MYRTLE BEACH — Coastal Carolina baseball coach Gary Gilmore understands that his team isn’t quite where he wants it to be.
At least not yet.
This was evident following the Chanticleers’ 9-1 loss Saturday to Indiana in the Caravelle Resort’s Baseball at the Beach tournament at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.
“Nothing comes easy right now,” Gilmore said. “[Friday] we pitched great, played relatively good defense and got a little bit here and there. Overall today we just weren’t good enough on the mound or defensively to compete with where we’re at offensively. We got a multi-headed monster going on here at times – you know – until we get better at two of the three aspects, it’s hard to win Division I baseball; teams are too good.
“So, it’s one of those things where we just got to keep grinding it out.”
The Hoosiers (5-2) got on the board early, scoring three runs off Coastal starter Ben Smith in the first inning. Leading 3-1, Indiana added three more runs in the fifth – coming on a bases-clearing two-out double by Chad Clark – to jump out to a comfortable 6-1 lead.
“That was the key at-bat of the game in my mind,” Gilmore said. “Once we gave that up, with where we’re at offensively right now, it’s pretty much a struggle to compete. It was a two-run game at that moment in time if we figure out how to get that out. You have to tip your cap to [Clark]. He put a good swing on the ball and drove it in between our outfield guys.”
The Chanticleers (4-5) plated their only run in the third inning. Ted Blackman and Alex Buccilli drew back-to-back walks and Will Remillard belted a two-out single that scored Blackman, who was injured on the play. The senior – one of Coastal’s top producers on offense – tripped while crossing the plate and suffered a concussion and was taken out of the lineup.
“They said he had some stage of a concussion,” Gilmore said. “So I would assume that he’ll probably be out [Sunday]. I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing that’s probably the protocol.”
Meanwhile, Smith (0-1) received the loss as he allowed five hits and three runs (two earned) in four innings. Smith struck out two and walked three.
“He hung in there. It wasn’t one of his better ones,” Gilmore said. “It was a 3-1 game, he comes out, and that next inning is where we got into that situation that really changed the game for the most part. Ben struggled, [Tyler] Herb struggled the other day, too. It’s very unusual for those guys to struggle. Maybe it’s just that time of year – you know third or fourth time through – where they start to have one of those dead arm outings. So hopefully next time or two, they’ll bounce back and be themselves.”
Indiana starter Joey DeNato (1-1) picked up the win as he allowed only five hits and one run in 7 1/3 innings while striking out three and walking five. Michael Basil led the Hoosiers on offense, going 4-for-5.
Zach Remillard and Justin Creel had two hits each for the Chanticleers, who left 10 runners on base, including six in the first four innings alone.
“The difference is when we do hit it hard, it gets caught. We just aren’t getting enough guys hitting it hard enough on a consist basis. You can look at the box score – I already know without even looking at it – and figure out why we aren’t scoring. It isn’t hard,” said Gilmore, referring to the Chants’ inability to bring runners home at the plate.
Coastal (4-5) will take on No. 10 N.C. State at 5 p.m. Sunday to conclude the tournament. Gilmore is optimistic that his group can get through its recent struggles.
“We’ve been through stretches like this before,” he said, “especially with some guys trying to figure themselves out. We just got to keep grinding at it and working at it and hopefully we’ll improve in those areas. As life goes on, hopefully we can work through some of the things that are getting to us right now.”
Contact MAX McKINNON at 626-0302.