Coastal opens season with blowout over Mountaineers

ccubase-buntConnor Owings and G.K. Young each drove in three to lead Coastal Carolina to a convincing 17-2 victory over Appalachian State in the teams’ 2016 season opener at Springs Brooks Stadium Friday afternoon before a crowd of 2,003 – the largest CCU crowd for a season opener and the third-largest, regular-season, on-campus crowd in program history.

The 21st-ranked Chanticleers will face #10 North Carolina State on Saturday at 2 pm before closing the 8th Annual Caravelle Resort Tournament with a home contest versus #4 Virginia. Sunday’s game versus the Cavaliers is set for 1 pm and will be broadcast on ESPN3.

Owings was 2-for-2 – both doubles – with two runs scored while Young was 2-for-3. Zach Remillard and Billy Cooke each added two hits and two RBI. The 17 runs marks the most by the Chanticleers since posting a 17-7 win versus High Point April 21, 2012.

While the Chanticleer offense was potent, senior Tyler Poole (1-0) was equally impressive on the mound. The Hickory, N.C., native pitched five scoreless innings and allowed just one hit while striking out six with a walk. The six strikeouts tied a career high for Poole, who also fanned six as a freshman versus College of Charleston on April 10, 2013.

Coastal jumped out to a quick start. First, starting pitcher Poole quickly retired the first three batters of the game. Then CCU leadoff hitter Michael Paez roped a double down the left field line. Antony Marks was hit by a pitch and Remillard followed with a bunt single to load the bases. Young hit a deep fly ball to center to drive in Paez. Kevin Woodall Jr. re-loaded the bases with a walk to set the stage for Owing’s three-run double down the left field line. Owings stole third and, after David Parrett walked, Cooke laid down a sacrifice bunt to plate Owings for CCU’s fifth run of the frame.

Appalachian State threatened in the top of the second. Conner Leonard reached on an error. Paez made an impressive sliding catch down the left field line to record the first out prior to Matt Vernon being hit by a pitch. Poole got Grayson Atwood swinging and Beau Myers followed with a single. On the play, Leonard tried to score, but Marks’ throw home easily allowed Parrett to apply the tag for the third out.

The Chants extended their lead in the third. Parrett Walked and Cooke singled. Freshman Cameron Pearcey came through with both his first collegiate hit and RBI with his single to left that drove in Parrett. A walk to Paez loaded the bases and another walk to Marks forced in a run and chased App State starter Bobby Hampton (0-1). Zach Remillard welcomed new pitcher Sean Mason with a two-run single back up the middle for a 9-0 lead.

Coastal took a 10-0 lead when Owings started the fourth with a double to center and scored after back-to-back wild pitches.

The Chants exploded to five runs in the fifth. Young lined a two-run double off the wall before Dalton Ewing and Matt Beaird followed with an RBI singles. Billy Cooke capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly.

App State got on the board with two runs in the seventh. Pinch hitters Dylan Hamel and Tanner Mann-Fix had back to back singles and Henry Davis walked to load the bases. Colin Schmid reached on a fielder’s choice to drive in Hamel. A walk to Drake Zupcic loaded the bases and Jason Curtis had an infield hit to plate Mann-Fix.

Freshman Brandon Miller worked the sixth and seventh innings, allowing four hits and two runs with two strikeouts. Highly-touted freshman Jason Bilous made his collegiate debut in relief, getting two strikeouts and walking two, while Patrick Corbett, who had missed the last two seasons due to injury, closed out the contest.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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