USM allows 16 hits, 9 walks in 15-7 loss at Coastal Carolina

Published: Apr. 21, 2023 at 11:05 PM CDT
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CONWAY, S.C. (WDAM) - Derek Bender homered twice and drove in five runs to lead No. 8 Coastal Carolina over No. 24 Southern Miss Friday night 15-7 at Springs Brooks Stadium in the opening game of a Sun Belt Conference series.

The Golden Eagles dropped their second-straight contest to fall to 22-14 overall and 10-6 in Sun Belt play, while the first-place Chanticleers improved to 25-11 and 12-4. The second game of the series, set for Saturday, has been pushed up to an 11 a.m. CT start time.

The visiting team jumped out with a pair of runs in the opening frame. After two were out, Slade Wilks was hit by a pitch by CCU starter Matt Potok and Christopher Sargent followed with his seventh homer of the year, a two-run shot to left field. The long ball marked the 44th of Sargent’s career, which moved him into sixth on the Golden Eagle career chart.

The Chanticleers responded with three runs in the third to take the lead for good. After getting a walk and single to start the frame, Bender hit a shot back to Tanner Hall that ricocheted off his leg and catcher Blake Johnson picked up the ball, throwing him out at first.

After a strikeout, Hall then walked another Chanticleer to reload the bases – one of a career-high seven issued by Hall in the contest – and it was followed by an RBI infield single by Zack Beach, before Ty Dooley added a two-run run single.

An inning later, Hall walked the first two CCU batters to start the fourth and his day ended as he suffered the loss in the contest. Hall allowed five runs on four hits over three-plus frames with his walk total and three strikeouts to fall to 7-3.

The Golden Eagles then went to the bullpen for Kros Sivley. After getting a popout to second, Sivley surrendered a three-run homer to Bender to make the score 6-2.

Bender then opened a six-run, sixth inning with a two-run shot to left, giving him his 14th of the season. That homer was followed by another home run from Nick Lucky, who belted his seventh of the season. The Chanticleers then added runs on a Dooley RBI double, an Orlando Pena run-scoring single and a sacrifice fly from Payton Eeles.

Down 12-3 in the eighth, Southern Miss plated four runs. After a one-out walk and hit by pitch, Danny Lynch doubled to left to score the first run. The second run scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch before Matthew Etzel extended his hitting streak to six games with a two-run single to left-center.

The Chanticleers, though, got a bases-clearing, three-run double from Eeles in the bottom half of the inning to complete the game’s scoring.

Potok limited Southern Miss to three runs on three hits over six innings with three walks and seven strikeouts to earn the victory and improve to 3-2.

Dustin Dickerson collected two of the Golden Eagles’ six hits to extend his team-best and career-high hitting streak to 16 games.

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