Chants let doubleheader slip away to Elon, No. 8 Kentucky

Coastal Carolina trimmed a six-run deficit to one and had bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth but Elon closer Nate Young recorded a strikeout for the final out to give the Phoenix (4-3) an 8-7 win Sunday evening in the final game of the Caravelle Resort Tournament at Pelicans Ballpark.

In the first game of the doubleheader, the Chants fell 8-2 to No. 8 Kentucky after the Wildcats broke open a tie game with six runs in the ninth inning.

In the nightcap, Coastal (3-3) sent 11 men to the plate in the ninth and scored five runs off four hits, two walks and an Elon error. Ted Blackman got the ninth started with a walk and Connor Owings singled. After a strikeout, Josh Powell and Nick Oberg hit back-to-back doubles for Coastal’s first three runs of the inning. Anthony Marks put runners on the corners with a single to center. An Elon error allowed Oberg to score and put runners on second and third. Luke Willis drew a walk to load the bases and Drew Hering hit a sacrifice fly to right field to make the score 8-7. Blackman walked to re-load the bases before Young closed with game with a strikeout.

Elon starter David Whitehead (1-1) got the win. He allowed three hits and two runs over seven innings with two walks and four strikeouts. Young, who earned his third save, did walk two to accompany his strikeout, but allowed no hits in his 0.2 innings.

Coastal Carolina jumped out to an early 2-0 in the second. Hering delivered a leadoff double and moved to third when Blackman reached on a fielder’s choice. Blackman stole second and, on the throw, Hering stole home. Blackman would go on to steal third and score on Zach Remillard’s RBI groundout.

Elon came back to score four in the top of the third. Quinn Bowser had a one-out single and, two batters later, Casey Jones drew a two-out walk. Alex Swim singled to plate Bower and Ray Kinsella followed with an opposite field, three-run home run.

The Phoenix padded their lead in the fourth. Will Leathers singled and Antonio Alverez walked to start things off. After a sacrifice bunt, Bower plated Leathers and Alverez with a two-run single to left center field.

In the sixth, Elon extended its lead to 7-2. Alvarez singled, stole second and scored thanks to an infield single by Bower and a CCU throwing error on the same play. Elon tacked on another run in the seventh for an 8-2 lead. Swim had a leadoff single, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on an RBI single by pinch hitter Tyler McVicar.

Coastal starter Alex Cunningham (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing five hits and six runs over 3.1 innings.

Coastal Carolina will return to action next weekend, hosting the 15th annual Caravelle Resort’s Baseball at the Beach. This year’s field includes San Diego, West Virginia, Indiana, UMBC, North Carolina State and Florida Atlantic. CCU fans are reminded this weekend’s tournament IS NOT part of their 2013 season ticket package and tickets are to be purchased through the Myrtle Beach Pelicans Ticket Office. Cost is $10 per day or $25 for the complete tournament. CCU students may enter for $5 per day.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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