CONWAY, S.C. – After scoring 14 runs in wins in each of the first two games of the three-game series this weekend versus Creighton, the Chanticleers had just five runs on eight hits in a 10-5 loss on Sunday afternoon in the series finale at Springs Brooks Stadium.
Coastal’s offense was once again led by senior Tanner Garrison (3-for-4, HR, 3 RBIs, 2 runs) as he followed up his four-hit performance on Saturday with three hits, including a home run, and three RBIs on Sunday.
The other two Coastal RBIs came from the top of the order in Blake Barthol (0-for-3, SF, HBP, RBI) and Chad Born (1-for-4, RBI), while both Graham Brown (1-for-4, 2B, run) and Ty Dooley (1-for-2, run) each had a double on the day.
The Bluejays were led at the plate by Sterling Hayes (4-for-5, 2 2B, 3 RBIs, run), Ben North (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBIs, run), and Andrew Meggs (1-for-5, BB, 2 RBIs, run), who all had multiple RBIs in the win.
CCU reliever Colin Yablonski (0-1) was saddled with the loss, as he gave up one run on two hits over 0.1 of an inning after entering the contest with no outs and the bases loaded in the top of the seventh.
Making his first career start, left-handed hurler Levi Huesman went 4.0-complete innings, allowing one run on four hits, three walks, and three strikeouts.
Creighton reliever Paul Bergstrom (1-0) earned his first win of the season out of the bullpen, as he held the Chants’ offense to just one hit with three strikeouts over the final 3.1 innings of the game.
Looking to avoid the series sweep, the Bluejays scored first in the top of the second on a one-out single, walk, hit batter, and a sacrifice fly from North to take a 1-0 lead.
The Chants, who went down in order in each of the first two innings, battled back to take their first lead of the game in the bottom of the third on a Barthol sacrifice fly and a two-out RBI single to right field from Born to put the home team on top 2-1 after three innings played.
CCU’s Huesman pitched around a lead-off single in the top of the fourth with the help of a pickoff at first base by catcher Garrison, while fellow freshman pitcher Liam Doyle recorded a 1-2-3 fifth to keep the Chants in front 2-1.
Garrison doubled the Chants lead at 3-1 with a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning before the Bluejays took advantage of a double, a Coastal fielding error, a hit-by-pitch, and a passed ball to get the run back in the top of the sixth to cut the lead back to one at 3-2.
It would be Garrison again that would come up big for the Chants at the plate, as the Elgin, S.C., native laced a bases-loaded two-run single to right-center field to push the home team out in front by three at 5-2 with three innings to play.
However, the Bluejays broke the game open in the top of the seventh, as each of the first six hitters in the inning reached base safely. Hayes delivered a bases-loaded two-run single through the left side, while Nolan Clifford followed with an RBI double to right field to tie the game up at 5-5.
Three batters later, North laced a two-out single past a diving Coastal infielder and through the left side to give the Bluejays the lead back at 6-5 heading into the seventh-inning stretch.
The Chanticleers went down in order in each of the last three innings, while Creighton tacked on one insurance run in the eighth on an RBI double off the bat of Hayes and three more in the ninth on a two-run single by Meggs and a balk to put the final score at 10-5.
The Chanticleers stranded five runners on base compared to 11 by the Bluejays.
Creighton’s pitching staff did not issue a walk for the game, while Coastal’s arms walked seven hitters.
Coastal (4-3) will hit the road for the first time this season to take on the College of Charleston Cougars (3-3) on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 4 p.m. ET in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
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