No. 22 Coastal Carolina totaled nine runs in the fifth inning on six hits and an error, to post a 14-5 win over the 19th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats, on a windy Sunday afternoon at Coastal Carolina’s Vrooman Field.
Kentucky (2-2) suffered its second consecutive loss to CCU, after falling 4-1 Saturday night in the second game of a double header. UK posted a season-opening win over Troy on Friday, 8-3 and totaled a 8-3 win over 2008 Colonial Athletic Association Champion James Madison in the first game Saturday.
Kentucky returns to action with its home opener Friday, welcoming Western Michigan for a four-game series. First pitch Friday is slated for 4 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio) with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price on the call.
UK starting pitcher Chris Rusin, a 2008 first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection, had the worst outing of his sparkling four-year career, allowing seven runs – five earned – on six hits in 4.1 innings. Rusin struck out eight CCU hitters without issuing a walk. UK then turned to lefty Mike Kaczmarek, who allowed five runs in 0.2 innings, and Logan Darnell, who allowed two runs in a frame. Freshmen Chase Greene and Braden Kapetyn made stellar pitching debuts, each tossing a scoreless inning, with both striking out two.
Coastal Carolina (3-0) got a good pitching performance from starter Cody Wheeler, who tossed six innings, allowing just one run, striking out six. All-American first baseman David Anderson finished 3-for-4 with three RBI and a homer, with CCU right fielder Dan Bowman also tallying three RBI.
Offensively, UK mustered nine hits and five runs, with Kapteyn and Gunner Glad each tallying home runs. Kapetyn and Glad each homered in their first career games, with Kapteyn finishing 1-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. Keenan Wiley had UK’s only two-hit game, going 2-for-3. Glad’s homer came in the ninth inning on the first pitch he saw in his UK career.
Coastal got on the board in the first inning, as Rico Noel reached on a one-out single through the left side and past a diving Chris Wade. With Noel at first, Rusin attempted a snap-throw to first with the ball getting in the dirt and scampering past Kapteyn at first base, allowing Noel to get to third. Anderson followed, driving in Noel with an opposite-field single.
CCU added two runs in the top of the fourth, utilizing a 25-mile an hour wind blowing out to center field. After Rusin got the first two hitters, Adam Rice reached first after pounding the ball off the plate, educing a high-hoping grounder that allowed him to beat the throw to first. Chance Gilmore followed, and with the wind whipping, got a line-drive into the air that barely cleared the right-center field fence for a two-run homer.
Kentucky answered in the fifth inning, getting a run to cut the lead to 3-1 Coastal Carolina. With one out and Wheeler dealing on the mound, Kapteyn strolled to the plate for his second collegiate plate appearance. Kapteyn, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound right-handed hitter, got a 2-1 offering and ripped it on a line into the left-center field gap, utilizing the high-powered winds blowing out to center.
Coastal broke the game wide open in the fifth inning, plating nine runs on six hits and a Wildcat error, chasing Rusin from the game. After getting the lead-off man, Rusin committed a fielding error while attempting to cover first base on a ground ball. Rusin hit the next batted and Noel loaded the bases with a bunt single. Anderson dropped a single on the foul line in right field to score one and Jose Iglesias ripped a two-run double off the wall. Rice followed with a two-run single off Kaczmarek and Gilmore followed with a hit-by-pitch. After another fly out, Bowman lofted a two-run homer and Tyler Bortnick followed with a homer to dead center.
CCU added two runs to its lead in the sixth, as Anderson homered to right field and Rice reached on a single. Tyler Motter scored Rice with another single that bounced off the plate and to high in the air for a play to be made at first.
The Wildcats narrowed the margin in the seventh, as Troy Frazier doubled off the wall in center field and Cory Farris singled him home with a base hit.
UK notched another run in the eighth, as Navarro Hall notched a hit in his first career plate appearance. After advancing to second, sophomore Chris Bisson scored Hall from second with a single into left field.
UK cut the lead to single-digit runs with two in the ninth, as Kapetyn drew a walk with one out. Glad pinch hit for freshman Andy Burns and on the first pitch he sees of his Kentucky career, cranked a no-doubted to left field for a home run, 14-5 Coastal Carolina.