Young’s walk-off homer lifts Chants past WVU in 13th

ccubase-gkyoungCoastal Carolina (6-2) made two impressive plays in the 13th inning to claim a 4-3 victory versus West Virginia Friday evening as part of the Chanticleer Classic at Springs Brooks Stadium.

In the top of the 13th, West Virginia (3-5) loaded the bases with one out. However, Shaun Woods flied out to left field and CCU junior Connor Owings, who started the game playing second base and had just moved to left field, threw out Brad Johnson at the plate for an inning-ending double play. Then, on the first pitch in the bottom of the 13th, Coastal Carolina sophomore and Conway High product G.K. Young hit a walk-off home run down the right field line to secure the win.

The walk-off was Coastal Carolina’s first since Ted Blackman hit a solo shot to start the 15th inning in a 1-0 win versus Radford on April 20, 2013 in Myrtle Beach. It was also the first walk-off by a Chanticleer in Springs Brooks Stadium.

The win overshadowed two stellar pitching performances as both starting pitchers pitched into the ninth inning but had nothing to show for it. Coastal’s Alex Cunningham struck out a career-high seven batters in eighth-plus innings, allowing five hits and one walk. The first two WVU runs were charged to Cunningham after he left the game. For West Virginia, Ross Vance struck out eight and walked one in 8.2 innings of work. He scattered seven hits and allowed two runs, both in the fifth inning.

Coastal broke the scoreless deadlock with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Casey Schroeder was hit by a pitch to start the home half and Young followed with a double to put runners on second and third. David Parrett delivered to sacrifice fly to center field to plate Schroeder. After a Tyler Chadwick double, Josh Crump singled past the drawn-in infield to drive home Young for the second run.

West Virginia forced extra innings by scoring two runs in the top of the ninth. Justin Fox and Jackson Cramer had back-to-back hits to start the rally. Mike Morrison came out of the CCU bullpen and walked Johnson to load the bases. Kyle Davis brought home the Mountaineers’ first run by reaching on a fielder’s choice. Shaun Corso then knotted the game with a sacrifice fly, driving in pinch runner Tucker Cascadden from third.

Both teams put their respective leadoff batters on base to start the 12th and both came around to score. For WVU, Wood walked, stole second, took third on a ground out and scored on a single by Tyler Munden. The Chants turned to pinch hitter Al Molina to start the 12th and he reached on an error. Michael Paez moved Molina to second on a sacrifice bunt and Anthony Marks lined an RBI single to center field to score Molina to set up the exciting finish.

Andrew Beckwith (1-0) was credited with the win while Conner Dotson (0-1) was saddled with the loss.

Earlier in the day as part of the Chanticleer Classic, Illinois defeated Ball State, 1-0, at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark in Myrtle Beach while Kent State beat West Virginia, 5-2.

On Saturday, Coastal Carolina will host Kent State at 2 pm. In Myrtle Beach, Illinois and Ball State square off at 11 am followed by Ball State versus West Virginia at 3 pm.

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