Baseball Hosts Caravelle Resort Invitational This Weekend

The Chants welcome Toledo, Pittsburgh, Ball State and Albany to the Grand Strand.


March 2, 2010

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Games 9-12
Coastal Carolina (7-1) HOSTS
Dates: Friday, March 5- Monday, March 8
Times: 4/3:30/2/4 p.m.
Place: Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field, Conway, S.C. &
BB&T Coastal Field, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Live Stats: GameTracker via
TV/Live Video: None
Coastal - RHP Anthony Meo (1-0, 5.87 ERA)
Toledo - LHP Kyle Shaw (0-0, 3.60 ERA)
Coastal - LHP Cody Wheeler (2-0, 2.63 ERA)
PItt - TBA
Coastal - LHP Matt Laney (0-0, 8.53 ERA)
Ball St. - RHP Morgan Coombs (1-0, 1.00 ERA)
Coastal - LHP Jim Birmingham (2-0, 0.82 ERA)
Ball St. - RHP Kolbrin Vitek (0-1, 5.00 ERA)
Coastal - 8th (Baseball America), 8th (Collegiate Baseball),
10th (ESPN/USA TODAY), 13th (NCBWA),

Chants Host the Caravelle Resort Invitational
    The Coastal Carolina University baseball team (7-1), ranked as high as eighth in the nation, will host the Caravelle Resort Invitational March 5-8 in the Conway/Myrtle Beach area.  The Chants open the tournament by facing Toledo (2-1) Friday, March 5 at 4 p.m., at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field.  Coastal then faces Pittsburgh (5-1) Saturday, March 6 at 3:30 p.m.  The Chants head to BB&T Coastal Field to host Ball State (2-5) Sunday, March 7 at 2 p.m., and come back to Conway to host the Cardinals Monday, March 8 at 4 p.m.  Coastal is coming off a 4-0 weekend at Baseball at the Beach that included two wins over #4 UC Irvine and single wins against James Madison and North Carolina State.

Scouting Toledo
    The Rockets went 2-1 at the USA College Classic in Millington, Tenn., defeating Memphis and Bradley and falling to Pittsburgh.  Jim Vahalik went 2-for-4 with four runs-batted-in in the win over Memphis.  Toledo will start lefty Kyle Shaw against the Chants.  He pitched five innings against Memphis, allowing six hits, two runs and striking out a pair in a no-decision.

Series vs. Toledo
    Coastal Carolina leads the season series with Toledo 2-0 with both meetings coming in the 2008 season.  The Chants won 13-6 March 5 and defeated the Rockets 9-8 in 10 innings March 6.  Tommy Baldridge’s single in the 10th gave the Chants the go-ahead run.

Scouting Pittsburgh
    The Panthers have started the season 5-1 after taking 2-of-3 from Wofford and going 3-0 at the USA College Classic in Millington, Tenn.  Joe Leonard is hitting .393 with 18 RBI in six games this season.  Corey Baker is 2-0 with 13 strikeouts in 14.2 innings pitched.

Series vs. Pittsburgh
    Coastal Carolina leads the overall series with Pittsburgh 3-2.  The last time the two teams have met was during the 2007 season when the Chants defeated the Panthers 12-5.  Dom Duggan was 4-for-5 while Derek Martin drove in four runs in the win.

Scouting Ball State
    The Cardinals are coming off losing 3-of-4 games at UAB this past weekend.  Ball State opened the season by taking 1-of-3 games at Arkansas.  Kolbrin Vitek leads the Cardinals with a .438 average and has three home runs and six RBI.  Vitek also will start on Monday as he has an 0-1 record with a 5.00 earned-run average.

Series vs. Ball State
    Coastal owns a 5-0 series record against Ball State.  The Chants last met the Cardinals in 2008, playing them three times in two different tournaments.  Scott Woodward (Markle, Ind./Norwell) has a .571 average in three career games against the Cardinals.

Weather Forecast
    Friday:  Mostly sunny, 51 degrees.  Saturday: Sunny, 56 degrees.  Sunday: Mostly sunny, 62 degrees.  Monday: Mostly sunny, 68 degrees.

Chanticleers in the Polls
    Coastal Carolina is ranked in every preseason poll, the highest being eighth in the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball polls.  Coastal Carolina is 10th in the ESPN/USA TODAY Coaches’ poll, 12th in the Ping! Baseball poll, 13th in the NCBWA poll and 14th in the poll.

Igleisas Named to Johnny Bench Award Watch List
    Coastal Carolina University senior baseball player Jose Iglesias (Miami, Fla./St. John’s) is one of 53 catchers to be named to the 2010 Johnny Bench Award Watch List, the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced March 1.
    The watch list will be narrowed down to ten semifinalists, whom will be announced May 19, 2010. Ballots will be sent to the national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine the three finalists. The finalists will be announced June 2, 2010 prior to the NCAA Regionals and Major League Baseball Draft. A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series. All finalists will be brought to Wichita and the winner will be announced at the 13th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on July 1, 2010.

What a Weekend at Baseball at the Beach
    Coastal Carolina picked up four huge victories at Baseball at the Beach Feb. 26-28. The Chants opened with an 11-7 win over James Madison Friday afternoon.  Coastal then defeated fourth-ranked UC Irvine twice on Saturday by scores of 7-3 and 11-6, that included a nine-run eighth inning to complete a comeback of the Anteaters.  UC Irvine was the highest ranked team the Chants have ever beaten at home.  The Chants ended the weekend with a 6-3 win over N.C. State Sunday afternoon.  Coastal hit .352 on the week and had a .477 slugging percentage, while the pitching was highlighted by great performances by juniors Matt Rein (Houston, Texas/Langham Creek) and Cody Wheeler (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) and redshirt-junior Jim Birmingham (Pine Hill, N.J./Penn). Coastal also faced each team’s number one pitcher on the weekend in James Madison’s Turner Phelps, UC Irvine’s Daniel Bibona and N.C. State’s Jake Buchanan.

Iglesias, Birmingham Sweep Big South Awards
    Coastal Carolina senior catcher Jose Iglesias (Miami, Fla.) and teammate pitcher Jim Birmingham (Pine Hill, N.J.) have been named the Big South Conference’s Choice Hotels Player of the Week and The Crons Brand Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for games played Feb. 22-28, it was announced today by the League office.
    Iglesias had a monster week in helping the Chanticleers go 5-0 last week.  He batted .526 (10-19) with eight RBIs, four doubles, a .737 slugging percentage and a .571 on-base average.  He had a hit in all five games, including a 4-5 day with four RBI and two doubles in the Chanticleers’ 13-6 comeback win over No. 4 UC Irvine on Feb. 27.  Iglesias went 2-4 with a pair of runs batted in against James Madison and was 2-3 with an RBI double in Coastal’s first game against the Anteaters.  Iglesias also threw out a runner trying to steal.
    Birmingham picked up two wins over ACC opponents last week, allowing just one earned run in 11 innings of work.  In the 2-0 win at Wake Forest, he started and allowed only one hit in five innings with two strikeouts in recording his first victory as a Chanticleer.  Birmingham backed up that performance by striking out three and allowing seven hits but just one run in six innings in defeating North Carolina State.  Birmingham’s line last week: 2-0, 0.82 ERA, 11 IP, 8 H (0 EXBH), 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 5 SO, .205 opponents’ batting average.
Pitching Key in Wake Forest Win
    Four Chanticleer pitchers combined for a four-hitter in the 2-0 win at Wake Forest Feb. 23.  Redshirt-junior Jim Birmingham (Pine Hill, N.J./Penn) pitched the first five innings, allowing just a third-inning hit while striking out a pair for his first career win as a Chanticleer.  Freshmen Josh Conway (Smithsburg, Md./Smithsburg) and Ryan Connolly (Charleston, S.C./Bishop England) came in and pitched three scoreless innings, while redshirt-senior Austin Fleet (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) earned his second save by pitching a scoreless ninth.

Bowman Has First Blast
    Sophomore Daniel Bowman (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) belted his first home run of the season in the 2-0 win over Wake Forest Feb. 23.  Bowman’s opposite-field blast was the 14th of his career after setting Coastal’s freshman home run record (13) in 2009.

LaStella Off to a Hot Start
    Redshirt-sophomore Tommy LaStella (Closter, N.J./St. John’s) hit .545 in his first weekend in a Chanticleer uniform at the Caravelle Resort Tournament.  The St. John’s transfer was 3-for-4 with a run-batted-in against Kentucky and drove in a run in the 4-2 win over West Virginia.  LaStella joined redshirt-senior Chance Gilmore (Surfside Beach, S.C./Virginia) as the only Chants to have hits in each of the first three games.

Wheeler Gets Another Win
    Junior Cody Wheeler (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) pitched six innings, allowing just three hits and an earned run while striking out five in the 4-2 win over West Virginia Feb. 19.  Wheeler is now 18-1 as a Chanticleer, which puts him alone in 19th place in career victories.

Fleet Earns First Save
    Redshirt-senior Austin Fleet (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) picked up his first save in the 4-2 win over West Virginia Feb. 19.  Fleet gave up hits to the first two Mountaineers, but beared down to get out of the inning and preserve the win.  Fleet has three saves on the year as he closed out victories over Wake Forest (2-0) and North Carolina State (6-3).

Gilmore’s Slam Lifts Chants over Virginia Tech
    With the game tied at five in the bottom of the fifth and the bases loaded, redshirt-senior Chance Gilmore (Surfside Beach, S.C./Virginia) ripped a shot over the right field fence for his first career grand slam.  It was Coastal’s first grand slam in the first weekend of play since David Sappelt did the trick in the 2008 season opener against Maryland.  Gilmore has 14 career home runs and has upped his career RBI total to 60.

It’s Rein Time
    Junior Matt Rein (Houston, Texas/Langham Creek) earned the win in the 13-5 victory over Virginia Tech Feb. 20 in the Caravelle Resort Tournament.  Rein came in relief and pitched 4.1 innings, allowing just a hit and striking out two Hokies.  Rein is now a perfect 7-0 in his Coastal Carolina career and has lowered his earned-run average to 3.84.

Chants Win Season Opener
    Coastal Carolina improved to 23-12 in season openers with the 4-2 win over West Virginia.  Junior Cody Wheeler (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) earned the win, pitching six innings and striking out five. Redshirt-senior Chance Gilmore (Surfside Beach, S.C./Virginia) and sophomore Daniel Bowman (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) had two hits apiece.  Coastal has now won its last five season lidlifters.

Who’s Back
    The Chanticleers return 18 letterwinners and seven starters from last year’s 47-16 squad.  Junior Cody Wheeler (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) and sophomore Anthony Meo (Cranston, R.I./Cranston West) both were All-Big South First Team selections last year, with Wheeler earning Big South Pitcher of the Year honors.  Junior Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton), senior Adam Rice (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Elgin C.C.) and sophomore Daniel Bowman (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) all were named to the All-Big South teams last season and return along with redshirt senior Chance Gilmore (Surfside Beach, S.C./Virginia), senior Jose Iglesias (Miami, Fla./St. John’s), junior Scott Woodward (Markle, Ind./Norwell), sophomores Taylor Motter (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens) and Steve Davis (Steubenville, Ohio/Steubenville) from the 2009 starting lineup.

Draft Dodgers
    Coastal has five players on its roster that were taken in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.   Redshirt-senior Austin Fleet (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) was taken in the 2006 draft by the Atlanta Braves. Redshirt-Junior Jim Birmingham (Pine Hill, N.J./Overbrook (Penn)) was taken by the Nationals in the 25th round in 2006.  Sophomore Anthony Meo (Cranston, R.I./Cranston West) was selected in the 43rd round by the Washington Nationals, while classmate Daniel Bowman (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) was selected in the 48th round by the Texas Rangers.  Freshman Josh Conway (Smithsburg, Md./Smithsburg) was picked in the 42nd round of the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Newcomers Dot Coastal Roster
    The Chanticleers bring in 11 newcomers to this year’s squad, including redshirt-sophomore Tommy LaStella (Closter, N.J./St. John’s), who is eligible to compete in games after sitting out last season due to NCAA rules on transfers.  The Chants bring in five new position players and four new pitchers, including Sunday starter Matt Laney (Chester, Va./Miami Dade C.C.), and two-way player Josh Conway (Smithsburg, Md./Smithsburg).

Chants Picked to Win the Big South
    For the third consecutive year, Coastal Carolina University’s baseball team has been voted the Big South Conference’s preseason favorite by the League’s Head Baseball Coaches, it was announced by the Conference office.
    Coastal received eight first-place votes and 97 out of a possible 100 points to win the Big South in 2010.  Coastal Carolina finished ahead of Liberty in the preseason poll, as the Flames collected one first-place vote and 88 points. Winthrop – last year’s Tournament runner-up, was picked third with one first-place vote and 81 points, while Radford finished fourth in the voting with 68 points. High Point received 59 points for fifth-place, while VMI placed sixth in the poll with 48 points. Charleston Southern garnered seventh-place (40 points), followed by Gardner-Webb at No. 8 (36 points). Presbyterian College, which is eligible for the League’s regular-season championship but not the Conference tournament, finished ninth in the poll with 18 points. UNC Asheville rounded out the voting with 15 points for the 10th and final spot.

Wheeler, Noel Picked Big South Preseason Pitcher, Player of the Year
    The Big South Coaches voted Chanticleers’ junior outfielder Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) the Conference’s Preseason Player of the Year and Coastal Carolina junior Cody Wheeler (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) the League’s Preseason Pitcher of the Year.
    Noel enjoyed a breakout season as a sophomore in 2009, as he earned First-Team All-Big South honors after hitting .315 with 17 doubles, one triple, eight home runs and 45 RBI in 63 games. He led the Big South with 48 stolen bases in 51 attempts, tying Tulane’s Josh Prince for first nationally in that category. Noel had a .500 slugging percentage, a .427 on-base percentage and stole two-or-more bases 12 times a year ago. He also had 19 multi-hit games and 11 multi-RBI performances. Among his highlights last season included a 4-for-5 game with four RBI in the win over West Virginia on Feb. 27, four stolen bases in the Charleston Southern win on May 15, a perfect 4-for-4 with four runs scored against Wake Forest on April 29, and a 2-for-3 day with three runs scored in the win over Kansas in the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional. Noel also earned Big South All-Tournament Team honors last year and was named an All-Ping! Baseball Preseason All-American earlier this month.
    Wheeler was the Big South Pitcher of the Year in 2009 after posting a 10-1 record with a 3.83 earned run average in 15 starts for the Chanticleers. A Second-Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball, Wheeler had 98 strikeouts in 91.2 innings pitched, and led the Big South in wins, innings pitched and strikeouts while ranking sixth in ERA. He threw a complete-game no-hitter in a 4-0 win at Hawai’i on March 26 – earning National Player of the Week honors by Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA. Wheeler also gave up one hit in seven innings vs. VMI on May 10 and had 10 strikeouts in seven innings in defeating Radford on April 10.

Wheeler, Noel Earns Preseason All-American Honors
    Junior Cody Wheeler (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) earned Preseason All-American honors by three different organizations this past winter.  Wheeler was named a Second Team Preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA and a Third Team selection by Ping! Baseball.  Wheeler earned a Second Team All-American nod last season by Collegiate Baseball.  Junior Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) was named to the Ping! Baseball Preseason Third Team, joining Wheeler on that squad.
Season Tickets on Sale Now
    Season tickets for the 2010 Coastal Carolina University baseball season went on sale Monday, Feb. 1, as the Chanticleers look to earn their fourth straight Big South Conference Championship and make their ninth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 10 years.
    This season there are two options for watching the three-time defending Big South Champion Chanticleers, as there will be $200 and $125 levels.
    The $200 reserved seats include all 30 regular season home contests as well as a complimentary daily pass to Baseball at the Beach at BB&T Coastal Field February 25-28. Your seat in Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field will be a reserved seat in the center section behind home plate, and the $200 option allows you to place your name or business name on the seats.  The purchase includes a $150 donation to Baseball Capital Improvements.    The $125 season ticket is good for general admission for the 30 scheduled regular season home contests at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field.  The purchase includes a $75 donation to Baseball Capital Improvements.
    In addition, season ticket holders will be given priority in purchasing tickets for the NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals, should Coastal Carolina advance to the postseason and be selected to host.
    To purchase season tickets, please contact the CCU Athletic Ticket Office at 843-347-TIXX (8499) or 1-877-4-CHANTS (1-877-424-2687).

Gilmore Inducted in Salem-Roanoke Baseball Hall of Fame
    Coastal Carolina University head baseball coach Gary Gilmore was inducted into the Salem-Roanoke Baseball Hall of Fame Feb. 14 at the Salem Civic Center.  Gilmore is starting his 15th season with the Chanticleers and his 21st year as a head coach, compiling an 807-395 overall record.  The six-time Big South Coach of the Year is coming off a 47-16 season and a trip to the 2009 NCAA Chapel Hill Regional.  Gilmore has 13 40-plus win seasons, including regular-season titles in 1999, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009.  Coastal Carolina also won the 2008 NCAA Conway Regional and advanced to the NCAA Cary Super Regional.
    Gilmore played for Franklin County High School in 1978 and was the Timesland Player of the Year.  He played for the Chanticleers, hitting .353 with 69 steals in 90 games, before going to play for the Philadelphia Phillies organization.  He worked as a scout for the Phillies and Seattle Mariners organizations before becoming a coach at USC Aiken, where he eventually took over the top spot in 1990.  Gilmore compiled a 253-102 record in six years as a head coach.

Tough Schedule Faces Chants
    Coastal Carolina will face five teams that are ranked in the Baseball America Preseason Top-25 and 12 teams that are on the Perfect Game Crosscheckers Top-100 list, including home games against UC Irvine and James Madison at Baseball at the Beach, San Diego, Kentucky, Virginia Tech, UNC Wilmington, College of Charleston and West Virginia.  The Chants also will visit top-20 teams North Carolina, Clemson and Virginia on the road as well as have a three-game Big South series at Liberty.

Chants Win 10th Big South Tournament Title
    Coastal Carolina won its 10th Big South Tournament title with a 7-1 win over Winthrop May 23 in Asheville, N.C.  Coastal Carolina battled back from the loser’s bracket to win three games in two days, including the win over the Eagles.  Senior David Anderson was named the Most Valuable Player after hitting .500 with two doubles, a home run and seven RBI.  Anderson was joined on the All-Big South Tournament team by Rico Noel, Nick McCully and Austin Fleet.  It was Coastal Carolina’s third straight title and seventh in the last nine years.

Chants Earn All-American Honors
    Sophomore Cody Wheeler and senior David Anderson were named to the Louisville Slugger All-America team.  Wheeler was a Second Team selection, while Anderson was named to the Third Team.  That duo joined Nick McCully on the Ping! Baseball Third Team.  In addition, Anthony Meo, Taylor Motter and Daniel Bowman each were named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American.  Meo also was named an All-Freshman performer by the NCBWA and Baseball America.

Chants Win 12th Big South Regular-Season Title
    For the 12th time in school history, Coastal Carolina won the Big South Conference regular-season title.  The Chanticleers wrapped up the outright title with its 6-4 win over Charleston Southern May 15.  The Chants have won the crown six of the last 11 years.  Coastal Carolina finished the regular season with a 21-5 mark, winning all 15 Big South games at home.

All-Big South Team Filled With Chants
    Coastal Carolina had eight players on the All-Big South Teams as well as the Player, Pitcher and Coach of the Year, it was announced May 20.  Senior David Anderson was named the Player of the Year.  It was the third straight honor for the Chanticleers as he joined Dock Doyle and David Sappelt as recent Players of the Year in the conference.  Sophomore Cody Wheeler was a unanimous Pitcher of the Year honoree.  It was the second time a Chanticleer earned the honor as Bobby Gagg was named Pitcher of the Year in 2007.  Head Coach Gary Gilmore was named Big South Coach of the Year for the sixth time in his career.  Anderson and Wheeler were joined on the First Team by sophomore Rico Noel, junior Nick McCully and freshman Anthony Meo.  Senior Tyler Bortnick, junior Adam Rice and freshman Daniel Bowman were named to the Second Team.  Redshirt junior Austin Fleet was named to the Big South’s All-Academic Team.

Coastal Carolina Earns Daily Double
    Coastal Carolina won both the Big South regular-season and tournament titles for the third straight season and the sixth time in school history. Coastal Carolina also did the trick in 1991, 1992 and 2002.

Wheeler Impresses for Team USA
    Junior Cody Wheeler (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) played for the Team USA National Collegiate team this past summer, becoming the second Chant in as many years to play on that squad.  On the tour, Wheeler had a 2.42 earned-run average with 31 strikeouts in 22.1 innings. He joins UCLA’s Gerrit Cole with matching 3-0 record on the tour.  Junior Scott Woodward (Markle, Ind./Norwell) was on the team in 2008.

Chants on the Cape
    Juniors Scott Woodward (Markle, Ind./Norwell) and Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) and senior Adam Rice (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Elgin C.C.) played in the Cape Cod League this past summer.  Woodward and Rice’s Bourne Braves met Noel’s Cotuit Ketteleers in the championship series, which Bourne won in two games.

Bowman Named Top Prospect in Valley League
    Coastal Carolina University sophomore outfielder Daniel Bowman (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) was named the top prospect in the Valley League by Baseball America, the magazine announced.  Bowman, who played for the Luray Wranglers in the Valley League, hit .298 with eight doubles, eight home runs and 34 RBI. He also had a .498 on-base percentage for Luray.

Meo A Top Prospect for 2011 Draft
    Perfect Game Crosscheckers came out with a list of its Top 100 prospects for the next three drafts and it had sophomore Anthony Meo (Cranston, R.I./Cranston West) as the 92nd best prospect in the country for the 2011 draft.  Meo was 9-2 with a 2.93 earned-run average his freshman season with the Chants.

Up Next
    Coastal Carolina hosts Wake Forest Tuesday, March 9 at 4 p.m., in Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field.



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