Spartans rally past Chants; visiting Tar Heels on deck

ccubase-owings vs pitt 3 (2)Michigan State scored two runs in the top of the ninth to take a 6-5 decision at Coastal Carolina Sunday afternoon at Springs Brooks Stadium. The Spartans improve to 6-7 while the Chanticleers fall to 9-6.

Chad Roskelly, who hit a solo home run in the seventh to draw the Spartans to within one run, started the ninth with a walk. After a sacrifice bunt, pinch hitter Brandon Hughes lined an RBI single back up the middle to tie the contest. Hughes then stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. Pinch hitter Kory Young walked to put runners on the corners. Anthony Cheky grounded out to first, but Hughes scored on the play to provide what proved to be the winning run.

Jeff Kinley (2-0) recorded a strikeout and two fly outs in the bottom of the ninth to earn the win. He pitched the final 1.1 innings with one walk and two strikeouts.

Coastal got on the scoreboard first with three runs in the second inning. G.K. Young and Casey Schroeder started the home half with back-to-back singles. Two batters later, Anthony Marks and Al Molina hit back-to-back doubles with Marks driving in two and Molina one.

The Spartans answered with three runs of their own in the top of the third inning. With one out in the third, Cheky doubled and scored on an RBI triple by Cam Gibson. Ryan Richardson plated Cheky with a perfectly placed bunt single. Mark Weist singled and took second as CCU tried to throw Richardson out at third. Blaise Salter hit a deep fly ball to center, allowing Richardson to score, but Weist left second base too early and was out on the play to end the inning and keep the game tied at 3-3.

The Chants regained the lead, 5-3, in the bottom of the fourth as Schroeder walked and David Parrett followed with a home run to left field to mark the junior’s third round-tripper of the season.

Mike Morrison (1-1) took the loss in relief, allowing one hit and three walks while one of his two runs were earned.

Offensively for CCU, seven Chants had one hit with Parrett and Marks each driving in two. Connor Owings and Michael Paez each had their consecutive games reaching safely streak snapped. Owings, who entered the weekend with the fourth-best such streak, had his end at 36 games (last 22 games of 2014 and the first 14 of 2015) while Paez had his end at 26 games (last 12 of ’14 and first 14 of ’15).

Coastal Carolina will return to action Monday by hosting Toledo in the final game of the 2015 Coastal Carolina Invitational.

The Chants will continue the home stand by hosting North Carolina Tuesday (4 pm), a three-game weekend series with Bryant (Mar. 13-15) and a home game with Clemson on Mar. 17 (6 pm).

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