Televised Game on ESPNU Highlights Key Baseball Series Against Liberty
Televised Game on ESPNU Highlights Key Baseball Series Against Liberty
Coastal Carolina (33-13, 12-5)
vs. Liberty (29-14, 16-4)
Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field - Conway, S.C.
May 1-3 - 6/6/2 p.m.
Friday’s Probable Starters
Chants - LHP Cody Wheeler (8-0, 3.06 ERA)
Liberty - LHP Steven Evans (6-2, 3.90 ERA)
Saturday’s Probable Starters
Chants - TBA
Liberty - LHP Shawn Teufel (7-1, 4.25 ERA)
Sunday’s Probable Starters
Chants - TBA
Liberty - TBA
Chants - 22nd (NCBWA), 25th (ESPN/USA TODAY)
TV: ESPNU on Friday (Justin Kutcher, Leland Maddox)
Live Audio: www.GoCCUsports.com/THE TEAM 93.9 FM (Sat. & Sun.)
Live Video: THE EDGE on Sunday
The two teams with the highest winning percentages in the Big South Conference meet this weekend at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field in Conway, S.C. The 22nd-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (33-13, 12-5 Big South) hosts Liberty (29-14, 16-4 Big South) May 1-3. Friday’s game begins at 6 p.m., and will be televised on ESPNU with Justin Kutcher and Leland Maddox on the call. Saturday’s game is at 6 p.m., with Sunday’s game at 2 p.m. The Chanticleers are coming off an 18-5 win over Wake Forest Wednesday night.
SCOUTING LIBERTY: The Flames fell to Virginia 5-2 in their only midweek contest. Errol Hollinger had a run-scoring double against the Cavaliers. Curran Redal leads the Flames with a .405 batting average. He also had a 32-game hitting streak earlier in the season. Steven Evans will be making the start for Liberty on Friday night. Evans is 6-2 with a 3.90 earned-run average in 12 appearances.
SERIES VS. LIBERTY: Coastal Carolina leads the overall series with Liberty 37-27 and is 15-10 against the Flames in Conway. The two teams met five times last season, with the Chanticleers coming away with three wins, including the second championship game of the 2008 Big South Tournament 9-2. Scott Woodward (Markle, Ind./Norwell) was 10-of-19 against the Flames last season.
WEATHER FORECAST: Friday: Mostly Cloudy, 82 degrees. Saturday: Partly Cloudy, 83 degrees. Sunday: Isolated T-Storms, 84 degrees.
PROMOTIONS: Baseball’s Flavor of Love (A Match Made in Seven - Friday). Coastal Carolina students will have the opportunity to take part in a speed dating event throughout the baseball game. Fun music and promotional events will make this evening a night to remember. All students are invited to participate or just come enjoy the atmosphere.
COASTAL CAROLINA IN THE POLLS: The highest ranking of the week comes in the NCBWA poll, where the Chanticleers are 22nd. Coastal Carolina is 25th in the USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches’ poll and 27th in the Ping! Baseball poll.
RPI WATCH: Coastal Carolina is 28th in the official NCAA RPI, as of April 28. The Chanticleers are rated 30th in the Boydsworld.com simulated RPI and 36th in the WarrenNolan.com RPI.
WOODWARD RETURNS TO ACTION: Sophomore Scott Woodward (Markle, Ind./Norwell) returned to the field in the 18-5 win over Wake Forest April 29, coming in as a defensive replacement. Woodward also flew out to left field in the bottom of the seventh inning. It was his first action since breaking his finger April 1 against UNC Wilmington.
CHANTS EXPLODE FOR 20 HITS AGAINST WAKEFOREST: The Chanticleers had 20 hits in their 18-5 win over Wake Forest April 29. Sophomore Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) and junior Adam Rice (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Elgin C.C.) were a lethal 1-2 punch in the order, as both players had four hits. Rice added six RBI, while redshirt junior Chance Gilmore (Surfside Beach, S.C./Virginia) was 3-for-4. It was the third-most hits by Coastal Carolina this season.
RICE ON FIRE FOR CHANTS: Junior Adam Rice (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Elgin C.C.) has been on fire in the last 10 games, hiting .479 (23-of-43) with 12 runs scored, five doubles, 15 RBI and a .583 slugging percentage. Since moving into the two-hole in the batting order, Rice is 37-for-78 (.474) at the plate.
REIN TIME: Sophomore Matt Rein (Houston, Texas/Langham Creek) has pitched eight innings in Coastal Carolina’s last seven games, striking out six batters compared to just one walk and four earned runs. Rein has made 20 appearances out of the bullpen and has a 3.51 earned-run average, a 3-0 record and 25 strikeouts in 25.2 innings.
McCULLY, GAGG TRADE PLACES IN PRESBYTERIAN WIN: Junior Nick McCully (Lakeland, Fla./Santa Fe Catholic) earned his first start of the season April 26 against Presbyterian, pitching 4.2 innings and allowed just two hits with four strikeouts in the 8-3 win. Senior Bobby Gagg (Hamburg, N.J./Wallkill) then pitched out of the bullpen for the first time since his freshman year, striking out a batter in two innings of work.
TWO-OUT MAGIC AGAINST THE BLUE HOSE: Coastal Carolina scored 21 runs with two outs in the three-game series against Presbyterian this past weekend. This includes all 14 runs in the 14-8 win Friday afternoon. Coastal Carolina has driven in 172 runs with two outs this season.
ANDERSON MOVING UP HOME RUN LIST: Senior David Anderson (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) belted his 45th home run as a Chanticleer in the 13-7 loss to the College of Charleston April 28. Anderson tied Mike Costanzo for second all-time in career home runs in Coastal Carolina history and in Big South history.
AND SPEAKING OF ANDERSON: Senior David Anderson (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) hit .700 (7-for-10) with five runs scored, a double, two home runs and drove in seven runs in the High Point series. Anderson also walked five times and bumped his batting average to .383, sixth-best in the conference. Anderson has 18 RBI in his last 10 games.
WHEELER WINS EIGHTH: Sophomore Cody Wheeler (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) improved to 8-0 in Coastal Carolina’s 14-8 win over Presbyterian April 24. Wheeler struck out eight in 6.2 innings of work. He has a 3.06 earned-run average and has 66 strikeouts in 64.2 innings this season.
NOEL WALKS OFF WITH CHANT WIN: Sophomore Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) hit a leadoff walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th as Coastal Carolina defeated Radford 3-2. Noel took Jason Patten’s 1-2 pitch over the wall in left field. It was Noel’s seventh career home run and Coastal Carolina’s first walk-off home run since Matt Rademacher did the trick in a 12-9 win April 28, 2007 over Liberty.
POWER SURGE IN RADFORD SET: Coastal Carolina hit 10 home runs in the Radford series and now have 65 on the year. This included the first career home runs for freshman Steve Davis (Steubenville, Ohio/Steubenville) and redshirt freshman Tucker Frawley (Lexington, S.C./Lexington). Sophomore Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) had two home runs in the three games, while senior David Anderson (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) hit his 12th on the year.
PITCHING STAFF SOLID IN SERIES VS. RADFORD: The Coastal Carolina pitching staff gave up just five runs in 28 innings in the three-game sweep of Radford April 10-11. Sophomore Cody Wheeler (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) tied a career high with 10 strikeouts on April 10, while redshirt junior Austin Fleet (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) and freshman Anthony Meo (Cranston, R.I./Cranston West) earned their fifth wins of the season. The Chanticleers struck out 30 Highlanders in the three-game series.
CHANTS WIN SLUGFESTS IN THE MIDWEEK: Despite the Chants giving up double-figures in runs for the first time this season, Coastal Carolina won two midweek games with its offense, scoring 27 runs on 30 hits in victories over Elon (11-10) and Wake Forest (16-13). Senior Tyler Bortnick (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) had his first career multi-home run game while freshman Steve Davis (Steubenville, Ohio/Steubenville) drove in three runs with a bases-clearing double in the win over Elon. Freshman Tommy Winegardner (St. Leonard, Md./Riverdale Baptist) was 3-for-5 with three RBI and junior Adam Rice (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Elgin C.C.) hit his fourth home run of the year in the Wake Forest win. Coastal Carolina raised its overall batting average to .321 after hitting .349 in the two games.
GOIN’ FOR TWO: After 46 games, the Chanticleers have hit 108 doubles on the season. That mark is on pace to break last year’s 149 doubles. The school record is 153 set in 2001. Freshman Taylor Motter (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens) leads the Chants with 16 doubles on the year.
RICE NAMED BIG SOUTH CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Coastal Carolina junior Adam Rice (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Elgin C.C.) and VMI junior Jordan Ballard (Troy, Va.) have been selected as the Big South Conference Choice Hotels Baseball Co-Player of the Week, while Winthrop junior Tyler McBride (Columbia, S.C.) has been named New Balance Pitcher of the Week for games played March 30-April 5.
Rice batted .632 (12-19) in Coastal Carolina’s five wins last week with five runs scored, four doubles, two home runs and seven RBI. He also had a 1.100 slugging percentage and a .619 on-base average. In Friday’s 11-6 win over Gardner-Webb, Rice went 5-5 with two home runs, a double, four RBI and two runs scored. He had multiple hits and scored a run in four of the five games, and ended the week with a 2-3, three RBI performance in Sunday’s 10-4 win over the Bulldogs. Rice raised his batting average 65 points during the week.
PITCHING EXCELS IN GARDNER-WEBB SERIES: Coastal Carolina allowed just three hits combined through the first six innings in the three-game series against Gardner-Webb April 3-5. Sophomore Cody Wheeler (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) had a no-hitter after six innings, extending his no-hit streak to 17.1 innings. He improved to 6-0 on the season, allowing three hits and three earned runs with eight strikeouts. Redshirt juniorAustin Fleet (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) allowed just one hit through six innings. He picked up his fourth win after allowing four hits and two earned runs in 6.1 innings. Freshman Anthony Meo (Cranston, R.I./Cranston West) allowed just two hits in seven innings of work to improve to 4-0. Meo struck out four in the 10-4 win.
CHANTS USE LONGBALL IN FIRST G-W WIN: Coastal Carolina belted six home runs in the 11-6 win over Gardner-Webb April 3, including two from junior Adam Rice (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Elgin C.C.). Coastal Carolina had eight home runs on the weekend and now have 65 on the season, tops in the Big South.
CHANTS WIN TWO NAILBITERS OVER UNCW: Coastal Carolina won two one-run games against UNC Wilmington March 31-April 1. In the series opener in Conway, S.C., junior Jose Iglesias (Miami, Fla./St. John’s) singled home classmate Adam Rice (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Elgin C.C.) with the winning run in the bottom of the 11th for a 4-3 win. Then in Wilmington, N.C., the Chants had solo home runs in the fifth by freshman Daniel Bowman (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) and sophomore Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) and freshman Tommy Winegardner (St. Leonard, Md./Riverdale Baptist) struck out Grayson Evans with runners on second and third in the ninth to give Coastal Carolina the 3-2 win over the Seahawks. Coastal Carolina now is 6-2 in one-run games this season.
PITCHING COMES THROUGH AGAIN IN UNCW SERIES: Coastal Carolina continued to have solid pitching, giving up just five runs in 20 innings in the two-game UNC Wilmington series. Coastal Carolina now has a team earned-run average of 2.97 after 28 games, good for fourth in the country in ERA. The bullpen was stout in the opener, as junior Caleb Cuevas (Fletcher, N.C./Louisburg J.C.) pitched three scoreless innings and classmate Nick McCully (Lakeland, Fla./Santa Fe Catholic) struck out six in the final 2.2 innings. On Wednesday, senior Bobby Gagg (Hamburg, N.J./Wallkill) pitched 7.2 innings, scattering eight hits and giving up just one run.
WHEELER THROWS NO-HITTER IN HAWAI’I WIN: Sophomore Cody Wheeler (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) threw the first no-hitter in the Gary Gilmore era at Coastal Carolina in a 4-0 win over Hawai’i March 26.
Wheeler struck out 10 and retired 28 batters in the 4-0 win over Hawai’i March 26. Wheeler’s no-hitter was the first by Coastal Carolina since Kevin Marrie had a five-inning rain-shortened no-hitter in a 14-0 win over Rider Feb. 27, 2005. It also was the first no-hitter on the islands since 1982 and the first against Hawai’i since 1998. Wheeler’s 10 strikeouts included a punchout to Jeff Van Doornum, who reached on a passed ball. Wheeler threw 118 pitches in the complete-game effort, and surpassed career highs in both innings pitched and strikeouts. The sophomore also received defensive help from centerfielder Rico Noel, shortstop Taylor Motter and rightfielder Scott Woodward, who all made great defensive plays to keep the no-hitter alive.
Wheeler also earned Big South Pitcher of the Week and a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week honor March 30 after the effort against the Rainbows.
CHANTS SHUFFLE DEFENSE IN HAWAI’I SERIES: Coastal Carolina had some changes in the Hawai’i series, moving senior Tyler Bortnick (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) to third base, sophomore Scott Woodward (Markle, Ind./Norwell) to right field and inserting freshman Tommy Winegardner (St. Leonard, Md./Riverdale Baptist) in second base. The move paid off as the trio went 15-of-32 (.469) in the series.
WE’RE GOING STREAKING: The Chanticleers carried a 14-game winning streak into the College of Charleston game March 18. The Chants lost that game 3-0 to snap the streak, but their streak was second to the 16-game winning streak Coastal Carolina had in 2007.
FLEET LOOKS IN FORM: Redshirt junior Austin Fleet (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) had a strong outing at Tennesee March 17. Fleet struck out six Vols and gave up just five hits and one run in the 5-2 win.
CHANTS OPEN BIG SOUTH SLATE WITH TWO WINS: Despite rainy weather in the Asheville area, the Chanticleers were able to get two games in in the opening Big South series with UNC Asheville. Coastal Carolina won both games to take the series. Senior David Anderson (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) had four hits in the opening 9-4 win, while freshman Daniel Bowman (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) had four hits in the 12-2 victory March 16.
CHANTS WIN PITCHER’S DUELS IN MIDWEEK: Despite collecting only 10 hits in two midweek games, the Chants came out 2-0 with wins over Creighton (1-0) and USC Upstate (4-2). In the Creighton win, senior Bobby Gagg (Hamburg, N.J./Wallkill) allowed just three hits in 5.2 innings, while junior Nick McCully (Lakeland, Fla./Santa Fe Catholic) pitched the final 2.2 innings, striking out three to pick up his first win of the season. Then in the USC Upstate win, six pitchers combined to strike out seven and strand nine Spartans on base.
WHEELER NAMED BIG SOUTH PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Coastal Carolina sophomore Cody Wheeler (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) has been named the Big South New Balance Pitcher of the Week for games played March 2-8, it was announced today by the Big South office.
Wheeler was unstoppable in Coastal Carolina’s 9-0 win over Stony Brook Friday night, allowing one hit in seven innings of work. He gave up just a one-out single in the third inning, and did not allow a runner past first base all night. Wheeler struck out five, permitted just three base runners overall, and retired the final eight batters he faced. Wheeler’s line last week: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 SO, .050 opponents’ batting average.
WHAT A WEEK FOR BORTNICK: Senior Tyler Bortnick (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) extended his hitting streak to 12 games after going 9-for-14 with eight runs scored and four RBI in six games last week. He was 3-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored in the win over Albany, went 2-for-4 with a run scored in the 3-1 win over The Citadel, hit a solo home run in the win over Stony Brook March 6 and had two doubles in the 8-7 win over Creighton March 7. Bortnick had a 1.000 slugging percentage and a .750 on-base percentage.
CHANTS SET RECORDS IN STONY BROOK WIN: Coastal Carolina set a school record for runs scored in a game in the 36-3 win over Stony Brook March 8 on the final day of the Caravelle Resort Classic. The 33-run margin also was a school record. The original mark was set March 25, 1982 in a 29-1 win over Voorhees. Redshirt sophomore Dustin King (Myrtle Beach, S.C./Carolina Forest) went 4-for-6 with six RBI and a grand slam in the win. Freshman Steve Davis (Steubenville, Ohio/Steubenville) was 4-for-6 with three runs scored, while redshirt freshman Tucker Frawley (Lexington, S.C./Lexington) was 3-for-4 with two RBI. Freshman Taylor Motter (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens) was the only position player to play all nine innings. He went 5-for-7 with five runs scored.
McCULLY CLOSES DOOR IN TOUGH SITUTATION: Junior Nick McCully (Lakeland, Fla./Santa Fe Catholic) entered the Creighton game March 7 with a runner on first in the eighth inning of a 6-5 game. McCully would strike out Scott Thornburg to end that threat. Coastal Carolina would give him some cushion in the eighth, taking an 8-5 lead. McCully gave up a two-run home run to Darin Ruf and had runners on first and second with one out, but the closer would strike out Jimmy Swift and Dan Blair looking to end the game. McCully picked up his third save of the season in the win.
CHANTS GIVE UP FOUR HITS IN TWO GAMES OF DOUBLEHEADER: The Coastal Carolina pitching staff allowed just four hits in back-to-back shutouts of Albany and Stony Brook March 6. Freshman Anthony Meo (Cranston, R.I./Cranston West) struck out eight and allowed three hits in the 12-0 win over Albany, while sophomore Cody Wheeler (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) had five strikeouts in seven innings, allowing just one hit in the 9-0 win over Stony Brook.
GAGG THROWS GAS IN CITADEL WIN: Senior Bobby Gagg (Wallkill, N.J./Hamburg) rebounded from his opening start to have an outstanding performance against The Citadel March 4. Gagg did not allow a hit until the sixth inning. He gave up just one run and three hits in seven innings in the 3-1 win.
GILMORE GOES FOR THREE: Redshirt junior Chance Gilmore (Surfside Beach, S.C./Virginia) had his fifth triple of the season April 21 in the 5-3 loss to Clemson. Gilmore now has six career triples. The single-season record is eight, set by Tony Spires in 1987.
HESSLER NAMED BIG SOUTH CO-PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Coastal Carolina redshirt-freshman Keith Hessler (Silver Spring, Md.) was named New Balance Co-Pitcher of the Week for games played Feb. 23-March 1, it was announced by the League office.
Hessler had a steller outing against No. 1 North Carolina, helping the Chants to a 7-3 win in Chapel Hill on Feb. 24. He started the game and gave up just three hits in 5.1 innings while striking out five and allowing just one earned run. Hessler allowed one extra base hit and held the Tar Heels to a .158 batting average in the no-decision.
NOEL HAS MOUNTAINEERS’ NUMBER: Sophomore Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) went 4-for-5 with four RBI in the 15-5 win over West Virginia Feb. 27. Noel had a two-run double in Coastal Carolina’s six-run fourth inning and had a bunt single that scored a run in the sixth inning. He ended his day with a bases-loaded walk.
CHANT BULLPEN STOUT IN TENNESSEE WIN: The Coastal Carolina bullpen of junior Caleb Cuevas (Fletcher, N.C./Louisburg J.C.), sophomore Matt Rein (Houston, Texas/Langham Creek), freshman T.J. Swank (Crystal Lake, Ill./Prairie Ridge) and junior Nick McCully (Lakeland, Fla./Santa Fe Catholic) did not allow a hit in four innings pitched in the 10-5 win over Tennesse Feb. 27. The quartet struck out three and did not allow a walk, helping the Chant offense break a 5-5 tie with three runs in the sixth and two in the seventh.
MOTTER, GILMORE LIFT CHANTS OVER VOLS: Freshman Taylor Motter (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens) and redshirt junior Chance Gilmore (Surfside Beach, S.C./Virginia) each had great games at the plate in the 10-5 win over Tennessee Feb. 27. Motter broke a 5-5 tie with a solo home run to lead off the sixth. He was 3-for-4 wtih three RBI and three runs scored. Gilmore was a perfect 4-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI single in the fifth that tied the game at five.
CHANTS KNOCK OFF #1: For the first time in school history, Coastal Carolina defeated the number-one team in the country. The Chanticleers’ 7-3 win over North Carolina was highlighted by a two-run home run from junior Jose Iglesias (Miami, Fla./St. John’s) and a four-run ninth inning helped by two Tar Heel errors. The highest-ranked opponents the Chanticleers defeated before Feb. 24 was a 7-6 win over fifth-ranked Georgia Tech May 10, 2005.
FLEET NAMED BIG SOUTH PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Coastal Carolina redshirt junior Austin Fleet (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) was named New Balance Pitcher of the Week for games played the opening weekend of the 2009 season, it was announced Feb. 23 by the League office.
Fleet earned a huge win for the Chanticleers, allowing just three hits and one run while striking out six and allowing no walks in a 4-1 victory over No. 19 Kentucky on Feb. 21. Fleet retired the first seven hitters and allowed just one extra-base hit in holding the Wildcats to a .136 batting average. Fleet’s line last week: 1-0, 1.50 ERA, 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 6 SO.
CHANTS COMING UP ACES ON THE MOUND: The Chanticleer trio of freshman Anthony Meo (Cranston, R.I./Cranston West), redshirt junior Austin Fleet (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) and sophomore Cody Wheeler (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) combined to throw 18 innings in the Caravelle Resort Invitational, allowing just three runs on 10 hits while striking out 18 and walking just three. Meo earned his first collegiate win Feb. 20 against Southern Illinois, while Fleet and Wheeler earned victories against #19 Kentucky.
IGLESIAS SHOWS POWERON THE WEEKEND: Junior Jose Iglesias (Miami, Fla./St. John’s) had three home runs and drove in 10 in the four games of the Caravelle Resort Tournament Feb. 20-22. He had two home runs and five RBI in the opening day win over Southern Illinois, then hit a towering shot against James Madison Feb. 22. He followed that with a two-run home run in the eighth inning that tied the game against North Carolina at 3-3.
CHANTS SUCCESSFUL IN SEASON OPENER: Coastal Carolina improved to 22-12 all-time in season openers, dating back to the 1976 season, with its 16-3 win over Southern Illinois Feb. 20. Freshman Anthony Meo (Cranston, R.I./Cranston West) became the first freshman to start opening day in the Gary Gilmore era, and he struck out six and gave up two hits in six innings of work.
DRAFT DODGERS: Coastal Carolina has four players on its roster that were taken in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Redshirt junior Austin Fleet (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) was taken in the 2006 draft by the Atlanta Braves. Junior Jim Birmingham (Pine Hill, N.J./Overbrook (Penn)) was taken by the Nationals in the 25th round in 2006. Freshman Anthony Meo (Cranston, R.I./Cranston West) was selected in the 43rd round by the Washington Nationals, while classmate Dan Bowman (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) was selected in the 48th round by the Texas Rangers.
WHO’S BACK: Coastal Carolina returns six position starters and nine pitchers from last year’s 50-14 team that advance to the Super Regional. Three of the four infielders return in senior David Anderson (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll), classmate Tyler Bortnick (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) and sophomore Scott Woodward (Markle, Ind./Norwell). Redshirt junior Chance Gilmore (Surfside Beach, S.C./Virginia) returns to play left field, while junior Adam Rice (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Elgin C.C.) can play in the infield, the outfield or at designated hitter. Sophomore Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) started at second base last season, but will open 2009 in center field. The Chanticleers also return the front end of their pitching staff in junior Nick McCully (Lakeland, Fla./Santa Fe Catholic), redshirt junior Austin Fleet (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe), senior Bobby Gagg (Hamburg, N.J./Wallkill) and sophomore Cody Wheeler (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania).
NEWCOMERS DOT CHANT ROSTER: Coastal has 11 newcomers on the roster, including nine true freshman. Junior Caleb Cuevas (Fletcher, N.C./Louisburg J.C.) will be on the Chanticleer pitching staff, while sophomore Tommy La Stella (Closter, N.J./St. John’s) will have to sit out the 2009 season due to the NCAA’s new transfer rule.
PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS HIGHLIGHT EARLY HONOREES: Coastal had three players named to at least one Preseason All-America list before the 2009 season. Senior David Anderson (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) was named to the Wallace Award Watch List as well as earning Second Team All-Ping! Baseball and Third Team Louisville Slugger Preseason All-America honors. Junior Nick McCully (Lakeland, Fla./Santa Fe Catholic) was named an Honorable Mention Preseason All-American by College Baseball Insider. Sophomore Scott Woodward (Markle, Ind./Norwell) was named to the First Team by Ping! Baseball, the Second Team by College Baseball Insider and Recruiting Closer and Third Team by Louisville Slugger. He also was named to the Wallace Award and Golden Spikes Award Watch Lists.
McCULLY NAMED BIG SOUTH PRESEASON PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Junior Nick McCully (Lakeland, Fla./Santa Fe Catholic) was named the Big South Preseason Pitcher of the Year Jan. 28. McCully received six first-place votes and 14 points in the League’s preseason voting, finishing ahead of Liberty’s Dustin Umberger (nine points, two first-place votes).
McCully led the Big South in wins last season, going 10-3 with a 3.63 ERA in 24 appearances and 89.1 innings for the Chanticleers. He struck out 72 batters compared to 27 walks in 2008, and held opponents to a .245 batting average. He also had three saves on the year.
CHANTS PLAY IN FIRST-EVER SUPER REGIONAL: Coastal Carolina advanced to its first-ever NCAA Super Regional in 2008. The Chants faced second-seeded North Carolina in the NCAA Cary Super Regional at the USA Baseball National Training Center. Although the Chants fell 2-0 to the Tar Heels, Tyler Bortnick and Dock Doyle had four hits apiece, while David Sappelt had three runs-batted-in in two games. Austin Fleet pitched three scoreless innings in Game Two. The Super Regional appearance also was the first by a Big South team in the conference’s history.
COASTAL CAROLINA WINS 2008 NCAA CONWAY REGIONAL: Coastal Carolina won its first ever regional, defeating Columbia 11-2, Alabama 13-10 and East Carolina 24-11 in the NCAA Conway Regional at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field. The Chanticleers hit .360 in three games and belted eight home runs in the Regional. Junior David Anderson and senior Tommy Baldridge were named Co-Most Valuable Players following the East Carolina game. Baldridge was 6-for-14 on the weekend and had a three-run home run that broke a 10-10 tie against Alabama, giving the Chants a 13-10 win. Anderson had seven hits, three home runs and a win on the mound. He belted two home runs in the win over East Carolina and had eight RBIs in the three games. Baldridge and Anderson were joined by freshman Scott Woodward, junior David Sappelt, junior Dock Doyle and sophomore Nick McCully on the All-Tournament Team.
POSTSEASON HONORS FOR CHANTS IN 2008: Dock Doyle was named a Second Team Lousiville Slugger All-American by Collegiate Baseball. Doyle hit .370 with 16 home runs and 72 RBIs for the Chants. He also threw out 13 runners trying to steal and had seven pickoffs. Freshman Scott Woodward earned Freshman All-American honors by Rivals.com, the NCBWA, Louisville Slugger, Ping! Baseball, and Baseball America. Woodward hit .364 with seven home runs and 45 RBIs and stole a Big South-leading 42 bases. Doyle and Woodward were joined on the ABCA All-Region Second Team by David Sappelt. Sappelt hit .349 with 18 home runs and 70 RBIs in 64 games played.
FIVE CHANTS FEEL A DRAFT: Coastal Carolina had five players selected in the 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, including two players chosen in the fifth round. Junior Dock Doyle and classmate Pete Andrelczyk were selected by the New York Mets and the Florida Marlins, respectively. Junior David Sappelt was picked in the ninth round by the Cincinnati Reds. Senior Tommy Baldridge was selected by the New York Yankees in the 33rd round, with junior Jeff Richard picked by the Atlanta Braves in the 38th round. Coastal Carolina had 12 players selected in the draft the past two seasons.
CHANTS WIN NINTH BIG SOUTH TOURNAMENT TITLE: Coastal Carolina won its ninth Big South Tournament by defeating Liberty 9-2 in the second championship game May 24. Junior Tyler Bortnick was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after going 9-of-18 at the plate and belting two home runs. Bortnick was joined on the All-Tournament Team by junior David Sappelt, senior Tommy Baldridge, senior Joey Haug and junior Dock Doyle. Coastal Carolina opened the tournament by defeating UNC Asheville 20-4. The Chants won close games against VMI 3-1 and Winthrop 8-6 the next two days. Coastal Carolina fell to Liberty in the first championship game 13-1, before rebounding to defeat the Flames 9-2.
COASTAL CAROLINA WINS 11TH BIG SOUTH REGULAR-SEASON TITLE: For the 11th time in school history, Coastal Carolina won the Big South Conference regular-season title. The Chanticleers wrapped up the outright title with its 10-4 win over Radford May 16. Coastal Carolina has won the crown five of the last 10 years. The Chants won all seven Big South series in 2008, marking the third time in the last four years the Chants have accomplished that feat.
COASTAL CAROLINA EARNS DAILY DOUBLE: Coastal Carolina won both the Big South regular-season and tournament titles for the second straight season and the fifth time in school history. Coastal Carolina also did the trick in 1991, 1992 and 2002.
CONWAY REGIONAL SETS ATTENDANCE MARKS: The single-game attendance record at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field was broken four times in the NCAA Conway Regional. The new mark is now 2,320, set during the Coastal Carolina-East Carolina game June 1. A total of 11,124 fans packed the stands for the six games.
ALL-BIG SOUTH TEAMS FILLED WITH CHANTS: Coastal Carolina earned the Big South Player, Freshman and Coach of the Year and had 11 players on the All-Big South First and Second Teams.. Junior Dock Doyle was named the Big South Player of the Year and Scott Woodward was the Big South Freshman of the Year. Head Coach Gary Gilmore earned Big South Coach of the Year honors for the fifth time in his career. Doyle and Woodward were joined by Tommy Baldridge (outfield), David Sappelt (outfield), Bobby Gagg (starting pitcher), Joey Haug (starting pitcher) and Pete Andrelczyk (relief pitcher) on the first team, while David Anderson (first base), Nick McCully (starting pitcher), Tyler Bortnick (shortstop) and Adam Rice (outfield) were second-team selections.
UP NEXT: Coastal Carolina hosts VMI in a three-game series May 9-11 at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field.