Baseball Hosts Albany in a Three-Game Series This Weekend
Coastal Carolina (15-4) vs. Albany (4-11-1)
March 21-23 - 6/2/1 p.m.
Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field - Conway, S.C.
Friday’s Probable Starters
Coastal - RHP Bobby Gagg (2-1, 3.00 ERA)Albany - RHP Casey Walsh (0-3, 8.10 ERA)
Saturday’s Probable Starters
Coastal - RHP Austin Fleet (3-0, 3.57 ERA)Albany - LHP Cory Warrings (0-2, 5.66 ERA)
Sunday’s Probable Starters
Coastal - TBAUNCW - TBA
Coastal - 18th (NCBWA), 21st (Baseball America), 21st (ESPN/USA Today), 27th (Collegiate Baseball)
Live Stats: www.GoCCUSports.com
Live Audio: www.GoCCUSports.com
Live Video:www.BigSouthSports.com (Friday and Sunday)
The 18th-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (15-4) will play its first three-game weekend series of the season, hosting Albany (4-11-1) at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field. Friday’s game will begin at 6 p.m., with Saturday’s game at 2 p.m. The game on Easter Sunday begins at 1 p.m. All three games can be heard on www.GoCCUSports.com with Friday and Sunday’s game available on THE EDGE, the Big South’s video streaming service.
SCOUTING ALBANY: The Great Danes are coming off a split against Hofstra March 18. Albany won the first game 5-3 in seven innings but fell in the second game 4-1. The Great Danes are led by Dave West, who has a .310 batting average. Winthrop transfer Mike Konstanty leads the team with four home runs and has added 15 runs-batted-in. On the mound, Josh Willimott had a 2-0 record with a 4.74 earned-run-average. Last season, Albany won the America East Tournament and advanced to the 2007 Fayetteville Regional.
SERIES VS. ALBANY: Coastal leads the overall series with Albany 1-0, defeating the Great Danes 10-6 Feb. 22, 2004. Andy DeLaGarza earned the win, striking out four in 5.1 innings.
WEATHER FORECAST: Friday, Clear, 61 degrees. Saturday, Partly cloudy, 74 degrees. Sunday, Partly cloudy, 64 degrees.
WHEELER IMPRESSES IN CLEMSON GAME: Freshman Cody Wheeler (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) tied a career high with eight strikeouts in Coastal’s 9-6 loss to Clemson. Wheeler pitched the final 6.2 innings, allowing just a double in the eighth, and now has 24 strikeouts in 19.2 innings pitched.
HAUG NAMED BIG SOUTH PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Coastal Carolina senior Joey Haug (Holt, Mo,/Maple Woods C.C.) has been named New Balance Pitcher of the Week for games played March 10-16, it was announced March 16 by the League office.
Haug had a hand in two big Coastal wins over ranked opponents last week. He struck out a pair in 2.2 innings, allowing three hits and an unearned run in the 11-4 win at No. 3 North Carolina. Haug allowed two runs in two innings in a 4-1 loss against No. 25 Michigan, but came back the next day and earned the win over the Wolverines, striking out three and giving up just one hit. Haug had five strikeouts on the week and did not allow a run in the three runners he inherited out of the bullpen. Haug came back March 19 and did not allow a hit in 3.1 innings pitched against UNC Wilmington.COASTAL IN THE POLLS: Coastal Carolina is now ranked in five national polls as of March 16, coming in as high as eighth in the Ping!Baseball poll. Coastal is 18th in the NCBWA poll, 21st in both the Baseball America and the ESPN/USA Today poll and 27th in the Collegiate Baseball poll.
CHANTS BEAT ANOTHER RANKED OPPONENT: Coastal ended the Centex Homes Invitational with an 11-9 win over 25th-ranked Michigan. Coastal had to do it in come-from-behind fashion, taking a 10-9 lead in the seventh on a sacrifice fly from freshman Scott Woodward (Markle, Ind./Norwell). Junior David Sappelt (Saxapahaw, N.C./Southern Alamance) gave CCU an 11-9 cushion in the eighth with a solo home run. Coastal avenged a 4-1 loss on Saturday to the Wolverines.
DOYLE EARNS CONFERENCE, PLAYER OF THE WEEK, SPOTLIGHT PERFORMER HONOR: Coastal Carolina junior catcher Dock Doyle (Conway, S.C./Conway) has been selected as the Big South Conference Choice Hotels Baseball Player of the Week, it was announced today by the League office. He also was the Spotlight Performer of the Week by Ping!Baseball. Doyle batted .500 (8-16) in four wins last week for Coastal, scoring three runs, belting three home runs and driving in 10 on the week. He started the week by going 2-for-3 with four RBI in the 13-6 win over Toledo. Doyle walked twice and hit a home run in the win over the Rockets. He was 5-for-9 with six RBI in the two games against Ball State. Doyle was 3-for-4 with a double and a home run in the 6-1 win March 8, and then went 2-for-5 with a double, home run and four RBI in the 10-8 win. His two-run double in the eighth inning brought in the game-winning runs. Doyle also slugged 1.188 on the week, had a .550 on-base percentage and threw out 2-of-3 runners trying to steal.
BALDRIDGE NAMED A CANDIDATE FOR SENIOR CLASS AWARD: Coastal Carolina University baseball senior Tommy Baldridge (Fort Mill, S.C./Fort Mill) has been selected as a candidate for the Lowe’s Baseball Senior CLASS Award, it was announced March 10. Baldridge is one of 30 senior baseball players that made the initial list. This is the second straight year that a Coastal baseball player had made the list.
A national media committee will select 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in mid-April. Those 10 names will then be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote that will include coaches, media and fans. The award winner will be announced and recognized at the 2008 NCAA Men’s College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
CHANTS BEAT #3 UNC 11-4: Coastal picked up a very impressive 11-4 win over third-ranked North Carolina March 11, improving its record to 13-1 on the year. Junior David Anderson (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) improved his record to 3-0 on the mound and freshman Rich Witten (Danville, Ky./Danville) and sophomore Chance Gilmore (Surfside Beach, S.C./Virginia) had three RBI apiece in the win. The win is the second by Coastal over a top-five team in the last four years. Coastal defeated fifth-ranked Georgia Tech 7-6 May 10, 2005.
RPI WATCH: While it’s very early in the RPI watch, Coastal is 12th in the WarrenNolan.com and 16th in the Boyd’s World rankings.
TRIPLE PLAY!!!: Coastal completed a triple play in the 6-1 win over Ball State March 8. With two on and no one out, Matt Stoeklen hit a shot to second that freshman Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) skied for and grabbed. He then stepped on second to force out Justin Rogers and threw to first to retire Dean Anna for a triple play. It was the first triple play at Watson Stadium since 2005.
HOME RUN DERBY: Coastal took advantage of the strong winds blowing out to left field in the 6-1 win over Ball State March 8. The Chanticleers belted four home runs, three to left field, accounting for five of the six CCU runs. Sophomore Adam Rice (Murphy, Texas/Elgin C.C.) hit his third home run of the year, while junior Dock Doyle (Conway, S.C./Conway) had two on the weekend and leads the team with four round trippers.McCULLY EARNS TWO HONORS: Coastal Carolina sophomore Nick McCully (Lakeland, Fla./Santa Fe Catholic) has been named the New Balance Pitcher of the Week for games played Feb. 25-March 2, it was announced March 4 by the Big South Conference office. He also was the Southeast Region Player of the Week by CollegeBaseballInsider.com. McCully picked up a win and a save in his two appearances last week for the Chanticleers. On Friday, Feb. 29, he struck out two Marshall batters to save the 4-2 win. Sunday, March 2, against George Mason, McCully started and was nearly unhittable in the 6-0 win over the Patriots. He allowed just a bunt single to lead off the game and finished with nine strikeouts, one hit and one walk allowed in seven innings. McCully tied his career-high in strikeouts and earned his ninth career win as a Chanticleer.
BALDRIDGE SENDS EVERYONE HOME HAPPY: Senior Tommy Baldridge (Fort Mill, S.C./Fort Mill) scored sophomore Chance Gilmore (Surfside Beach, S.C./Virginia) with the game-winning run in the 10th inning of the 9-8 win over Toledo March 6. Baldridge went 3-for-3 on the day after coming in as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning.
CHANTS OFF TO HOT START: Coastal’s 14-1 start to the season was the best by a Chanticleer team after 15 games in school history.
PITCHING AND DEFENSE WINS BASEBALL AT THE BEACH: Coastal sported a 1.50 earned-run average and made only two errors in going 4-0 at the Baseball at the Beach Tournament Feb. 29-March 2. The Chants received excellent starting pitching outings from junior Bobby Gagg (Hamburg, N.J./Wallkill), junior David Anderson (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) and sophomore Nick McCully (Lakeland, Fla./Santa Fe Catholic) on the weekend. Coastal’s pitchers struck out 26 batters while giving up only eight walks. The Chants also had a .987 fielding percentage in the four games.
GILMORE COMES THROUGH IN WCU WIN: Sophomore Chance Gilmore (Surfside Beach, S.C./Virginia) had two doubles and drove in four runs in the 7-1 win over Western Carolina March 2. His first double gave Coastal a 2-1 lead, while his second in the sixth opened up the game for the Chants, giving them a 6-1 lead. Gilmore went 3-for-9 with a .556 slugging percentage in the tournament.
Gilmore then had a career day in the 13-6 win over Toledo March 5. He had two doubles, hit his first career home run and had four RBI in the win over the Rockets. The next day, he had a triple in the 10th and scored the winning run in the 9-8 victory over Toledo. Gilmore also had a three-run double in the 11-4 win over North Carolina March 11.
DOYLE DRIVES ’EM IN: Redshirt junior Dock Doyle (Conway, S.C./Conway) drove in six runs on the weekend in the IMICHotels.com INN-vitational, including the game-winning single in the 10th inning as the Chants defeated Virginia Tech 4-3 Feb. 25. Doyle also had the game-winning hit in the 4-2 win over Marshall Feb. 29. Doyle is hitting .386 with seven doubles and 20 runs-batted-in on the season. He also has thrown out 7-of-14 runners trying to steal.
GOING EXTRA: After playing just three extra-inning games during 2007, Coastal has already played in three games that have gone past nine innings this season. Coastal defeated Virginia Tech 4-3 in 10 innings Feb. 25 and just one day later, fell to the College of Charleston 13-12 in 11 innings. The Chants came away with a 9-8 win over Toledo March 6 in 10 innings. Coastal is now 4-2 the last two seasons in extra frames.
HERE COMES THE BOOM: Sophomore Adam Rice (Murphy, Texas/Elgin C.C.) had two home runs in his first five games as a Chanticleer. Rice belted a two-run shot in the 4-3 win over Virginia Tech Feb. 24 and then had a three-run blast in the 13-12 loss to the College of Charleston Feb. 26. Rice had four RBI, three of which came on a home run in the third, in the 11-9 win over Michigan March 16.
CHANTS STEALING BAGS: After the first 19 games, Coastal has stolen 41 bases in 52 attempts. Freshman Scott Woodward (Markle, Ind./Norwell) leads the team with 19 swipes in 21 attempts. Last season, Coastal was 65-of-89 in stolen bases.
WHAT A START FOR WOODWARD: Freshman Scott Woodward (Markle, Ind./Norwell) had an impressive opening weekend to his career, hitting .500 (7-of-14) with six runs scored and three walks. He also did damage on the basepaths, stealing seven in as many attempts.
A GRANNY FOR SAPP: Junior David Sappelt (Saxapahaw, N.C./Southern Alamance) had three hits on the weekend in the IMICHotels.com INN-vitational, but none bigger than the grand slam he had in the sixth inning of the 10-4 win over Maryland. It was Sappelt’s third career grand slam and it gave the Chants a 6-1 lead. Sappelt’s other four run home runs came at Troy April 8, 2007 and at home against Liberty April 29.
FLEET RETURNS WITH A SOLID PERFORMANCE: Redshirt sophomore Austin Fleet (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe), who had not pitched since May of 2006 due to a torn labrum, came back in style in the 5-3 win over Maryland Feb. 24. Fleet threw 6.2 innings, allowing four hits and two runs while striking out three. The Terps hit just .167 off of Fleet.
PITCHING STAFF SHOWS DEPTH: Coastal had 11 pitchers toe the rubber for the IMICHotels.com INN-vitational. The Chants had a 2.68 earned-run average in the four games with four guys not allowing an earned run. Coastal’s starters went 3-0, while senior Joey Haug (Holt, Mo./Maple Woods C.C.), junior Jeff Richard (West Bloomfield, Mich./Central Michigan) and junior David Anderson (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) came out of the pen and did not allowing a run.
DRAFT DODGERS: Coastal has five players on its roster that were taken in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Redshirt junior Pete Andrelczyk (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Twp.) was taken by the Baltimore Orioles in the 32nd round of the 2007 draft. Redshirt junior Dock Doyle (Conway, S.C./Conway) was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 44th round last season. Sophomore Austin Fleet (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) was taken in the 2006 draft by the Atlanta Braves and freshman Chad Jenkins (Newark, Del./Caravel Academy) was picked by the Washington Nationals in this past summer’s draft. Sophomore Jim Birmingham (Pine Hill, N.J./Overbrook (Penn)) was taken by the Nationals in the 25th round in 2006.
WATSON STADIUM/VROOMAN FIELD UNDERGOES CHANGES IN OFFSEASON: Fans entering Charles Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field for the home opener Feb. 22 against Maryland noitced a difference in the field and in the stands to the Chanticleer baseball home. Coastal has added chairback seats throughout the grandstand, replacing the bleachers that were in all but the first three rows of the concourse. Fans will have a better view of the game, as a new net on the backstop eliminated most of the poles between the fans and the field. Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field also has new Field Turf in foul territory in the infield and behind home plate. The home bullpen area also has new Field Turf. There also was a significant upgrade to the clubhouse, including new lockers and a new training room.
WHO’S BACK: Coastal returns five position starters and nine pitchers from last year’s 50-13 team. Outfielders David Sappelt (Saxapahaw, N.C./Southern Alamance) and Tommy Baldridge (Fort Mill, S.C./Fort Mill) return along with shortstop Tyler Bortnick (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor), third baseman Derek Martin (Barnwell, S.C./Barnwell) and first baseman/designated hitter David Anderson (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll). Catcher Dock Doyle (Conway, S.C./Conway) also returns after starting 37 games behind the plate last season. Junior Bobby Gagg (Hamburg, N.J./Wallkill) anchors a pitching staff that also returns Anderson and sophomore Nick McCully (Lakeland, Fla./Santa Fe Catholic) in the rotation.
TOUGH SCHEDULE FACES CHANTS: Coastal Carolina will play five teams ranked in the Collegiate Baseball Preseason Top-30 along with 13 games against the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in the 2008 schedule. Coastal will host Michigan for two games in the Centex Homes Invitational March 15-16. Michigan is ranked as high as eighth in the Baseball America poll. Coastal also has midweek games against North Carolina, Clemson, North Carolina State, Virginia and Wake Forest and has a three-game series at Georgia Tech May 2-4.
MARTIN TO START FIFTH SEASON FOR CHANTS: Redshirt senior Derek Martin (Barnwell, S.C./Barnwell) starts his fifth and final season in a Coastal Carolina uniform. Martin has a career .271 batting average with 23 doubles, five home runs and 93 runs-batted-in in 162 games. Martin played only three games in 2005 due to injury, earning a redshirt. Tommy Baldridge (Fort Mill, S.C./Fort Mill) and Joey Haug (Holt, Mo./Plattsburg (Maple Woods C.C.)) are Coastal’s other true seniors. Baldridge has a .358 career batting average with 17 home runs and 93 RBI, while Haug was 1-0 with a 3.66 earned-run average in his first season at Coastal in 2007.
NEWCOMERS DOT COASTAL ROSTER: Coastal has 14 newcomers on the roster, including 10 true freshman. Coastal has four transfers dotting the roster for the first time in 2008 - redshirt junior Jeff Richard (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield (Central Michigan)), sophomore Jose Iglesias (Miami, Fla./G. Holmes Braddock (St. John’s)), sophomore Adam Rice (Murphy, Texas/Kennedy (Elgin C.C.)) and sophomore Jim Birmingham (Pine Hill, N.J./Overbrook (Penn)). Freshman Rich Witten (Danville, Ky./Danville) is in the rotation for the first weekend, while classmate Scott Woodward (Markle, Ind./Norwell) is a probable starter in the outfield.
COASTAL IN TOP-25 NATIONALLY IN WINNING PERCENTAGE (2001-07): Coastal Carolina is tied for 12th in winning percentage in the last seven years. The Chanticleers have a 301-136 record, good for a .689 winning percentage. Rice leads the country with a .773 percentage. Coastal is above such schools as North Carolina, LSU and Miami in the list.
COASTAL TO VIDEO STREAM 23 GAMES: The Coastal Carolina University baseball team will have 23 of its games at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field video streamed on THE EDGE at www.BigSouthSports.com this season. The schedule began with the season opener Feb. 22 against Maryland beginning at 4 p.m. Other highlights include eight of the nine home games against Big South opponents, two games against nationally-ranked Michigan March 15-16 and midweek contests versus Elon, the College of Charleston and Wake Forest. THE EDGE also will show every game of the 2008 Big South Baseball Tournament in Danville, Va.
Each game will cost $4.95 or the baseball season package, which includes the Big South Game of the Week and other selected games by each conference school, will be $29.95. The Big South Tournament can be viewed for $6.95 per day or $14.95 for the entire tournament.PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS HIGHLIGHT EARLY HONOREES: Coastal had three players named to at least one Preseason All-America list before the 2008 season. Senior Tommy Baldridge (Fort Mill, S.C./Fort Mill) was picked by Rivals.com as a First Team Preseason All-American. He also is a Second Team All-America by Louisville Slugger and by Ping! Baseball. Baldridge and junior Bobby Gagg (Hamburg, N.J./Wallkill) were named to the Wallace Award Watch List. Gagg also was a Second Team All-America by Louisville Slugger, Ping! Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA). Junior David Sappelt (Saxapahaw, N.C./Southern Alamance) was named a First Team All-Ping! Baseball member and was named to the Golden Spikes Award Watch List. He also was named to the Third Team by Louisville Slugger. Junior David Anderson (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) was named to the 2008 Stopper of the Year Watch List.
CHANTS PICKED TO WIN BIG SOUTH: The websites SouthEastern Baseball.com and Rivals.com as well as the College Baseball Insider have all picked Coastal to win the Big South. The Chanticleers also are picked 10th in SEBaseball’s Top 80 teams in the Southeast. Coastal was unanimously picked to win the Big South by the League’s coaches and sports information directors.
COASTAL HOSTS 2007 MYRTLEBEACH REGIONAL: Coastal became the first Big South school to host a regional, as the Chanticleers were the number-one seed for the second time in three years. Coastal advanced to the regional championship game, falling to Clemson in the finale. The winner’s bracket final on June 3 brought in 6,231 fans, a record at BB&T Coastal Field. Dock Doyle, Dom Duggan and Bobby Gagg were named to the All-Myrtle Beach Regional team.
COASTAL WINS EIGHTH BIG SOUTH TOURNAMENT TITLE: Coastal went unbeaten in the Big South Tournament, winning its eighth tournament title in school history. The Chanticleers won the title game 6-5 over Liberty as senior Dom Duggan hit the game-winning home run in the seventh inning. Coastal opened the tournament with a 6-3 win over UNC Asheville. The Chants defeated VMI 4-2 and Winthrop 13-4. Junior Tommy Baldridge was the tournament Most Valuable Player and he joined junior Derek Martin, sophomore Tyler Bortnick, senior Adam Vrable, senior Matt Rademacher, freshman Nick McCully and sophomore Bobby Gagg on the All-Tournament Team.
UP NEXT: Coastal heads to Charleston, S.C., and Riley Park to face The Citadel Tuesday, March 25 at 6 p.m. Coastal then hosts UNC Wilmington Wednesday, March 26 at 6 p.m., in Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field. This game is a makeup from a rainout March 4.