Marks led the Chanticleer offense, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored.

The Panthers struck first, taking advantage of a CCU error to take a 2-0 lead in the third. With two outs, Tony Fortier-Benson reached on an error. Hunter Lee followed with a walk and Josh Spano lined a two-run double to right-center field.

High Point pushed its advantage to 3-0 in the fourth. Spencer Angelis hit a leadoff double, took third on a fly out and scored on a sacrifice fly by Carson Jackson.

Coastal got on the scoreboard with a rally in the sixth inning. The Chants loaded with bases with one out as Marks singled, Connor Owings walked and Paez walked. Young brought home Marks with an RBI ground out.

Coastal sent nine men to the plate and exploded for five runs in the decisive eighth inning. Marks reached on his 20th infield single of the season and moved to second on a ground out. Paez followed with a ground rule double to plate Marks. Young welcomed new Panther pitcher Joe Goodman with a double to deep centerfield to bring home Paez. David Parrett, the Big South RBI leader, added to his total with a single to left field to score Young for Coastal’s first lead of the contest. Remillard then extended his hit streak to six games with a two-run double down the left field line as CCU took a 6-3 lead.

The Chanticleers made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs, Dane McDermott hit a slow chopper back to the mound but a throwing error allowed the right fielder to end up on third. Then, Fortier-Benson hit a chopper to second. A throwing error allowed McDermott to score to provide the 6-4 final. However, Fortier-Benson tried to take second on the bad throw, but was gunned down for the final out of the contest.

Goodman (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing three hits and three runs. It was Goodman’s first earned run allowed in now 13 appearances this season.

Game two of the series is set for Sunday at 5 pm with the finale set for Monday at 1 pm.

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