CONWAY, S.C. -- Coastal Carolina University's baseball team opened the season with an 8-7 comeback victory over East Tennessee State, Friday, thanks to sophomore Adam Keim. Keim, who began the day as the starting pitcher, ended it with an eighth inning homer to win the ballgame.
Last year's starting shortstop went 6.1 innings in his pitching debut, leaving the game with a 5-3 lead. But the Buccaneers (0-1) scored four runs in the top of the eighth to go up 7-5, as ETSU opened the inning with four straight hits, and capped the scoring as Kirk Keithley drove home two on a double to left center. Coastal ace Scott Sturkie, who pitched the final 2.2 innings out of the pen, did manage to strike out the side, but not before the damage was done.
The Chants (1-0) who struggled to come up with clutch hits last season, came up with two in the bottom of the eighth. Freshman Aaron Mayhew led off the inning by having the ball graze his uniform to send him to first, and came around to score on Ryan McGraw's triple to center field. With two outs and the tieing run at third, Keim blasted his first career home run over the wall in left center off of ETSU's Jackson Simerly (0-1), who took the loss.
Sturkie (1-0) came back out in the ninth and pitched around a leadoff single to close out the game and pick up the win, his first of the season, and the 24th of his career, to move him into a tie for fifth-place all-time with Rett Johnson.
The game was the first of a three-game series, as they meet again tomorrow and Sunday, with both games beginning at 2:00 p.m.