Jan. 26, 2013
MYRTLE BEACH - The decision to start practice a day late proved to be a good one as a sunny Saturday was the perfect backdrop for Coastal Carolina's first official practice at the Chanticleers' 2013 home - TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.
Since the student-athletes have the opportunity to have individual instruction leading into the first team practice, head coach Gary Gilmore used the first day to go straight into an intrasquad scrimmage. While the first five innings were played normally, the final innings were used to work on situational hitting, pitching and defense. The situational part of the scrimmage was need, in part, because respective starting pitchers Tyler Herb and Ben Smith were very effective. Once Coastal turned to the bullpen, Coach Gilmore began setting situations for the relief pitchers, hitters and defense to execute.
The 2013 Chanticleers have a lot of new faces as Ryan Connolly is the only Chanticleer that played on the 2010 Super Regional team and Connolly, Herb, Jacob May and Aaron Burke are the only Chanticleers that played on the 2011 team.
However, by all reports, this group has come together well. Two common themes coming from the group are "chemistry" and "a love for the game." Players and coaches alike continue to say how well this group gets along and how they all put in extra hours on their own in a desire to get better. Coach Gilmore has even compared this year's team chemistry and work ethic to that of the 2010 team.
A product of the hard work being put in by this group is perhaps the best competition at nearly every position on the field in several years at Coastal. Junior Jacob May is locked into the centerfield position and Coach Gilmore says May will be similar to Daniel Bowman last year in that the way May goes is the way this team will go.