MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Coastal Carolina starter Ben Smith pitched five shutout innings, while the Chanticleer bullpen allowed only one run in four innings as UNC Asheville dropped the first game of its Big South Conference series, 7-1, on Friday afternoon.
With the loss the Blue & White fall to 15-32 on the season, with a 3-15 mark in league play while the Chants improve to 30-18 and 14-5 in the Big South.
Asheville starter Corey Randall was credited with the loss, allowing only three runs on one hit over five innings of work. With the loss Randall falls to 3-4 on the season.
As a team the Bulldogs scattered five hits over nine innings, scoring a run in the top of the ninth on a fielder’s choice by third baseman Robert McIntosh. Shortstop Tommy Houmard went 2-for-5 at the plate, with McIntosh and Justin Woods drawing two walks apiece.
Coastal’s Jake Kane went 2-for-5 offensively while Alex Buccilli went 1-for-4, with each driving in two runs in the contest. First baseman Connor Owings also drove in two RBI, going 1-for-2 at the dish.
Smith was credited with the win for the Chanticleers, giving up two hits in five innings while walking six and striking out five. He improves to 4-2 with the victory.
CCU jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, when Buccilli tripled with two runners on base followed by a Kane ground out to second to drive home Buccilli. Randall settled down for the Bulldogs and pitched four shutout innings, leaving the game down 3-0 heading into the sixth.
The Chants added a run in the sixth on a bases loaded walk, then two more in the seventh on a double by Owings to go up 6-0. Kane picked up another RBI in the eighth on a single to give Coastal a seven run lead heading into the ninth.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases with one out in the top of the ninth, but was only able to scratch one run across to fall to the Chanticleers by a final of 7-1.
The two teams will play tomorrow in game two of the series, with first pitch scheduled for noon. The Bulldogs will throw right-handed pitcher Dean Roland while Coastal will go the righty Seth Lamando.