Golden Gophers get best of Chants in ninth inning

ccubase-Ben-SmithMinnesota scored three runs in the top of the ninth to claim a 5-2 victory over Coastal Carolina Saturday in the Chanticleer Classic played at Pelicans Ballpark.

A leadoff walk in the top of the ninth led to the three runs for the Golden Gophers (7-4). Jordan Smith walked and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Connor Schaefbauer plated Smith with a double and, after a walk to Tyler Hanson, scored on Dan Olinger’s single. Bobby Juan followed with an RBI single to put Minnesota up 5-2.

Coastal Carolina (4-8) put a pair of runners on base in the bottom of the ninth before Minnesota closer Dalton Sawyer recorded a strikeout to end the game.

The Chanticleers took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Jake Kane started things with a leadoff single and scored on a Zach Remillard single. However, from that point, Coastal would not get another hit off Minnesota starter Jordan Jess, who struck out five over 4.2 innings.

In the sixth, the Golden Gophers took advantage of a Chanticleer error to score two runs and take a 2-1 lead. Mark Tatera started the frame by reaching on an error. Two batters later, Michael Handel singled to put runners on the corners. With two out, Handel looked to be picked off, but he would end up beating the throw for a stolen base. Troy Trexler followed with a bloop single to plate the two runners.

The Chants answered in the home half, scoring once to tie the game at 2-2. Michael Paez drew a leadoff walk, took second on a wild pitch and scored on Connor Owings’ single.

Despite allowing the tying run, Matt Fiedler (2-1) earned the win. He surrendered two hits and a walk while striking out two. Sawyer picked up his first save of the season, working the ninth.

Chanticleer starter Ben Smith did not factor in the decision. He did not allow a hit through the first 5.1 innings and left after seven complete allowing three hits and two unearned runs. Andrew Beckwith (0-1) suffered the loss despite not allowing a hit. He walked one, which later scored, and struck out one in 1.1 innings.

Coastal will return Sunday to play Elon at 2:30 pm and UMBC immediately afterward.

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