CONWAY, S.C. The Coastal Carolina University baseball team and head coach Gary Gilmore have announced its 2007 schedule that features five in-season tournaments, 27 games against teams in the 2006 NCAA Tournament and 34 games in the Conway/Myrtle Beach area.
Coastal opens the 2007 campaign Feb. 9 as the Chanticleers host the Springmaid Beach Resort Rumble at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field. Coastal hosts North Florida at 4 p.m. The Chants also face NCAA Tournament participants Elon and Virginia in the tourney. After a mid-week home game against UNC Wilmington, Coastal hosts Pittsburgh, Old Dominion and Virginia Tech in the IMICHotels.com INN-vitational Feb. 16-18.
The Baseball at the Beach Tournament expands this year to six teams and nine games. Coastal will play all three of its games at Coastal Federal Field, facing three NCAA Tournament teams from last season. The Chanticleers will play TCU Feb. 23, N.C. State Feb. 24, and Notre Dame Feb. 25. All three games will begin at 12 p.m.
Coastal will head to North Carolina Feb. 28 at 3 p.m., in its first game away from home. CCU is then right back at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field for the CCU Tournament March 2-4 featuring Rhode Island, Marist and West Virginia. After a road game against College World Series participant Clemson March 7, the Chanticleers host Bethune-Cookman, Ball State and Georgia Southern in the Myrtle Beach Hyundai Isuzu Classic March 9-11.
Coastal hosts Eastern Michigan in a three-game series March 15-17 and, after a mid-week game against Elon, hosts Radford to start the Big South schedule March 23-25.
The Chanticleers face Troy in Troy, Ala., April 6-8 and are at Nebraska in a three-game series May 4-6. Coastal also faces Wake Forest, the College of Charleston in home-and-home mid-week games and are at The Citadel and at Virginia in the latter half of the schedule.
Coastal ends the regular season on a seven-game road trip that includes a three-game series at Big Soouth Tournament champion UNC Asheville and a three-game set in Rock Hill against Winthrop. The Big South Tournament will take place in Rock Hill from May 22-26.
"I know that this is the most challenging schedule that we have played and I would assume as far as a major team sport here at our university, no one has undertaken this challenge before," Gilmore said. "For us to move to the next level as a program, we have to prove we can compete with these kind of teams. To win a regional, we have to show on two or three of these weekends that we can win a tournament.
"The good part is early, we are at home or at Coastal Federal," Gilmore continued. "If there are true baseball fans that not only love Coastal Carolina baseball, but baseball in general, there are three or four of these weekends that give a fantastic opportunity for them to watch some of the best college baseball in the country."