Coastal Carolina walked off on Oklahoma’s marathon day of baseball and put a win over a ranked team on its resume in the process.
Cory Wood’s run-scoring single up the middle with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning gave Coastal a 4-3 win over the Sooners, who played 7 ½ hours of baseball Saturday after opening their season with a 6-3 win over Indiana in the Brittain Resorts Baseball at the Beach tournament.
The Sooners (1-2), ranked 18th in the nation in Perfect Game USA’s preseason rankings, lost 6-5 to South Alabama in 12 innings about 45 minutes prior to the first pitch against Coastal at Springs Brooks Stadium.
Oklahoma scored three unearned runs in the eighth inning to force extra innings, and Zach Biermann led off the bottom of the 10th with a single before being replaced by pinch runner and Turner Buis.
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Kieton Rivers singled on a perfectly-placed bunt past the pitcher on the first base side, and a wild throw to first allowed Buis and Rivers to advance a base. A walk by Parker Chavers was sandwiched between strikeouts of Matt Beaird and pinch-hitter Lee Sponseller, and Wood worked the count to 3-1 before lacing the single up the middle.
“I said it it’s there I’m swinging,” Wood said. “It needed to be a perfect pitch and it was there, and I put a good swing on it.”
Saturday’s game was vastly different than Coastal’s’ opener on Friday, a 17-2 drubbing of Virginia Tech.
“There was a little stress, just enough to make sure the old ticker is still working, no doubt,” Coastal coach Gary Gilmore said. “That would have been tough 10th inning if we hadn’t scored and Cory hadn’t got that hit right there or done something to score a run. You sit there and you think you’ve got second and third and nobody out, you should win that game.”
We had quite a few opportunities last year outside of our league to get something like that done and I don’t think we won a single one of them all year long, probably the only time in program history we didn’t break through somewhere. It’s something we talked quite a bit about over the last four, five, six months.
CCU coach Gary Gilmore on a win over a ranked team
The teams combined for nine errors – six by Oklahoma – after the Chants played error-free ball in their season-opening 17-2 win over Virginia Tech on Friday.
Consecutive doubles by Seth Lancaster and Kevin Woodall Jr. into the right-field corner in the third inning accounted for the game’s only earned run. Woodall’s RBI gives him seven on the season.
The Chants (2-0) scored two runs in the second, including one on a sacrifice fly by Wood, and their 3-0 lead after three innings lasted into the eighth inning.
A bases-loaded error by shortstop Keaton Weisz with two outs in the eighth inning extended Oklahoma’s inning and allowed a run to score, and pinch-hitter Brady Lindsly followed with a two-run single to tie the game.
The Chants got a strong outing from senior starter Zack Hopeck, who allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out seven in 6 1/3 innings.
“Hopeck led like a true senior and probably pitched one of the finest games of his career,” Gilmore said. “… I knew this guy, regardless win, lose or draw, he’s going to be out there through five or six. He never lets us down.”
Freshmen Shaddon Peavyhouse and Zach McCambley closed the game in relief, allowing three hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.
“I can’t remember the last time, maybe a first in my career outside of when I first started here and we were bad and had no other choice, to end the game with freshmen pitching in games that really matter against great teams,” Gilmore said. “We haven’t done that in forever. So I was very proud of them.”
McCambley allowed just one hit and struck out four in the ninth and 10th innings.
“That was some of the most fun I’ve ever had in my life, my first college appearance,” McCambley said. “It was just incredible. [Hopeck] told me to breathe a little bit. I was nervous, my legs were shaking out there, but I just went with it. I got better as I went. It was awesome. I had a great time.”