Kerr comes out of bullpen to pitch Chants past Griffins

ccubase-kerrpitchMichael Paez and Anthony Marks each had three hits and were responsible for a eight of Coastal Carolina’s 13 runs, but senior Austin Kerr’s relief performance was the story of the game as the Chanticleers (2-1) defeated Canisius (1-2) 13-3 Monday at Springs Brooks Stadium as part of the seventh annual Caravelle Resort Tournament.

Coastal and Canisius will conclude the tournament with a single game Tuesday with first pitch set for 3 pm.

Kerr (1-0) struck out seven of the 11 batters he faced over 3.2 innings to earn the win. He did not allow a hit, run or walk. Kerr’s seven punch outs were the most by the lefty in a relief appearance and tied for his second-best total overall. Last season, Kerr was back-to-back Big South Pitcher of the Week as he posted seven and 11 strikeouts in consecutive complete-game shutouts.

Paez and Marks each went 3-of-4 at the plate and each scored three times. Paez added two RBIs while Mark contributed three. Zach Remillard and Connor Owings each had three RBIs as well.

Coastal Carolina jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. Paez started the home half of the first with a single, followed by infield hits by Marks and Casey Schroeder to load the bases. Remillard reached on a fielder’s choice, which drove in Paez. Marks then caught the Griffins off guard as he took third on the play, hesitated and ran home for the second run.

In the second inning, Coastal added two more runs. G.K. Young walked and, with two outs, Paez was hit by a pitch. Marks followed with a two-run double to right center field.

Canisius got on the board with three runs in the top of the third inning. Anthony Massicci had a leadoff single and Mike Krisch walked. Jess Puscheck singled to right field, plating Massicci and moving Krisch to second. With two outs, Ryan Stekl reached on an error to lead the bases and Jake Lumley mad CCU pay by delivering a two-run single down the left base line.

The Griffins threatened in the third inning by putting a runners on second and third with one out, but Kerr came out of the bullpen to record a pair of strikeouts to keep the score 4-3.

The Chanticleers pushed their advantage to three runs, 6-3, in the fifth. Marks drew a leadoff walk and, with two outs, Remillard and Owings had back-to-back RBI doubles.

Coastal applied pressure in the sixth inning with four stolen bases in the frame to score five runs. Josh Crump walked, stole second and scored on an RBI double by Paez. Marks collected his third hit in as many at bats as well as his third RBI with a single up the middle. Marks moved to second on a walk to Schroeder, stole third and scored on an RBI fielder’s choice by Remillard. Owings capped the inning with a two-run home run to right center field.

The Chants took advantage of a Canisius error to tack on a run in the seventh to take a 12-3 lead.

Canisius threatened once again in the eighth, loading the bases with one out. The Chants turned to sophomore Chad Adkins, who promptly induced a one-pitch, inning-ending double play to escape.

In the eighth, freshman catcher Matt Beaird led off with a single and scored on a Jack Curtis double to left center field.

Coastal Carolina freshman Zack Hopeck was solid in his collegiate debut. He allowed five hits and three runs (one earned) with a walk and five strikeouts. Josh Shelpey (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing five hits and four runs in 4.0 innings of work.

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