Paez powers Chanticleers to another walk-off win

ccubase-michael paez vs wku 1 (2)For the second time in three days, Coastal Carolina needed extra innings and a walk-off hit to claim a victory.

On Sunday, Michael Paez scored a game-tying run in the ninth inning then hit a game-winning RBI double in the 10th to give Coastal Carolina (7-3) a 7-6 extra-inning victory versus Ball State (5-5) at Springs Brooks Stadium as part of the Chanticleer Classic.

The event, which has featured seven one-run games of the nine played this weekend, concludes Monday when the Chanticleers host #25 Illinois. First pitch is set for Noon. (Note: On Friday, Coastal used a walk-off solo home run in the 13th inning to defeat West Virginia, 4-3, while all four of Illinois’ games this weekend have been decided by one run.)

Ball State regained an earlier the lead with a run in the top of the 10th. Alex Call walked, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and took third on a ground out. Alex Maloney’s chopper up the middle was just enough to give him an RBI, infield single and a 6-5 Cardinal lead.

In the bottom of the 10th, Coastal used a similar formula as Anthony Marks drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, Al Molina walked. Connor Owings, who was 2-for-4) delivered a two-out single to right field and Marks was able to slide under the tag at the plate to tie the game. Paez, who was 2-for-5, fought off a couple of pitches before finding one he liked, driving the ball to left center field for the game winning hit.

Coastal Carolina scratched the scoreboard first with four runs in the bottom of the third. Molina, who scored the game winner in the 10th, hit a leadoff double to center and advanced to third on a Owings sacrifice bunt. After a Tyler Chadwick walk, G.K. Young and Zach Remilard, who was 2-for-4, delivered back-to-back RBI singles and Marks followed with a two-run double down the left field line.

Ball State got one of those runs back in the top of the third. Call reached on a leadoff single, stole second and took third on a deep fly ball to left center field. Sean Kennedy plated Call with an RBI infield single to short stop.

The Cardinals scored two runs each in the seventh and eighth innings to take a 5-4 lead. In the seventh, Dan Plesac and Matt Eppers walked. The pair later scored with a two-out, two-run double by Elbert Devarie. In the eighth, Jarrett Rindfleisch drew a leadoff walk. Then with two outs, Plesac hit a two-run home run to center field to give the Cardinals a 5-4 lead.

Coastal tied the game in the ninth to force extra innings. Paez hit a one-out single to center field. On the play, Ball State’s Eppers let the ball get past him and Paez ended up on third base. Chadwick followed with a sharp single to right field to bring home Paez.

CCU starter Zack Hopeck was solid, but did not factor in the win. The freshman scattered five hits over six innings while allowing one run with two strikeouts and no walks. Austin Kerr (2-0) was credited with the win. The senior allowed one walk, an infield hit and a run in his lone inning.

B.J. Butler (1-1) took the loss, allowing five hits and three runs (two earned) in 3.2 innings with two walks and four strikeouts.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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