Feb. 12, 2014
CONWAY - The Coastal Carolina baseball team will open the 2014 season this weekend, hosting Pittsburgh for a three-game series. The first game will be played in Florence at Francis Marion's Sparrow Stadium at 1 pm. Games two and three will be at CCU's 2014 home - TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark - at 4 pm (Saturday) and Noon (Sunday).
Game 1: Feb. 14 at Francis Marion's Sparrow Stadium (Florence) at 1 pm
Game 2: Feb. 15 at Myrtle Beach's TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark at 4 pm
Game 3: Feb. 16 at Myrtle Beach's TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark at Noon
IMPORTANT NOTES FOR THE OPENING WEEKEND:
FOR ALL CCU HOME BASEBALL GAMES, gates open one-and-a-half hours prior to the scheduled first pitch. Tickets may be purchased the day of the game at Gate 1 of Pelicans Ballpark or ordered online at www.GoCCUSports.com/tickets. Smoking is allowed in designated sections of Pelicans Ballpark. Pets are not allowed at Pelicans Ballpark.
FRIDAY: 2014 Coastal Carolina baseball season tickets are good for the game at Francis Marion. Single-game tickets will be sold at the main entrance to Sparrow Stadium. All fans must enter the facility through the gate between the softball and baseball fields off Francis Marion Road, turning onto Ann Pearce Drive. Smoking and pets are not allowed at Sparrow Stadium.
SATURDAY ONLY: Due to the Myrtle Beach Marathon Saturday, fans are asked to park in the grass areas across 21st Avenue at Broadway at the Beach.
Also, FOR SATURDAY ONLY, fans with season tickets or those that have purchased single-game tickets in advance, may enter Pelicans Ballpark through Gate 3 (behind home plate, closest to 21st Avenue). Those needing tickets the day of the game must purchase tickets at Gate 1, located down the first base line.
SUNDAY: Fans should park in the main Pelicans lot beyond right field and all fans will enter the stadium through Gate 1.
For fans unable to attend, live stats through GoCCUSports.com's Gametracker will be available. Also, audio broadcasts of all three games will be available on GoCCUSports.com. In addition, games Friday and Sunday will be broadcast locally on 100.3 FM The Team (WSEA). There will be no live video streaming this weekend.
The Chanticleers are picked to win the Big South in Baseball America's 2014 College Preview. Junior left-hander Ben Smith, the publication's 48th-best junior in the nation, was picked to be the league's Pitcher of the Year, while Dalton Moats was picked to be the league's Freshman of the Year. Smith is additionally the top professional prospect in the Big South, while sophomore pitchers Seth Lamando and Tyler Pooleare the third and fourth, respectively, best prospects.
As fans have grown accustomed, Coastal Carolina will once again play one of the nation's top schedules and face some of the nation's best players.
According to the Baseball America's 2014 College Baseball Preview, the Chanticleers will face preseason #5 North Carolina State, #7 South Carolina, #13 Clemson and #17 North Carolina. Also, UNC Wilmington and Wichita State are both picked to win their respective conferences.
Coastal will also face six Baseball America preseason All-Americans, including first team picks Casey Gillespie (1B, Wichita State); Trea Tuner (SS, NC State); and Carlos Rodon (LHP, NC State) as well as Skye Bolt (OF, North Carolina); Grayson Greiner (C, South Carolina) and Joey Pankake (3B, South Carolina). Rodon and Turner are the ACC preseason Pitcher and Player of the Year picks, respectively, while Clemson catcher Chris Okey is the league's preseason Freshman of the Year.
Overall, Coastal will face 17 players rated among the Baseball America top 50 pro prospects in their respective classes, including:
Seniors: #28 Matt Wotherspoon (RHP, Pitt); #31 Ryan Thompson (RHP, Campbell); and Steve Wilkerson (2B, Clemson).
Juniors: #1 Rodon; #3 Turner; #24 Greiner; #28 Gillespie; and #40 Pankake.
Sophomores: #5 Bolt; #21 Steven Duggar (OF, Clemson); #24 Trent Thornton (RHP, North Carolina); #34 Max Schrock (2B, South Carolina); and #45 Korey Dunbar (C, North Carolina).
Freshmen: #3 Okey; #24 Will Crowe (RHP, South Carolina); #32 Steve Tewes (RHP, Wichita State); and #45 Bailey Clark (RHP, Duke).
Baseball America also mentioned the following 2014 Coastal Carolina opponents:
PITTSBURGH: Boo Vazquez (OF) is rated the 12th-best pro prospect in the ACC.
WICHITA STATE: Gillespie is the Missouri Valley Conference preseason Player of the Year and Tewes is the league's preseason Freshman of the Year. Gillespie, Chase Simpson (3B) and Tyler Baker (C) are all among the league's top 10 pro prospects.
WEST VIRGINIA: Harrison Musgrave (RHP) is the 10th-best prospect in the Big 12 and right-handed pitcher Sean Carley is rated 20th-best.
DUKE: Chris Marconcini (1B/OF) is rated the 11th-best pro prospect in the ACC.
RHODE ISLAND: Kam Gellinger (3B) is the Atlantic-10 preseason Freshman of the Year. Ty Sterner (LHP) is rated the league's seventh-best pro prospect, while Lou Distacio (RHP) and Tim Caputo (SS) are rated ninth and 10th, respectively.
ELON: Has two prospects among the Southern Conference's top 10 inclduing #8 Joe McGillicuddy (RHP) and #10 Jose Lazaro (RHP).
UNC GREENSBORO: Max Povse (RHP) is rated the third-best pro prospect from the Southern Conference.
NORTH CAROLINA: Benton Moss (RHO) and Landon Lassiter (3B) are rated the 13th and 18th best pro prospects in the ACC.
CLEMSON: Daniel Gossett (RHP) and Garrett Boulware (C) are rated the 15th and 20th best prospects, respectively, in the ACC.
UNC WILMINGTON: Mat Batts is the Colonial favorite to repeat as the league's Pitcher of the Year. UNCW also features three players among the CAA's top pro prospects including #1 Jordan Ramsey (RHP), #7 Christian MacDonald (LHP) and #8 Evan Phillips (RHP).
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON: Nick Pappas is Baseball America's pick to be CAA Freshman of the Year while Gunner Heidt (SS) and Morgan Phillips (OF) are rated the fourth-best and sixth-best pro prospects from the CAA.