CHARLESTON, S.C. – Coastal Carolina homered in four consecutive innings to erase an early 3-0 deficit and send the Chanticleers on their way to a 9-3 victory over Charleston Southern, evening the Big South series at a game apiece.
The teams will square off in the rubber game on Sunday at 2 p.m. at CSU Ballpark, as the Bucs bid to improve their chances at making the Big South Championship. CSU remains one game behind of Radford for the eighth and final spot. Evan Nations is scheduled to start for the Buccaneers while Jason Bilous is expected to get the ball for the Chanticleers.
CSU (18-30, 5-15 Big South) took a 1-0 lead in the first on a double by Chris Singleton and RBI ground out by Sly Edwards off Coastal starter Andrew Beckwith. Following a leadoff error in the second, Nate Blanchard doubled in two unearned runs to stake the Bucs to their three-run advantage.
But Beckwith settled down after the shaky start, allowing only four hits over his final five innings to win his Big South-leading ninth game of the season while lowering his conference-best ERA to 1.81. The Bucs reached Beckwith for nine hits in his seven innings but left seven runners on base over that span.
The Chanticleers (35-15, 17-3 Big South) broke out the big bats starting in the third, scoring four times with three coming on a home run by Zach Remillard. Seth Lancaster, G.K. Young and David Parrett added solo shots over the next three innings to build the Coastal lead to 7-3. The Chanticleers have hit six home runs in the series, increasing their season total to 73, the second most in the nation.
Mike Morrison relieved Beckwith in the eighth and worked two innings of one-hit relief with three strikeouts. Daniel Johnson started for CSU and allowed only one single over the first two innings before the Coastal uprising. Johnson and relievers Jon Piriz and Kyle Dyson combined to strike out eight Chanticleers.
Blanchard, Singleton and Kevin Hickey each had two hits for the Bucs, who totaled 10 in the contest. Anthony Marks had three hits for Coastal as part of a 13-hit attack.