Chants settle for tie with reigning national champs

No. 16 Coastal Carolina scored all four of its runs in the fifth inning in a 4-4, 11-inning tie with No. 1 Oregon State on Sunday afternoon at the Seattle Baseball Showcase held at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Wash. The extra-inning contest was called after 11 innings due to the three and a half hour time limit for each game at the three-day tournament.

The Chants are now 1-1-1 versus nationally-ranked top 25 teams this season with a 7-6 extra-inning loss to then-No. 21 NC State and an 11-3 win over then-No. 25 Illinois.

Coastal is also 1-1-1 in extra-inning contests this season.

The four-run fifth inning is the 11th “big inning” for the Chants this season. Coastal is now 9-1-1 this year when registering a “big inning” of four-runs or more in a game.

In just his fourth career start, freshman Garrett McDaniels allowed three runs on four hits, two walks and three strikeouts over 4.1 innings of work.

Out of the bullpen, Dylan Gentry (1.2 IP, 3 hits, 3 K) and Alaska Abney (1.1 IP, 1 hit) combined to throw 3.0-scoreless innings over the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, while left-handed pitcher Anthony Veneziano (1.0 IP, 1 ER, BB, 3 K) was charged with an earned run in the ninth.

Seniors Bobby Holmes (0.0 IP, 1 hit) and Matt Eardensohn (2.2 IP, 2 hits 2 BB, 2 K) combined to pitch in the ninth, 10th and 11th innings.

Offensively, the Chants totaled just six base hits on the night but were led by Zach Biermann’s (1-for-5, 2B, 3 RBIs) three-run double and Scott McKeon’s (1-for-5, RBI, run) RBI single, which both came in the fifth.

Kieton Rivers (2-for-4, 2B, run), Jared Johnson (1-for-4) and Cameron Pearcey (1-for-5) each had a hit in the tie.

Oregon State threw four pitchers on the day, which combined to strike out 16 Coastal Carolina batters over the 11-inning contest, highlighted by seven punch-outs from reliever Brandon Eisert in 3.0-scoreless innings.

The Beavers had eight different players register a hit for the game led by Beau Philip (2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBIs), Troy Claunch (2-for-4, RBI) and Adley Rutschman (2-for-3, run).

The Beavers opened the game up with a lead-off double to right field, took advantage of a Coastal throwing error and an infield single up the middle to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.

After the Chants stranded one on base in the second, the Beavers used some help from the Chants again by way of back-to-back walks, a wild pitch and a balk to set up Philip for a two-run double down the left field line to push the Oregon State lead out to 3-0 midway through the third.

The Beavers attempted to tie the game up in the next half inning, as Ryan Ober doubled to left center field with two runners on and looked to drive in the tying run. However, Rivers got to the ball quickly, hit the cut-off man in McKeon who fired a laser throw home to a waiting Kyle Skeels who tagged out Preston Jones at the plate for out number three to end the inning and keep Coastal in front by one at 4-3.

Neither team would get anything going offensively over the next three innings until the top of the ninth as the Beavers took advantage of a one-out walk, two wild pitches and an RBI bloop-single over the second baseman’s head to tie the game up at 4-4.

Oregon State added a single to center field to put the go-ahead run on first base, only to see Eardensohn induce a 6-4-3 double play to get Coastal out of the jam and send the game to the bottom of the ninth knotted up at 4-4.

After Eardensohn pitched around two walks in the top of the 10th with a little help from Skeels throwing out another would-be base stealer and a lead-off single in the 11th, the Chants looked to win the game in its final at-bat due to the time limit.

Down to their last out, pinch hitter Mike Koenig reached base on a fielding error by the third baseman. Rivers followed with a single to center field to put the winning run on third in pinch runner Morgan Hyde. After Turner Buis drew a base on balls to load the bases, McKeon was called out on a third strike to end the game in a 4-4, 11-inning stalemate.

Coastal (13-3-1) will remain on the road but returned to the Palmetto State for a midweek clash with the nationally-ranked Clemson Tigers (12-3) on Wednesday night, March 13, at 6 p.m. ET in Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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