Jags fall to top seed Coastal Carolina in Sun belt tournament semifinal
LAFAYETTE, La. – Top-seeded Coastal Carolina defeated the No. 4 seed University of South Alabama baseball team 3-1 Saturday in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament semifinal at Russo Park.
The loss eliminated South Alabama (32-25) from the tournament, while CCU (41-17) advanced to Sunday's championship game.
- Dylan Hardy and Travis Swaggerty reached on consecutive walks to lead off the game. A wild pitch by CCU right-hander Zach McCambley allowed both runners to move into scoring position with two outs. Wells Davis drew a walk before McMambley induced an inning-ending flyout to right field off the bat of Michael Sandle to escape the jam without allowing a run.
- Cory Wood led off the bottom of the first with a single back up the middle, and Seth Lancaster followed with a walk. Kieton Rivers drew a two-out walk later in the inning to load the bases for Lee Sponseller, but Jaguar right-hander Patrick McBride induced an inning-ending groundout to first to escape the jam and preserve a scoreless tie.
- Keaton Weisz reached on a bunt single up the third base line with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning, and moved to second on the play on a throwing error by Brendan Donovan. Matt Beaird followed with an RBI single to center field to score Weisz with the game's first run. Seth Lancaster drew a two-out walk before Kevin Woodall Jr. delivered an RBI single through the left side of the infield to plate Beard and double the CCU lead at 2-0.
- Donovan led off the top of the sixth inning with a single to center field, and moved to second on a one-out walk by Davis. Andrew Bates reached on a pinch-hit fielder's choice on a grounder to first, and Donovan scored on the play on a throwing error by Lancaster attempting to turn a double play to cut the CCU lead in half at 2-1.
- Wood singled to right field with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning. Woodall Jr. was intentionally walked with two outs before Lambert induced an inning-ending flyout to center field off the bat of Zach Biermann to keep the Jaguar deficit at one run.
- Paul Russo singled to left field to lead off the top of the seventh inning, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Will Luft. Swaggerty reached on a hit by pitch with two outs before Donovan drew a walk to load the bases for Carter Perkins, who flew out to center field to end the inning.
- Rivers and Biermann drew consecutive walks to start the bottom of the seventh inning. Parker Chavers followed with a bunt single up the third base line to load the bases with no outs. Jaguar right-hander Zach Greene struck out Weisz for the first out of the inning. Beaird reached on a fielder's choice on a grounder to third, which Donovan fielded and fired to home to Perkins for the second out of the frame. Greene then induced an inning-ending groundout to first off the bat of Wood to escape the jam and preserve a one-run Jaguar deficit.
- Lancaster drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the eighth inning, and moved to third on a single to left-center field by Woodall Jr. Biermann then grounded into a 6-4-3 double play that allowed Lancaster to score with the game's final run.
- Davis extended his on-base streak to 19 games with a two-out walk in the top of the first inning.
- Perkins' on-base streak was snapped at 15 games.
- CCU's Dylan Inman (2-2) tossed 1 1/3 scoreless relief innings, and allowed one hit with a pair of strikeouts and one walk issued.
- Jaguar right-hander Patrick McBride (1-2) allowed two runs on four hits with four walks in 3 1/3 innings pitched in the loss.
- Woodall Jr. and Beaird each went 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead the Chanticleers at the plate.
- Donovan finished 1-for-2 with two walks and one run scored to lead the Jags at the plate. Hardy and Paul Russo added one hit apiece.
- The game was delayed in the top of the fifth inning for over three hours due to lightning.
Head Coach Mark Calvi
- On the game:
"In every ballgame, you want to be in a position to win it. And I thought we played well enough and were in a position to win that ballgame. We were in the game all game long. We didn't do enough early on; we didn't get to the guy's fastball well enough, and we left 10 men on base. When you do that against a good team, you're not going to score many runs. We needed to score four today. We had enough men on base where we could have scored four runs, but unfortunately we didn't get it done. It wasn't for a lack of effort. The results weren't there and that's disappointing, but the effort was there so we can live with it. You hate to lose, but these guys gave great effort all season long going through what they went through with all the guys we had down and out of the lineup. They went hard right to the very end, and I'm proud of my team for doing that."