Baseball Returns Home This Weekend Against UNC Asheville
April 29, 2010
Coastal Carolina (36-6, 14-0) vs UNC Asheville (12-26, 5-13)
Dates: Friday, April 30-Sunday, May 2
Times: 6/2/2 p.m.
Place: Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field, Conway, S.C.
Radio: www.GoCCUsports.com (THE TEAM 93.9 FM, Saturday)
Live Stats: GameTracker via www.GoCCUsports.com
TV/Live Video: Big South Network
FRIDAY’S PROBABLE PITCHERS
Coastal - RHP Anthony Meo (8-1, 1.79 ERA)
UNCA - LHP David Ricker (1-2, 4.82 ERA)
SATURDAY’S PROBABLE PITCHERS
Coastal - LHP Cody Wheeler (7-0, 3.71 ERA)
UNCA - RHP Ryan Dull (4-2, 3.67 ERA)
SUNDAY’S PROBABLE PITCHERS
Coastal - RHP Josh Conway (1-0, 3.24 ERA)
UNCA - RHP Justin Schumer (1-5, 4.86 ERA)
Coastal - 4th (Collegiate Baseball), 6th (ESPN/USA TODAY),
6th (NCBWA), 10th (Baseball America)
Chants Return Home to Face UNC Asheville
The Coastal Carolina University baseball team (36-6, 14-0 Big South) opens a six-game homestand this weekend against UNC Asheville (12-26, 5-13 Big South) April 30-May 2. The Chants and Bulldogs will square off Friday night at 6 p.m., with Saturday and Sunday’s games beginning at 2 p.m. All three games will be video streamed on the Big South Network. The Chants are coming off a 6-3 loss to Virginia April 27, its first loss since March 28.
Scouting UNC Asheville
The Bulldogs split in the midweek, including defeating Furman 14-2. Catlin Carter and Mike Vaughn drove in four runs apiece for the Bulldogs in the win. Justin Schumer leads UNCA with a .363 batting average and six home runs. Schumer also will get the start on the mound Sunday afternoon. He has a 4.86 earned-run average and 37 strikeouts on the mound. Saturday’s starter Ryan Dull is 4-2 with a 3.67 ERA.
Series vs. UNC Asheville
Coastal Carolina has a 61-14 series advantage on UNC Asheville. The Chants took both games of a rain-shortened Big South series last season, winning by scores of 9-4 and 12-2. Redshirt-senior Chance Gilmore (Surfside Beach, S.C./Virginia) is 8-for-16 with two home runs in his career against the Bulldogs.
Friday: Sunny, 83 degrees. Saturday: Isolated T-Storms, 85 degrees. Sunday: Mostly sunny, 88 degrees.
Chanticleers in the Polls
Coastal Carolina is ranked in every poll as of April 26, the highest being fourth in the Collegiate Baseball poll. The Chants are sixth in the ESPN/USA TODAY Coaches’ poll and the NCBWA poll, 10th in the Ping! Baseball and Baseball America polls and 13th in Rivals.com.
The Coastal Carolina University baseball team is sitting on top of the NCAA Baseball Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), the organization released April 27.
Coastal is ranked fifth in the April 29 Boyd’s World’s simulated RPI; while Warren Nolan’s simulated RPI has the Chants in the seventh spot.
Chants Off to Record Start
Coastal Carolina is off to a 36-6 start after defeating VMI April 25. This is the Chants’ second-best start after 42 games in school history. The 1983 team started 36-5-1.
Coastal’s Streak Comes to a Close
Coastal Carolina saw its 17-game winning streak snapped in a 6-3 loss to #1 Virginia April 27. The streak was the second-longest in school history behind the 19-game streak set in 1983. Coastal hit .345 and had a 2.38 ERA during the 17-game stretch. Coastal also won nine of those games on the road.
Chants Have Record Start in Big South Action
Coastal Carolina improved to 14-0 on the season in Big South games after its three-game sweep of VMI. The Chants have won their first 14 games in Big South play for the first time since 1988 and have won 24 straight Big South regular-season games dating back to the 2009 campaign. Coastal and Bethune-Cookman are the only teams in the country that are undefeated in conference play.
Coastal Shuts Down VMI Bats in Weekend Sweep
The Chanticleer pitching staff held VMI to a .178 batting average and three earned runs in the three-game sweep of the Keydets April 23-25. VMI went into the series with a Big South-best .352 average. Coastal struck out 36 batters in the three games, including a season-high nine from sophomore Anthony Meo (Cranston, R.I./Cranston West) and a career-high six by junior Matt Rein (Houston, Texas/Langham Creek). Coastal is now third in the country with a 3.10 ERA.
Gilmore Goes Granny for Second Time This Year
Redshirt-senior Chance Gilmore (Surfside Beach, S.C./Virginia) hit his second grand slam of the season in the 8-4 win over UNC Wilmington April 21. He also had a grand slam in the 13-5 win over Virginia Tech Feb. 20. It was the first time a Chant has hit two grand slams in a season since David Sappelt did the trick in both 2007 and 2008. Gilmore also had a career-high five RBI’s in the win over the Seahawks.
Iglesias Hit Two Home Runs in UNCW Win
Senior Jose Iglesias (Miami, Fla./St. John’s) hit home runs in the first and seventh innings in the 8-4 win over UNC Wilmington April 21. It was the third time that Iglesias has hit two home runs in a game. He also accomplished the feat against Southern Illinois Feb. 20, 2009 and against Pittsburgh March 6, 2010. Iglesias has 22 career home runs as a Chanticleer.
Woodward, Noel Reaching Stolen Base Milestone
Juniors Scott Woodward (Markle, Ind./Norwell) and Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) are moving up the stolen-base charts in both Coastal Carolina and the Big South Conference. Woodward has 112 stolen bases in 129 attempts after going a perfect 10-of-10 in the Gardner-Webb series. Woodward moved into second place in Coastal’s stolen base list and is third in Big South history. Noel is at 101 stolen bases in 115 attempts. He passed Stephen Turner (1992-95) for second place in the career list in the Virginia game. Noel also is seventh in Big South history. Ryan McGraw (2001-04) has the school and conference record with 160 stolen bases.
Woodward and Noel are tied for first and fourth in the nation in stolen bases with 40 and 37, respectively, it was announced April 26.
Woodward Big in Big South Games
Junior Scott Woodward (Markle, Ind./Norwell) has enjoyed playing in Big South games this season. The junior is hitting .533 against the Big South this season with 29 runs scored and is 26-for-27 in stolen base attempts. This included going 3-for-3 with three runs scored in the 24-10 win over Gardner-Webb April 17. Woodward is hitting .323 on the season.
Iglesias Named Big South Player of the Week
Coastal Carolina catcher Jose Iglesias (Miami, Fla.) has been named the Big South Conference’s Choice Hotels Player of the Week, it was announced today by the League office.
Iglesias continued his stellar season at the plate this week, going 9-for-16 ( =.563) with three runs scored, 10 RBI and a .625 slugging percentage in four games. Iglesias opened the week by going 3-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored in the 20-1 win over UNC Wilmington. He had a run-scoring double and a walk in the 10-9 win over High Point on Friday, and then went 3-for-5 with four RBI in the 14-4 win over the Panthers Saturday afternoon. Iglesias ended the week with a 2-for-4 performance with two RBI in the 7-2 win, including an RBI groundout that gave CCU a 4-2 lead in the fifth. In Friday’s 10-9 win against the Panthers, Iglesias doubled home the first run to cut High Point’s lead to 5-3 and started Coastal’s comeback rally.
Rice Has Big Night Against the Tar Heels
Senior Adam Rice (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Elgin C.C.) went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and his third home run of the season in the 12-4 win over North Carolina April 14. Rice had the two-run home run in the first inning, giving the Chants a 4-0 lead. He then had singles in the third, fifth and sixth innings.
Coastal Scoring Runs in Bunches
Coastal Carolina scored four or more runs in four innings in its 20-1 win over UNC Wilmington April 6. The Chants plated five runs in the third, four in the fourth, six in the sixth and five in the seventh. Coastal also has now scored 20 or more runs in four games this season. Coastal scored 29 against Charleston Southern March 20, 25 against Presbyterian April 3 and 24 against Gardner-Webb April 17. This is the first time the Chants have scored 20 or more runs four times in a season.
Pitching Staff Solid Against UNCW
Coastal Carolina allowed just an unearned run in the 20-1 win over UNC Wilmington April 6. Redshirt-sophomore Keith Hessler (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook) allowed just four hits and the unearned run in five innings of work, while the bullpen of junior Matt Rein (Houston, Texas/Langham Creek), freshman Ryan Connolly (Charleston, S.C./Bishop England), junior Matt Laney (Chester, Va./Miami Dade C.C.) and redshirt-senior Austin Fleet (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) did not allow a hit in four innings of relief. Coastal has a 3.10 ERA, which currently is third in the nation.
Chants Go Yard in PC Series
Coastal Carolina had 10 home runs in the Presbyterian series. Three of the longballs came off the bat of redshirt-sophomore Tommy La Stella (Closter, N.J./St. John’s). Junior Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) had an inside-the-park home run in the 14-1 win on Friday. It was the first inside-the-park home run by a Chant since Tyler Bortnick did the trick in the Big South Tournament championship game against Winthrop in 2009. Coastal now has 64 home runs on the season, which is second in the Big South behind VMI.
Pitching Staff K’s Blue Hose
Coastal Carolina’s pitching staff struck out 33 batters in the three-game sweep of Presbyterian. Coastal also had a 1.33 ERA and gave up just four earned runs in the series. Redshirt-junior Jim Birmingham (Pine Hill, N.J./Penn) struck out a career-high eight in seven innings of work to earn his fourth win of the year. Junior Cody Wheeler (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) struck out 10 in picking up his fifth win of the year. It was the fourth time in his career that Wheeler has struck out 10 or more batters.
Wheeler Named Big South Pitcher of the Week
Coastal Carolina junior pitcher Cody Wheeler (Spotsylvania, Va.) has been named the Big South Conference’s The Crons Brand Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for games played March 29-April 4, it was announced today by the League office.
Wheeler struck out 10 Presbyterian College hitters in seven innings last Friday in picking up his 21st career win. He allowed just two hits – both singles in the fourth frame, and pitched four 1-2-3 innings. He retired the side in the first, second, sixth and seventh innings, and held the Blue Hose to a .087 batting average. Wheeler’s line last week: 1-0, 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 10 SO.
Former Chants Assigned to Minor Leagues
With Opening Day in the Major Leagues taking place April 4, many former Coastal Carolina players have been assigned to minor league clubs. Here is a list of former Chants in the minors.
Player Team Level Affiliate
Pete Andrelczyk Jupiter High-A Florida
Tyler Bortnick Bowling Green Low-A Tampa Bay
Dock Doyle Savannah Low-A N.Y. Mets
John Mariotti Frederick High-A Baltimore
David Sappelt Lynchburg High-A Cincinnati
Noel Once Again The Hero in Extras
Junior Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) belted a two-out solo home run in the top of the 11th in the 4-3 win over Clemson March 31. Noel also hit the game-winning home run the last time the Chants went into extra innings, when he had a walk-off home run in Coastal’s 3-2 win over Radford April 10, 2009. Noel now has 14 career home runs and three game-winning RBI’s in 2010.
Bullpen No Hits Clemson in Extra-Inning Win
Coastal Carolina’s bullpen has been a strong point in the 2010 season, and the March 31 game against Clemson was no exception. Four Chant relievers combined to pitch seven innings of no-hit baseball in the 4-3 11-inning win over the Tigers. Redshirt-sophomore Keith Hessler (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook) struck out five in 1.2 innings pitched. Junior Matt Laney (Chester, Va./Miami Dade C.C.) and freshman Ryan Connolly (Charleston, S.C./Bishop England) stranded five Clemson runners, while redshirt-senior Austin Fleet (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) earned the win by pitching 4.1 innings of hitless relief. Coastal’s bullpen has a 2.47 ERA and a .221 opponents batting average.
Chants Break Losing Streak to Clemson
Coastal Carolina snapped a seven-game losing streak in its 4-3 11-inning win over Clemson March 31. The Chants had not defeated the Tigers since its 3-2 win Feb. 19, 2005 at the Baseball at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Coastal Carolina had not won at Clemson since a 5-1 win April 15, 2003.
Bullpen Up to the Task
One of the positives all season long for the Coastal Carolina baseball team has been its bullpen. That was no different in the San Diego series. The Chants’ bullpen gave up just six hits and did not allow an earned run in the three games. Freshman Ryan Connolly (Charleston, S.C./Bishop England) has been a workhorse for Coastal. He has a team leading 26 appearances and is 3-0 with a 1.59 earned-run average and a .207 opponents batting average.
Wheeler Gets #20
Junior Cody Wheeler (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) earned his 20th career win in the 10-2 victory over San Diego March 26. Wheeler went six-plus innings, allowing just five hits and two earned runs with six strikeouts. He also outdueled All-American Kyle Blair in the win. It is the second time Wheeler has defeated an All-American this season after he bested UC Irvine’s Daniel Bibona.
Meo Sharp in Citadel Win; San Diego Defeat
Sophomore Anthony Meo (Cranston, R.I./Cranston West) allowed just one hit in five innings of work in the 7-1 win over The CItadel March 23. Meo struck out a season-high seven batters and allowed just a single to Kyle Jordan in the fifth. Then despite taking the loss against San Diego, Meo went a career high 8.2 innings, allowing six hits and one earned run with six strikeouts in the 2-1 loss to the Toreros. Meo is 8-1 on the season and is now 17-3 in his Coastal career.
Longball Big in Citadel Win
Coastal Carolina belted three home runs in its 7-1 win over The Citadel March 23. Redshirt-senior Chance Gilmore (Surfside Beach, S.C./Virginia) started the power surge with a three-run blast in the second. Sophomore Daniel Bowman (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) and junior Scott Woodward (Markle, Ind./Norwell) both hit solo shots to the gap in left field.
Rein, Wheeler Named to Pitcher of the Year Watch List
Coastal Carolina University juniors Matt Rein (Houston, Texas/Langham Creek) and Cody Wheeler (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) have been named to the College Baseball Foundation’s initial Pitcher of the Year Watch List, it was announced by the organization March 23.
Rein and Wheeler are two of 49 pitchers on the list. Coastal also is one of 11 schools to have multiple pitchers named to the watch list.
The Pitcher of the Year Award will be presented in Lubbock, Texas, on July 2 as part of the College Baseball Awards Show.
Rein and Wheeler have combined to go 12-0 with 93 strikeouts in 105.1 innings pitched this season.
La Stella Hits for Cycle in CSU Win
Redshirt-sophomore Tommy La Stella (Closter, N.J./St. John’s) hit for the cycle in the 29-13 win over Charleston Southern March 20. La Stella doubled in the first, singled in the sixth, tripled in the eighth and capped the cycle with a grand slam in the ninth. La Stella ended the day going 4-for-6 with seven RBI’s and four runs scored. He also stole his first two bases of the season in the win.
Motter Hits Two Longballs in Saturday Win over CSU
Sophomore Taylor Motter (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens) hit two home runs in the 29-13 win over Charleston Southern March 20, doubling his career home run total to four. Motter belted home runs in the sixth and ninth innings.
Woodward Continues Strong Career vs. CSU
Junior Scott Woodward (Markle, Ind./Norwell) was 6-for-11 at the plate in two wins over Charleston Southern March 19-20. This included his first home run of the 2010 season. Woodward has a .548 batting average (17-for-31) with three doubles, two home runs and five RBI in his career against the Buccaneers.
Bats Go Crazy in 29-13 Win over Bucs
Coastal Carolina set a season-high in runs and hits in the 29-13 win over Charleston Southern March 20. The Chants had 23 hits in the game and scored 14 runs in the final two innings. The 29 runs were the most by a Chant team since their 36-3 win over Stony Brook March 8, 2009 and the most in school history in a Big South Conference game.
Fleet Pitches Superb in the Michigan Win
Redshirt-senior Austin Fleet (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) followed his first loss of the season with a great outing in his first start of the year. Fleet struck out six in six innings of work in the 3-0 win over Michigan March 14. He helped the Chants to their second shutout of the season.
Cardiac Chants Defeat Wake
For the third straight day, Coastal Carolina fell behind its opponent early, but came back to earn the victory. This time, the Chants were down 4-1 to Wake Forest, but erupted for four runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to defeat the Demon Deacons 9-4 March 9. Redshirt-sophomore Tommy LaStella (Closter, N.J./St. John’s) and senior Jose Iglesias (Miami, Fla./St. John’s) drove in two runs apiece, while sophomore Steve Davis (Steubenville, Ohio/Steubenville) went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Junior Matt Rein (Houston, Texas/Langham Creek) and freshman Ryan Connolly (Charleston, S.C./Bishop England) were stellar out of the pen, allowing just an unearned run with four strikeouts in 5.1 innings.
Comeback Wins Highlight Ball State Games
The Chanticleers came up with back-to-back 3-2 wins over Ball State in the Caravelle Resort Invitational March 7 and 8. In the Sunday game, the Chants scored the third run in the bottom of the eighth with the help of two Ball State errors, and then used redshirt-senior Austin Fleet (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) to close it in the ninth. In Monday’s win, the Chants were down 2-1 in the eighth when junior Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) belted his second home run of the season to tie it at two. Coastal then won it in the ninth on sophomore Taylor Motter’s (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens) RBI fielder’s choice. The Ball State third baseman went to second for the force with the bases loaded, but freshman Josh Conway (Smithsburg, Md./Smithsburg) beat the throw to seal the win.
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 10 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.
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 five saves on the year, the latest coming in a 3-2 win over Ball State March 7.
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 10-0 in his Coastal Carolina career and has lowered his earned-run average to 3.13.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
Coastal Carolina takes the midweek off for final exams and returns to the diamond Saturday, May 8 against Winthrop. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m., at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field.