Coastal Carolina (1-1) at
Feb. 17-19 - 4/12 and 4/2:30 p.m.
Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field -
Fridays Probable Starters
Coastal - RHP Kevin Marrie (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Pittsburgh - LHP Robert Brant (First Start of 2006)
Saturdays Probable Starters
Coastal - RHP Bobby Gagg (First Start of 2006)
Mason - LHP Brent Hitz (0-1, 9.00 ERA)
Saturdays Probable Starters
Coastal - RHP Austin Fleet (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Pittsburgh - RHP Paul Nardozzi (First Start of 2006)
Sundays Probable Starters
Coastal - LHP Andy DeLaGarza (0-1, 4.91 ERA)
Mason - TBA
Coastal - RV (ESPN/Sports Weekly Poll)
Coastal Carolina (1-1) hosts its second tournament in as many weeks as George Mason (0-3) and Pittsburgh (0-0) come into Conway for the IMIChotels.com INN-vitational Feb. 17-19 at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field. Coastal will face Pittsburgh Friday, Feb. 17 and Saturday, Feb. 18 at 4 p.m. The Chanticleers and Patriots will meet Saturday at 12 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 19, at 2:30 p.m. The two Saturday games will be broadcast over the internet at www.GoCCUSports.com. Coastal split its two games this past weekend in the Springmaid Beach Resort Tournament, defeating Campbell 9-0 and falling to Virginia 8-3.
SCOUTING PITTSBURGH: The Panthers open its season Friday against George Mason at 12 p.m. Last season, Pittsburgh went 33-22 overall and 15-10 in the BIG EAST, good for second place. The Panthers return 10 letterwinners and seven starters from last years team, including all-conference selection Jim Negrych, who hit .349 with 16 home runs in 2005. The Panthers will start Robert Brant on Friday against Coastal. Brant went 7-2 with a 2.07 earned-run average last year. Pittsburgh has Paul Nardozzi on the mound Saturday. He had a 4-5 record with a 4.02 ERA last season.
SERIES VS. PITTSBURGH: Coastal Carolina holds a 2-0 series advantage over Pittsburgh, with both wins coming in last seasons IMIChotels.com INN-vitational. Coastal defeated the Panthers by scores of 11-8 and 6-5. Pennsylvania native Dom Duggan (Cranberry Twp., Pa./John Carroll) went 3-for-7 with two doubles in the two games against Pittsburgh.
SCOUTING GEORGE MASON: George Mason started its 2006 schedule last weekend in the Jaguar Invitational in Mobile, Ala. The Patriots fell to Arkansas 4-1, South Alabama 10-2 and Oklahoma State 11-1. Robby Jacobsen went 5-for-11 with a home run and two runs-batted-in over the weekend, while Scott Kreiger had four doubles in his five hits. George Mason will throw Brent Hitz against Coastal on Saturday. He gave up five runs and nine hits in five innings against Oklahoma State. The Patriots have not announced a starter for Sundays contest.
SERIES VS. GEORGE MASON: Coastal leads the all-time series with George Mason 22-6. The Chanticleers have won eight straight games with the Patriots, including sweeping a doubleheader last year by scores of 6-0 and 9-4. Jake Hurry threw a complete game three hitter in the first contest. Senior Aaron Verrett (Jupiter, Fla./Polk C.C.) has four hits in seven at-bats against GMU.
COASTAL VS. IMIC FIELD: Coastals career stats against Pittsburgh and George Mason can be found on page 3. Junior Matt Sutton (La Grange, N.C./UNC Wilmington) faced George Mason while at UNC Wilmington. In his two seasons with the Seahawks, Sutton went 6-for-12 with a double against the Patriots. Junior Travis Risser (Palmyra, Pa./James Madison) pitched against the Patriots May 21, 2005, with James Madison, going 3.1 innings with two strikeouts and two earned runs.
COASTAL EARNS A VOTE IN SPORTS WEEKLY POLL: Coastal Carolina earned one vote in the USA Today/Sports Weekly preseason poll, out Jan. 23. Coastal also earned votes in the preseason poll by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. Coastal ended 2005 ranked 23rd in the Baseball America poll.
CHANTS BACK ON TRACK FOR OPENERS: Coastal restarted a winning trend in opening day games with its 9-0 win over Campbell Feb. 10. Coastal is now 19-12 all-time in season openers and improved to 2-2 in openers against the Fighting Camels. Junior Kevin Marrie (Clarksville, Md./River Hill) paced the Chants, going seven innings on the mound, giving up four hits and striking out six. Marrie did not allow an earned run nor a walk in the win. The win also was the first shutout by Coastal on opening day since CCU defeated Voorhees 14-0 Feb. 28, 1981.
DUGGAN GOES DEEP TO LEAD OFF CCU: Junior Dom Duggan (Cranberry Twp., Pa./John Carroll) started Coastal with a leadoff home run in an 8-3 loss to Virginia Feb. 12. It was the first time that a Coastal player has lead the game off with a home run since Ryan McGraw did the trick March 28, 2003. Ironically, Coastal lost that game as well, this time in a 4-1 contest to Radford. Duggan now has five career home runs in a Coastal uniform.
FUENTES THROWS WAY TO RARE FEAT: Senior catcher Mike Fuentes (Miami, Fla./North Florida C.C.) assisted on all three outs in the third inning of Coastals 8-3 loss to Virginia Feb. 12. He caught the Cavaliers Greg Miclat, Mike Mitchell and Brandon Marsh trying to steal second. Fuentes threw out nine runners trying to steal in 2005.
FAST STARTERS FOR CCU: Sophomore Tommy Baldridge (Fort Mill, S.C./Fort Mill) went 3-for-8 with an RBI in two games this past weekend... Junior Chris Raber (Coplay, Pa./Whitehall) leads the team with three RBI, while senior Aaron Verrett (Jupiter, Fla./Polk C.C.) sports a .556 on-base percentage... In his first career appearance for Coastal, freshman Austin Fleet (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) struck out the side in the seventh versus Virginia. Fleet gave up a single and a walk that loaded the bases, but he struck out Jeremy Farrell swinging and Beau Seabury and Tim Henry looking to end the threat.
DRAFT DODGERS: Coastal has four players on its roster that were taken in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Junior Andy DeLaGarza (Ossian, Ind./Norwell) was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 2003 Draft. Sophomore Keon Graves (Dillon, Dillon) was taken by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2004 Draft. Junior John Marriotti (Toronto, Ontario/Gulf Coast C.C.) was a two-time selection by the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim and freshman Austin Fleet (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) was taken in this past summers draft by the Atlanta Braves.
NEWCOMERS DOT COASTAL ROSTER: Coastal has 20 newcomers on the 2005 roster, surpassing last years number of 18. The Chanticleers return 15 letterman, including six pitchers, from last season.
DUGGAN, DELAGARZA, VALTER EARN PRESEASON HONORS IN BIG SOUTH PREVIEWS: Junior Dom Duggan (Cranberry Twp., Pa./John Carroll) was named to Baseball Americas All-Big South team, while Duggan, junior Andy DeLaGarza (Ossian, Ind./Norwell) and senior Mike Valter (Bloomingdale, N.J./Briarcliffe C.C.) were selected to the preseason All-Big South team by the website SoutheasternBaseball.com, the publication and the website announced recently. Both publications also picked Coastal to finish second behind Winthop in the Big South standings.
DUO NAMED TO ALL-STATE TEAM BY SEBASEBALL.COM: Coastal Carolina University junior baseball players Andy De La Garza (Ossian, Ind./Norwell) and Dom Duggan (Cranberry Twp., Pa./John Carroll) were named to the All-South Carolina Team by SoutheasternBaseball.com, the website announced recently. DeLaGarza was one of four starting pitchers named, while Duggan was one of four outfielders selected.
CCU EARNS #1 SEED IN TEMPE REGIONAL: Coastal received a number-one seed in the NCAA Tempe Regional, held on the Arizona State campus. Coastal was one of 16 teams in the country to receive that honor and headed to a regional for the fifth consecutive time. Coastal opened the regional with a 12-8 win over UNLV behind a seven-run fifth inning. Coastal would fall to host Arizona State 11-3 and would go into the losers bracket to face the Rebels for a second time. The Chants would win another slugfest, 14-10, over UNLV and would move into the championship game against the Sun Devils. Coastal took an early lead but was on the short end of a 9-5 decision. Michael DeJesus and Jon Foisy were named to the All-Tournament Team for their performances.
CCU HAS SIX PLAYERS NAMED TO THE ALL-BIG SOUTH TEAM: Coastal Carolina had four first-team and two second-team selections for the All-Big South teams. Mike Costanzo was named to the first team as both a pitcher and a first baseman, marking the first time in conference history that a player has earned first team honors in two different positions. Costanzo also was named the Most Valuable Player for the second straight season. He is the first player in Big South history to accomplish that feat. Joining Costanzo on the first team were Ricky Shefka, Michael DeJesus and Dom Duggan. Chris Todd and Byron Binda were named to the second team.
CCU EARNS REGULAR-SEASON TITLE: With its 6-2 win over Winthrop May 22, Coastal Carolina wrapped up its ninth Big South regular season championship in school history. Coastal went 21-3, the most Big South wins in school history. The Chants also won their third title under head coach Gary Gilmore and their first title since 2002.
VERRETT EARNS LOUISVILLE SLUGGER NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Coastal Carolina Universitys Aaron Verrett was selected as one of three National Players of the Week by Louisville Slugger and the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, the publication announced May 30.
Verrett went 7-of-21 in the Big South Tournament May 25-28 with a double, three home runs and five runs batted in. The three home runs were the first three of the season for Verrett. The most memorable blast was a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Winthrop 4-3 in the first championship game. He also hit a home run against Birmingham-Southern May 26 and had one in the second championship game against Winthrop.
CCU PROGRAM EARNS 1,000th WIN AGAINST UTPA: Coastal Carolina University program earned its 1,000th win in a 5-2 victory over Texas-Pan American April 2. CCU baseball started in 1974 and has had just four head coaches. John Vrooman coached for 13 years at Coastal and has a 325-246 record. He started the program and came back and coached from 1987-95. Larry Carr coached from 1978-84 and had a 265-86 record. Bobby Richardson was at Coastal for two seasons and had a 61-38 record. Coastal went to five NAIA College World Series and has gone to six NCAA Tournaments.
MARTIN MAKES RETURN TO THIRD: Sophomore Derek Martin (Barnwell, S.C./Barnwell) will return to the lineup this weekend at the Springmaid Beach Resort Tournament. Martin played in three games last year before an injury shut him down for the season. He hit .272 wtih two home runs and 26 RBI while making only seven errors at the hot corner his freshman season.
TRANSFERS LOOK TO CONTRIBUTE RIGHT AWAY IN LINEUP: Of Coastal Carolinas 20 newcomers, eight are transfers and many of them will make an immediate impact in the lineup. Junior Matt Sutton (La Grande, N.C./UNC Wilmington) is a candidate to start at first base. Sutton was a Second Team Freshman All-American in 2003 while at UNC Wilmington. Junior John Mariotti (Toronto, Ontario/Gulf Coast C.C.) will pitch in relief and provide a bat for head coach Gary Gilmore. Mariotti was a First Team All-Conference selection at Gulf Coast and is a two-time pick by the Lost Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Junior Brant Peacher (Milton, Fla./Florida State) will look to start in the outfield this season. Peacher played two years at Florida State, where he hit .319 in 59 games his sophomore season. Junior Matt Rademacher (Bay City, Mich./Michigan) will find time at catcher for the Chants. He played two seasons with 32 career starts at Michigan. Junior Travis Risser (Palmyra, Pa./James Madison) is a transfer from James Madison and will look to solidify the bullpen. Risser holds the career saves record at James Madison. Junior Justin Huff (Albany, Ga./Darton College) will play the infield for CCU. Huff was an All-Conference Second Team selection at Darton College.
Peacher and Sutton both were in Coastals opening day lineup, while Risser and Mariotti pitched in CCUs 8-3 loss to Virginia Feb. 12.
COASTAL HAS SIX PLAYERS DRAFTED IN MLB FIRST-YEAR PLAYER DRAFT: Coastals 2005 team tied the 1983 squad for most players taken in the Major League First-Year Player Draft. The Chants had six players selected, including a second-round selection for Mike Costanzo by the Philadelphia Phillies. Michael DeJesus was drafted in the 15th round by the Cincinnati Reds and Byron Binda was a top-20 selection, going to the Colorado Rockies in the 19th round. Ricky Shefka was a 20th-round selection by the Washington Nationals, Jake Hurry went to the Houston Astros in the 25th round and Chris Todd was a 33rd-round selection by the San Francisco Giants.
UP NEXT: Coastal travels for the first time in 2006 as it heads to North Carolina Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 3 p.m., in Chapel Hill, N.C.