ACC, SEC foes fill Chants’ 2016 baseball campaign

ccubase-32oldThe Coastal Carolina baseball program will face yet another impressive set of opponents in 2016 as it will play 19 teams that finished the 2015 season among the NCAA Top 100 in the RPI, including 2015 national champion Virginia, head coach Gary Gilmore announced today.

Coastal will host Virginia in the opening weekend’s Caravelle Resort Tournament, along with North Carolina State, Kent State and Appalachian State. The games versus the Cavaliers and Wolfpack will be two of 11 the Chanticleers have scheduled versus teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference.

Other games versus ACC/SEC include hosting Duke as part of the Caravelle Resort’s Baseball at the Beach (Feb. 26-29), hosting Mississippi as part of the Chanticleer Classic (Mar. 4-6), a pair of home contests versus Wake Forest (March 8-9), one at South Carolina (April 5), one at North Carolina (April 19) and a three-game series at Georgia Tech (April 29-May 1).

The 2016 schedule also features seven teams that advanced to NCAA Regionals, including Super Regional teams Virginia and Illinois. Others include Mississippi, North Carolina State and Radford while the Chanticleers will face 2015 NCAA participants and region rivals UNC Wilmington and College of Charleston a total of seven times.

CCU will travel to UNC Wilmington Feb. 24 and Mar. 16, while making trips to College of Charleston March 2 and March 22. The Seahawks will come to Springs Brooks Stadium May 17, while the Cougars will visit April 12 and April 20.

Coastal Carolina opens the 2016 season Feb. 19-21 with the annual Caravelle Resort Tournament and the field includes Appalachian State, North Carolina State, Old Dominion and Virginia.

Virginia features the potential first pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, Connor Jones. Since 2010, a total of 21 top 100 picks have visited CCU for an early-season tournament. Last year, Illinois pitcher Tyler Jay was the sixth pick in the 2015 draft. Previously, the likes Kris Bryant (#2 pick in 2013), Carlos Rodon (#3 pick in 2014), Kyle Schwarber (#4 pick in 2014), Trae Turner (#13 pick of 2014), Casey Gillaspie (#20 pick in 2014), Kolbrin VItek (#20 pick in 2010),  Alex Meyer (#23 pick in 2011) and Eric Jagielo (#26 pick in 2013) have all played in a Coastal Carolina-hosted tournament.

The second weekend (Feb. 26-29) is Caravelle Resort’s Baseball at the Beach, annually one of the nation’s premier events. This year’s field includes Ohio State, Duke, Marshall and Liberty.

Coastal will open March with its Chanticleer Classic (Mar. 4-6) with Ball State, Cincinnati and Mississippi and wrap up its tournament portion of the schedule Mar. 11-13 with the Coastal Carolina Invitational with UNC Greensboro and Illinois.

ACC member Wake Forest will come to Springs Brooks Stadium for two-game, mid-week series (March 8-9) between Coastal’s third and fourth home tournaments.

The Chanticleers will open league play on the road (Mar. 18-20) at Longwood. Gardner-Webb will be CCU’s Big South home opener (April 1-3) and will also host league foes Presbyterian (April 15-17), High Point (April 22-24) and Campbell (May 19-21).

Coastal Carolina returns eight starters on offense and a total of nine returning pitchers from last year’s team that reached the program’s 13th NCAA Regional over the past 15 seasons. Coastal was additionally one of five teams to finish 2015 among the top 20 in both strength of schedule and RPI.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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