Sellout crowd sees Coastal shock Gamecocks in thriller

ccubase-rallycapConnor Owings hit a solo home run in the first inning for a 1-0 lead and hit a walk-off RBI single in the 11th to lift Coastal Carolina to a 9-8 extra-innings win versus #7/12 South Carolina Tuesday night before a capacity crowd of 3,086 at Springs Brooks Stadium.

The Chanticleers, winners of nine straight, improve to 18-7 and have taken down three traditional powers on consecutive Tuesdays in Springs Brooks Stadium. On March 10, Coastal beat #11 North Carolina, 13-2. The following Tuesday, March 17, the Chants claimed a 9-5 decision versus Clemson. The Gamecocks fall to 18-7.

Josh Crump, a late-inning defensive replacement, drew a five-pitch walk to start the home half of the 11th for Coastal. Anthony Marks moved Crump to second with a sacrifice bunt. South Carolina elected to intentionally walk Michael Paez to set a potential force out. However, Owings lined a 1-2 pitch to center field and Crump beat the throw home for the 9-8 victory.

Andrew Beckwith (2-0) worked the final 3.1 innings to register the win. He entered the game with Coastal down 8-6 and a runner on second with two outs. He induced a fly out to end the eighth and retired 10 of the 12 batters he faced. He did not allow a hit or a run while walking one and hitting one batter with one strikeout.

Coastal Carolina took an early 1-0 lead as Owings, who entered the game riding an 0-for-12 slump, hit a solo home run to right field with two outs in the bottom of the first, marking his third blast of the season.

The Gamecocks took advantage of back-to-back Chanticleer errors to put two runs on the scoreboard in the third inning. Max Schrock reached on throwing error and took second on the play. Kyle Martin followed with a fly ball to left, but a misplay allowed Schrock to score and put Martin on second. Elliot Caldwell plated Martin with an RBI single.

The Chanticleers regained the lead thanks to six walks in the bottom of the fourth. Owings and G.K. Young walked before Zach Remillard reached on a bunt single to load the bases. Casey Schroeder welcomed new pitcher Matthew Vogel with a walk to force home Owings. David Parrett followed suit, walking to force home Young. The Gamecocks turned to John Parke, who allowed an RBI single by Tyler Chadwick and walked Al Molina to force home the fourth run. Tyler Chadwick came through with an RBI single and Al Molina drew the fifth walk of the inning to force home a run. Marks capped the scoring with an RBI walk.

South Carolina responded with two runs in the fifth, making the score 6-4, thanks to a pair of CCU balks. Martin reached on a fielder’s choice, took second on a balk and advanced to third when Alex Destino reached on a fielder’s choice. Martin scored and Destino took second on a balk. Connor Bright drove in Destino with an RBI single to right center field.

The Gamecocks took their first lead, 8-6, with four runs in the sixth. Logan Koch started the frame with a single and Jordan Gore walked. South Carolina loaded the bases with Gene Cone reached on an error. A wild pitch allowed pinch runner Clark Scolamiero to score and Schrock followed with an RBI single.  Cone scored on a double by Martin and Caldwell brought home Schrock with a sacrifice fly.

Coastal tied the game, 8-8, in the eighth. Remillard started the rally with a single and moved to third on a double by Schroeder. Parrett plated Remillard with his fourth sacrifice fly of the season and Schroeder took third on the play. Schroeder later scored the tying run on a wild pitch.

The Chants threatened to end the game in the ninth as Marks hit a leadoff single and moved to second on a Paez sac bunt. USC intentionally walked Owings and Gamecock closer Taylor Widener left the runners stranded by getting a fly out and strikeout.

Widener suffered the loss, falling to 1-2. He pitched 1.2 innings and allowed one run and one walk.

Coastal Carolina will remain at home to take on Big South rival Winthrop for a three-game weekend series (March 27-29). First pitch Friday is set for 6 pm with game times on Saturday and Sunday set for 2 pm.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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