CONWAY, SC The Coastal Carolina University baseball team is ranked 33rd in the 2004 Baseball America Preseason Top 50, the magazine announced in its latest issue.
The Chants, who were 45-18 last season and Big South Tournament champions for the third straight year in 2003, were the only Big South team listed in the top-50. The magazine also spotlights senior Ryan McGraw (Saginaw, Mich./Nouvel Catholic Central), who brings 138 career stolen bases into the 2004 season.
Coastal will face five teams ranked in the preseason top-50 during the 2004 season. The Chants have a three-game set against the University of Miami April 30-May 2 in Coral Gables. The Hurricanes are ranked third in the poll. Coastal also faces 11th-ranked Clemson University March 16 in Clemson, S.C. and 15th-ranked University of North Carolina April 13 in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Baseball at the Beach tournament at Coastal Federal Field Feb. 27-29 will feature three ranked teams, Coastal, 32nd-ranked Ohio State University and Richmond University, ranked 44th in the poll.
Rice University was picked first by the publication, followed by Louisiana State University. Miami, Cal-St. Fullerton and Georgia Tech round out the top five.
Coastal Carolina opens the 2004 baseball season Saturday, Feb. 7, against Delaware State University at 1 p.m., in Charles Watson Stadium.