SAN MARCOS, TX – Coastal Carolina Starter Pitcher Reid Van Scoter batted a career-high nine batters on a career-high 7.2 innings pitched as the Chanticleers held off the nationally ranked No. 9/20 Texas State Bobcats for a 7-5 win in Game 2 of the Sun Belt Conference Series on Saturday in San Marcos, Texas.
The win pushed Coastal to 13-8-1 overall and 2-2-1 in the Sun Belt game, while the loss dropped Texas State to 19-5 overall and 4-1 in the league.
The Chants went 2-1 to start the eight-game road trip with both wins over the top 25 nationally ranked teams.
VanScoter (4-1) earned his fourth win of the season, as he pitched 7.2 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out nine Bobcat batters.
Collecting his first career save as a Chant was Colin Yablonski (1), as the right-hander earned the game’s final two outs with the winning run at home plate.
The loss came to Texas State starter Levi Wells (3-1) as the right-hander allowed two runs on three hits, four walks and five strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work .
The top four hitters did most of the damage for the Chants at home plate Saturday, as leadoff batter Austin White (3-for-5, 2-run, SB) had a team-high three base hits, while the three-hole hitter lucky nick (2 for 5, RBI, run) had two base hits and drove an RBI. Four-hole hitter Dale Thomas (2-for-4, HR, 2B, BB, 4 RBIs, run) drove in a game-high four RBIs, while the outfielder Graham Brown (1 for 4, HR) hit his first home run as a Chant in the win.
Texas State was limited to five runs on five hits and did most of the work in the ninth inning, scoring all five runs on three hits in the comeback attempt.
Dalton Shuffield (2-for-4, 2G, rush) had a team-high two on base hits, while Cameron Gibbons (1-for-3, 2G, 2 RBI) drove in two of five runs products for the home team in the loss.
The Chanticleers scored first to start Saturday’s game, as White started the game with a left single and then ran for third on a failed out attempt to start the Chanticles’ offense.
After Eric Brown was hit by a pitch, Lucky hit an RBI ground ball in second to move both runners up 90 feet and tackle White for the 1-0 lead.
After a walk towards Thomas and a wild throw that moved Thomas and Eric Brown to second and third base, respectively, the Chants Cooper Weiss hit a deep ball to center field to enter Eric Brown on a sacrificed fly to extend the lead to 2-0 for the visitors in teal.
The Bobcats finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth, as Shuffield opened the inning with a double over Lucky’s head in left field. However, three consecutive ground balls down the middle led to three consecutive fielder picks and outs at second base to keep the home team off the scoreboard going into the sixth inning.
Texas State threatened again in the sixth, as the team in all cream put two runners on base by means of a slap hitter, a sacrifice bunt and a walk, while watching a ball on the ground Matt McDermott at second base, finish the frame with the Chants still leading 2-0.
The Chanticleers added what would prove to be much-needed insurance runs in the top of the eighth through a two-run homer to left field from Thomas and a solo shot two batters later to center left field. by Graham Brown to push Coastal ahead to 5-0.
After VanScoter and Riley Eikhoff grounded two Bobcats in the bottom half of the eighth inning, Thomas and the Chants hit again in the top of the ninth with a two-out base hit from the bat-handle that found the turf in center field to score at both white and Eric Brown and extend the Chants’ lead to 7-0 with three outs to play.
The two-out hit was huge for the Chants as the wheels went down in the bottom of the ninth.
After a pitch at shortstop, the Bobcats then picked up a one-out, walk, and RBI single to spoil the shutout bid and cut the score to 7-1.
After an error on a fly ball to center field allowed a second Bobcat to score, the coastal bullpen then hit a batter to load the bases. Gibbons then fielded a single just inside the left field line to score two more Bobcats and cut the lead to three at 7-4.
Texas State added another run on defender pick before Yablonski got back-to-back flyouts to end the game with the visitors up 7-5.
Both teams blocked seven runners on base each and were hampered by an infield error.
Coastal and Texas State will play the rubber game of the three-game Conference Series tomorrow afternoon with the first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.
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