Chants run table to claim first Sun Belt tourney title

Zach Biermann drove in three runs and Kevin Woodall, Jr. had three hits, including a home run, as the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers claimed the 2018 Sun Belt Baseball Championship title on Sunday at Russo Park in Lafayette, La.

The tournament title is Coastal’s first in baseball since joining the league. With the win, the Chanticleers (42-17) will represent the Sun Belt at an NCAA regional next weekend. Troy (41-19) will await its fate as the selection committee will hand out the at-large bids during the NCAA baseball selection show at noon Monday.

Biermann was named the tournament’s Community Coffee Most Outstanding Player after tallying 12 RBI over four games. He had three on Sunday with a sac fly and a double. Coastal’s Seth Lancaster also went deep for the third time in the tournament in the bottom of the eighth inning, giving him 19 for the year and the team lead. That lead was short as Woodall hit his 19th home run of the season shortly after Lancaster’s. It was the second time this tournament that Lancaster and Woodall hit back-to-back home runs.

Parker Chavers added two hits and two RBI for the Chants as CCU scored 42 runs through its four games.

Zach Hopeck (6-4) picked up his sixth win of the year while CJ Carter (8-5) took the loss for the Trojans.

Drew Frederic, Joey Denison and Brandon Lockridge each had two hits for the Trojans. Rigsby Mosley added two RBI and Cole Prestegard had a home run late for Troy.

Troy jumped out quickly in the championship game as they took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Coastal battled back with a pair of runs in each of the second and third innings before breaking the game wide open in the bottom of the fifth with five runs on five hits, giving Coastal a 9-2 lead.

Troy chipped away with four runs over the next three innings, including Prestegard’s home run, to pull to within three but Coastal’s back-to-back home runs pushed CCU’s lead back to five.

Matt Eardensohn came in to pitch the final two innings for the Chanticleers, giving up only the Prestegard home run and striking out four.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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