The No. 22/23/27-ranked West Virginia University baseball team fell to Coastal Carolina, 10-5, on the second day of the CCU Baseball Tournament in Conway, South Carolina, on Saturday afternoon.
The Mountaineers (3-3) held a pair of leads in the back-and-forth affair at Springs Brooks Stadium, before the Chanticleers (4-2) tallied five unanswered runs to close the game. WVU finished with five runs on eight hits with three errors, while Coastal tallied 10 runs on 10 hits with two errors. Coastal Carolina’s Shaddon Peavyhouse earned the win, while junior right-handed pitcher Zach Ottinger took the loss.
CCU hit four home runs in the Mountaineer setback.
For the second straight day, the Mountaineers tallied a run in the first inning to open the scoring. Junior outfielder Austin Davis led off the game with a base hit before eventually advancing to third and scoring on sophomore outfielder Victor Scott’s sacrifice fly.
Coastal, though, answered with a run in the bottom of the first after WVU committed a two-out fielding error to make it 1-1.
From there, junior left-handed pitcher Adam Tulloch cruised for a stretch, tallying seven strikeouts in his first three innings of work. Then, CCU recorded back-to-back solo home runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 3-1 lead.
In the top of the fifth, West Virginia rallied for three, two-out runs to take the lead once again. First, sophomore catcher/infielder Matt McCormick scorched an RBI double down the left-field line, before redshirt junior catcher/outfielder Vince Ippoliti followed it up with an RBI single to left, tying it at 3.
Scott added to his production moments later, as he smacked a run-scoring single to center to give WVU a 4-3 lead.
In the bottom half, the Chants regained the lead on a two-out, two-run homer to give the hosts a 5-4 advantage. It was the final frame for Tulloch, who finished with a career-high 10 strikeouts in five innings of work, allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits. The Weston, Florida, native earned a no decision.
The game drew even for the third time in the top of the sixth on freshman outfielder Braden Barry’s RBI groundout, which scored freshman infielder Mikey Kluska. After that, though, CCU tallied the final five runs of the day.
In the seventh, a WVU throwing error helped give the Chanticleers a 6-5 lead, before the CCU scored again on an infield single. Coastal added three more in the eighth, two of which came off the bat of a two-run homer.
The Mountaineers went in order in the ninth.
Davis and Ippoliti each finished with a pair of hits in the loss, while Scott logged two RBIs. On the mound, Ottinger tossed two innings out of the bullpen, while junior right-hander Madison Jeffrey and sophomore righty Skylar Gonzalez worked the ninth.
With the loss, WVU fell to 5-10 all-time against Coastal Carolina. The two teams are set to meet again from March 19-21, at Monongalia County Ballpark, marking the Chants’ first-ever trip to Morgantown.
Next up, WVU concludes play at the CCU Baseball Tournament on Sunday morning against Bryant. First pitch from Springs Brooks Stadium is set for 11 a.m. ET.