Jan. 24, 2014
CONWAY - The first day of Coastal Carolina's baseball practice was a day of adjustments due to frigid temperatures. Not even the state-of-the-art Boni Belle Hitting and Practice Facility could salvage workouts as sub-freezing weather hit the region forcing a cancellation.
If the first day of practice is an indication, the first couple of weeks will be a period of adjustments due to several fresh faces and nagging injuries. The Chanticleers return five position starters - including infielders Connor Owings (1B), Jake Kane (2B), Nick Oberg (SS) and Zach Remillard (3B) as well as Colin Hering (RF), but could have a new player at every position but shortstop on opening day.
"We were two deep at almost every position in the fall, but right now we are struggling to be one deep at some positions," said head coach Gary Gimore, who is entering his 19th season at Coastal and is just 18 wins shy of 1,000 for his career. "That being said, we have great versatility and this is a very talented bunch. I believe we have the nucleus of a team that can make a run at Omaha."
Pitchers Patrick Corbett and Alex Cunningham will likely not pitch for the Chants this season as each had offseason surgery on their throwing arms while junior college transfer Reid Mathews (10 home runs and 53 RBI at Spartanburg Methodist in 2013) will sit out the 2014 season as well with an injury. However, it is injuries to projected catcher Holden Cammack and returning starting second baseman Kane that has players scattered at different positions to help fill the voids.
Tyler Chadwick and Remillard are both working at catcher to be a short-term answer while Cammack recovers.
While Owings is in the mix to return at first base, he is also seeing time at second base. Transfers Richard Carter (Tennessee) and Johnny Cole (Palm Beach Atlantic) as well as Conway product G.K. Young are battling for time at first base and/or designated hitter.
One player getting looks at multiple positions is freshman Michael Paez. The speedy Miami native is a natural shortstop, but is getting reps at second base, third base and centerfield as well.
Looking to join Hering, and possibly Paez, in the outfield are sophomore Anthony Marks, JuCo transfers Reid Moman and Riley Norton as well as freshman Kyle Jackson. Marks had a solid summer and his strong play has continued through the fall to his early individual workouts. Moman, who hails from the Upstate in Greenville, was a junior college first team All-American as his .430 batting average ranked eighth in the nation and his 56 RBI were 25th nationally. Norton batted over .300 in each of his two junior college seasons and Jackson brings excellent speed, stealing 16 bases as a high school senior.
Coastal Carolina will open the 2014 season with a three-game series versus new ACC member Pittsburgh Feb. 14-16. The opening game on Friday will be played in Florence at Francis Marion's Sparrow Stadium. Games Saturday (4 pm) and Sunday (Noon) versus the Panthers will be played at CCU's 2014 home Ticketreturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.
To order your 2014 Chanticleer Baseball season tickets, visit GoCCUSports.com or contact the Athletics Ticket Office at 843-347-8499 between 9 am-5 pm weekdays. If you leave a message after hours, the ticket office staff will return your call.
An alternative to season tickets is a $50 Voucher Book for general admission seating and may be used in any combination. For example, you can use the book to get 12 fans into a single game, spread it out getting one admission for 12 separate games or any other combination in between. This is the flexible package that provides a significant price break over purchasing individually and good for the games of your choice. (NOTE - The games Feb. 20-24 as part of the Caravelle Resort's Baseball at the Beach are not part of CCU's season ticket plan and the Voucher Books are not good for those games.)