Coastal Carolina Rallies to Second Straight Sun Belt Title
For the second straight year, the Chanticleers rule the roost.
Coastal Carolina spotted Georgia Southern (35-24) an early 6-0 lead, but rallied behind the bat of Kieton Rivers to defeat the Eagles 9-7 and win their second straight Sun Belt Tournament title.
Scott Kobos pitched four scoreless innings out of the bullpen, allowing the Chanticleers (35-24-1) to mount the comeback.
With the Chants trailing 7-3, Rivers hit his first homer of the day off Georgia Southern starter Seth Shuman and then hit a three run blast in the next inning off Hayden Harris (3-1) to tie the game. Kyle Skeels doubled home Jake Wright later in the inning to give Coastal the lead for good. Scott McKeon's homer in the seventh accounted for the final run.
Alaska Abney (3-4). the third pitcher for CCU, was credited with the win. Kobos allowed just three hits and a walk over the final four innings for the save.
Jason Swan's RBI single in the first against Chants' starter Anthony Veneziano got Georgia Southern on the board and the Eagles got into the CCU bullpen in the second inning. Christian Avant, who singled to lead off the second, scored on a wild pitch and Nolan Tressler delivered a two run homer off reliever Zach McCambley to make it 4-0. After a Tyler Martin double, Noah Ledford blasted a two run shot to left to put the Eagles up 6-0.
The Chants began their comeback in the fourth, scoring three times on three hits and a pair of walks, but the Eagles countered with a run in the fourth to take a 7-3 lead before Rivers took over.
The loss was the third in four years in the title game for coach Rodney Hennon's squad. The Eagles were shut out by Louisiana in 2016 and dropped an eleven inning game to South Alabama the following season.
Coastal Carolina became the first team to win the tournament after losing their first game since Louisiana did it in the 2015 tournament.