Back-to-Back HRs in 9th Beats Illinois, 3-2, in Game 1 of DH
CONWAY - Kevin Woodall Jr., and Peyton Isaacson hit back-to-back home runs in the ninth inning to lift #18 Coastal Carolina to a 3-2, walk-off win versus Illinois in game one of a Saturday doubleheader at Springs Brooks Stadium.
The teams played a doubleheader Saturday due to inclement weather in the forecast for Sunday.
Illinois starting pitcher Ty Weber took a no hitter into the eighth inning before CCU's Billy Cooke laid down a bunt single with two outs. Zack Jones came out of the bullpen for the Illini and ended the eighth for Illinois by getting a strikeout. Relief pitcher Ryan Schmitt (0-1) got a quick out in the ninth before Woodall and Isaacson accounted for CCU's second and third hits with their consecutive home runs to provide the 3-2 final.
While Weber was shutting down the Chants, Coastal starter Andrew Beckwith was just as impressive. After allowing a hit in the third inning, Beckwith faced the minimum batters (16) until coming out with two outs in the eighth. Overall, he pitched 7.2 innings, allowed three hits (two in the first inning) and two unearned runs (both in the first as well) with two walks and seven strikeouts.
The Illini took advantage of a CCU error to score two runs in the first inning. With one out, Ben Trioke was hit by a pitch and Pat McInerney reached on an error. A ground out moved the two runners up to third and second, respectively, and Michael Massey brought the pair home with an RBI single to left field.
The Chants got one of those runs back in the home half of the first. Billy Cooke and Cory Wood had back-to-back walks. Cooke stole third and scored on a ground out RBI by Kevin Woodall Jr., to make the score 2-1.
In the ninth, Illinois had runners on first and third with two outs, but CCU pitcher Austin Kitchen picked off the runner at first on steal attempt to end the threat and set-up the exciting finish.
Kitchen (2-1) was credited with the win. He pitched the final 1.1 innings and allowed one hit while striking out one.