Chants slide past Jaguars into first place in Sun Belt

ccubase-cookeslideKieton Rivers had the big hit in the eighth, but Billy Cooke delivered all game to lead #26 Coastal Carolina to an 11-9 victory at South Alabama on Friday night to clinch the series victory at Stanky Field.

The Chanticleers (22-11-1, 10-3-1) lead the Sun Belt Conference East Division and moved a game ahead of Louisiana-Lafayette in the overall league standings. They face the Jaguars (20-15, 9-5) in the series finale on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The back-and-forth game saw South Alabama leading 8-7 after the Jaguars scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh.  However, Rivers came through with a two-run triple and scored on a Cooke RBI single as part of a four-run eighth inning.

Cooke was 3-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored. He also made a highlight reel catch in the sixth inning. With bases loaded, the junior laid out for a diving catch in right-center field to save at least two runs. Rivers was 2-for-4 with two RBI, while Wood Myers and Peyton Isaacson each had two hits.

Andrew Beckwith (5-1) pitched six innings in relief to earn the win. He scattered eight hits for four runs (two earned) with three walks and five strikeouts. Austin Kitchen worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his third save of the season.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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