Coastal Carolina breaks out on offense to rout Vanderbilt 13-3 in NCAA baseball tournament opener

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Zack Beach and Derek Bender each drove in three runs as part of an offensive outburst, and Coastal Carolina routed Vanderbilt 13-3 on Friday in each team’s opening game of the NCAA Division I baseball tournament.

Sam Antonacci homered in the eighth inning and was one of three players with two RBIs, along with Graham Brown and Caden Bodine, who were key to breaking the game open early. Beach, Brown and Bodine had run-scoring hits in the second, and it was 8-0 Coastal Carolina by the end of the fourth.

That was plenty of offensive support for Chanticleers starter Riley Eikhoff, who tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings before giving up a solo home run to Commodores catcher Alan Espinal in the sixth. That was the only run Eikhoff allowed while sprinkling four hits in six innings and striking out three.

Vanderbilt starter JD Thompson lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up eight earned runs on six hits over 77 pitches. The sophomore left-hander struck out five and walked two.

Espinal doubled in the eighth and scored on a throwing error as part of his 2-for-4, two-RBI game.

Coastal Carolina, one of the last teams to qualify for the tournament, is now in the winner's bracket in the Clemson Regional. The Chanticleers on Saturday will face the winner of the game between host and top-regional seed Clemson and fourth-seeded High Point.

Vanderbilt will play the loser in an elimination game. The Commodores, who have not made a super regional since 2021, are now in danger of seeing that streak continue.


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