Chants hit long road after mercy-rule rout over Jags

Coastal Carolina scored eight runs in the sixth inning en route to a 12-0, seven-inning victory over South Alabama Sunday, but it was the pitching of senior Zack Hopeck that secured the series win.

Per Sun Belt Conference rules, the game was called after the Jaguars batted in the top of the seven since Coastal led by at least 10 runs.

The 18th-ranked Chanticleers improve to 23-11 overall and become the first Sun Belt team with 10 conference wins this season – now 10-2. Coastal has won all four conference series this season with two sweeps; has won eight straight conference series with five sweeps dating back to last season; and is 11-2-1 in its 14 Sun Belt series in its second season in the league. South Alabama falls to 17-13, 7-4.

Hopeck (3-3) gets credit for both his first career shutout and complete game as he only allowed three hits and one walk with seven strikeouts, two shy of his career best. The outing was much need as Coastal pitchers had allowed 22 walks in the first two games of the series.

Offensively, Coastal only needed 10 hits to score its 12 runs thanks to six walks, two hits batters and four balks – two in the sixth inning that forced home runs for the Chants. Zach Biermann had three of CCU’s 10 hits, going 3-for-4 with three runs scored, while Parker Chavers added two, both in the decisive sixth frame. Kevin Woodall Jr., and Cameron Pearcey each drove in a pair of runners.

Coastal Carolina, which had a five game road swing end with the South Alabama series, will hit the road for another five games, starting Tuesday at Wake Forest. First pitch in Winston-Salem, N.C., is set for 6 pm. The Chanticleers will then travel to Troy for three games (April 13-15) and go to UNC Wilmington (April 18) for a game.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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