Billy Cooke’s three-run home run in the fourth inning helped Coastal Carolina build a 5-0 lead and the Chanticleers held on for a 5-4 win over Texas-Arlington on Friday night at Clay Gould Ballpark in Arlington.
Coastal improves to 32-17-1 overall and 17-7-1 Sun Belt Conference while Sun Belt West Division leader UTA falls to 29-19 and 19-6.
Alex Cunningham (6-2) got the win, escaping a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the fourth before exiting in the seventh inning. Will Latcham pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out five, to earn his third save.
In addition to Cooke, Jordan Gore, Josh Crump and Matt Beaird led the CCU offense, each with two hits. Gore was 2-for-4 with a double off the centerfield wall, Crump was 2-for-3 and drove in CCU’s first two runs and Beiard was also 2-for-3.
Coastal scored twice in the second when Crump lined a two-run single that plated Kieton Rivers and Seth Lancaster, who both walked. In the fourth, Crump walked with two outs, Beaird reached on an infield single and Cooke hit his eighth homer of the season over the left-center wall.
Cunningham retired the first nine Maverick batters before walking the leadoff hitter in the fourth, allowing a one-out single and walking another batter to load the bases. He induced a pop out and struck out Noah Vaughan looking to escape unscathed.
The Mavericks scored two runs in the sixth on a Quintin Rohrbaugh two-run homer and added two in the seventh on an RBI double by R.J. Williams and two-out RBI single by Omar Salinas.
After allowing an inherited runner to score, Latcham retired the side in order in the eighth and allowed a hit in the ninth but but struck out two and got a ground out to end the game.
Cunningham allowed four earned runs on seven hits and two walks and struck out seven in 6 1/3 innings.
Two of the top teams in the Sun Belt will continue their key three-game series at 3 p.m. (ET) Saturday.