Chants batter Bulldogs’ ace for another double-digit win

ccubase-gwCoastal Carolina was down 3-0 early before scoring runs each of its final six innings – including six in a decisive fifth inning – to claim a 16-4 victory versus Gardner-Webb Friday afternoon at Springs Brooks Stadium.

The 21st-ranked Chanticleers have won 11 of their last 13 and scored in double digits in five of their last six outings to improve to 18-9 overall, 3-1 in the Big South. Gardner-Webb falls to 21-8, 2-2 in the league. The teams will play game two of the weekend series on Saturday at 2 pm.

Michael Paez led Coastal Carolina at the plate, going 3-for-4 with three runs scored, three RBI and a two=run home run. Anthony Marks, G.K. Young, Zach Remillard, Connor Owings and Matt Beaird each contributed two hits.

Like last weekend when Coastal faced a Stetson staff with impressive pitching statistics entering the game, Coastal’s offense excelled against a good starting pitcher Friday, GWU’s Brad Haymes. The senior was 5-0 with a 1.57 ERA and an opponent batting average of .229 prior to the contest. However, the Chants gave Haymes his first loss (5-1) while getting eight hits and nine runs (eight earned) in 4.2 innings.

Haymes shutdown CCU’s offense early while the Bulldogs took a 3-0 lead in the second. GWU loaded the bases to start the second inning and all three scored to take a 3-0 lead. First, Collin Thacker came home on an RBI ground out by Mason Fox. Paul Trick followed with a two-=run double to left center field.

The Chants trimmed their deficit to one with a pair of runs in the third inning. Matt Beaird singled, but was erased on a Marks fielder’s choice. Paez followed with a single to left field, but an error on the play allowed Marks to take third and put Paez on second. Young plated the two runners with a single to right field to make the score 3-2.

Coastal tied the game at 3-3 in the fourth. Owings hit a leadoff triple of the top of the right field fence and scored on a Tyler Chadwick sacrifice fly to deep center field.

Gardner-Webb answered to regain the lead in the fifth as Danny Sullivan hit a two-out, solo home run to left field to give his squad a 4-3 advantage. The Bulldogs went on to load the bases with three infield singles. Coastal turned to Andrew Beckwith, who induced an inning-ending ground out to limit the damage.

Undaunted, the Chants bounced back by sending 11 men to the plate and scoring six runs in the home half of the fifth to take a 9-4 lead. Marks reached on a bunt single and Paez crushed the first pitch he saw over the left center field wall for his sixth round-tripper of the season. CCU went on to load the bases as Young was hit by a pitch, Remillard singled and, after a ground out, Chadwick was intentionally walked. Cooke made the Bulldogs pay with a two-run single back up the middle. A walk to Seth Seth Lancaster reloaded the bases. Beaird dropped a ball between the center fielder, shortstop and second baseman for a two-run double to cap the scoring.

In the sixth, Paez hit a leadoff single, took second on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single by Remillard. After Remillard stole second, Owings lined an RBI single to right field to give CCU an 11-4 cushion.

Coastal scored in its fifth straight inning when Lancaster drew a leadoff walk to start the seventh and later scored on a double by Marks. After a wild pitch moved Marks to third, Paez hit a fly ball to center which was deep enough to score Marks for a 13-4 advantage.

The Chants provided the 16-4 final score in the eighth. With bases loaded, Josh Crump looped a two-run single to center field. Pinch hitter Cameron Pearcey then brought home David Parrett with an RBI single to left field.

Beckwith (2-1) allowed two hits over 2.1 scoreless innings with two strikeouts to earn the win. Alex Cunningham started and CCU has won five straight when the Duncan native toes the rubber. He allowed nine hits and four runs. Brandon Miller worked the eighth and Jason Bilous the ninth with two strikeouts to close out the game.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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