Chanticleers Rally in Ninth to Top Cajuns, 9-8
A pair of insurance runs in the ninth. Check
Three run lead into the bottom of the inning. Check.
Closer on the mound. Check
The 2016 National Champions tallied four runs off Cajuns' relief ace Dylan Moore in the bottom of the ninth inning as Coastal Carolina rallied past Louisiana 9-8 Saturday at Springs Brooks Stadium in Conway, SC.
"Our bullpen was great today until the ninth," head coach Tony Robichaux said. "Jevin (Huval) was just great and Wyatt (Marks) dominated them in the eighth. We wanted to be able to extend Wyatt tomorrow. It just didn't work out."
Moore (0-1) got the first batter he faced in the ninth, but walked Peyton Isaacson, who became the first man to reach for Coastal since the fifth inning. Dalton Ewing then homered to left center to get Coastal (20-11, 8-3 Sun Belt) within a run. Seth Lancaster then singed and stole second. Moore struck out Matt Beaird, but a wild pitch allowed Beaird to reach with Lancaster taking third. Billy Cooke walked to load the bases and Cory Wood greeted Evan Guillory with a ball in the gap to give the Chanticleers the win.
Louisiana (18-13, 7-4) broke a 5-5 tie in the eighth against 2016 College World Series Most Outstanding Player Andrew Beckwith (4-1) when Kennon Fontenot reached on a two base error and went to third on Beckwith's errant pickoff. Tyler Stover's sacrifice fly gave the Cajuns a 6-5 lead. The Cajuns then got two more in the ninth when Brad Antchak reached on an error and scored on Brenn Conrad's double down the left field line. Pinch runner Jam Williams then scored on Joe Robbins' single to give the Cajuns the seemingly insurmountable 8-5 lead.
The Cajuns took a 2-0 lead in the second on Alex Pinero's two run homer off starter Jason Bilous, but CCU came back against starter Nick Lee in the fourth. Cory Wood and Jordan Gore both singled and Kevin Woodall, Jr. launched his Sun Belt leading 11th home run of the season to give the Chants a 3-2 lead.
The Cajuns got the runs right back in the top of the fifth when Antchak was hit by a pitch and Ishmael Edwards singled. Conrad singled home a run, sending Edwards to third. Robbins then got a bunt down, but Beckwith threw wild to home plate, sending Conrad to third. After Robbins was thrown out trying to steal, Steven Sensley then grounded the ball to Seth Lancaster, who threw home, getting Conrad trapped between third at home. But Conrad avoided the tag at third base and scored on Fontenot's sacrifice fly to give the Cajuns a 5-3 lead.
The lead was short lived, however, as Kyle Skeels hit a two run homer to tie the game 5-5 in the bottom of the fifth. A walk to Cooke and a single by Wood brought on Huval, who got Jordan Gore on a liner to left and Woodall on a fly ball to keep the game tied. Huval retired six in a row over the next two innings, and Marks struck out two of the three batters he faced, allowing the Cajuns to come back and take the lead.
Beckwith gave up seven hits and six runs, but only two earned, over 5.2 innings of work in getting the win. Moore was charged with four runs on two hits in just 0.1 innings.
The two teams will play the rubber game of the three game series tomorrow morning at 10 am. The game can be heard on KPEL-FM beginning at 9:30.