Chanticleers, Witten named team, performer of the week

With wins at Clemson and a series sweep at Liberty, Coastal Carolina has been named the CollegeBaseballInsider.com National Team of the Week. Also, Chanticleer senior Rich Witten has been named a CollegeBaseball360.com Primetime Performer for last week’s action.

These honors come a day after the Chants learned they re-entered the nation’s top 25, coming in at 24th in the Collegiate Baseball poll, and fellow senior Daniel Bowman was named Big South Choice Hotels Baseball Player of the Week.

Witten batted .500 for the week (6-for-12) with three runs scored, eight RBI, a double, a home run and five walks. The Danville, Ky., native had the game-winning hit in the first three games of the week and went 2-for-2 with an RBI and three walks in finale. Witten had a team-high, eight RBI for the week and has seven game-winning RBI this season to lead the team.

He started the week going 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored, accounting for five of CCU’s 10 runs in the win at Clemson, including a game-winning, two-run double. In the first Liberty game, he was 1-for-4 with a two RBI, hitting another two-run, game-winning double. In the second Liberty game, Witten was 1-for-2, hitting what proved to be a game-winning, two-run home run in the fifth inning. In the final Liberty game, he was 2-for-2 with an RBI and the Flames walked him the final three at bats, twice intentionally.

Witten now has 45 career doubles to rank 12th on the CCU all-time list and 129 career RBI to rank 20th in school history.

This is the second time in three weeks Witten has been recognized for his production at the plate. On April 16, Witten was named the Big South Choice Hotels Co-Player of the Week as he posted nine hits and six RBI, including a walk-off home run to give CCU a series sweep over VMI before a national ESPNU television audience.

In the NCAA statistics, Bowman ranks 25th in the NCAA in batting average (.392) and 28th in hits (67), while Jacob May ranks 37th in stolen bases (0.51 per game). Four CCU pitchers rank among the NCAA top 115 in ERA, including Aaron Burke (fourth at 1.25), Josh Conway (58th at 2.14), Tyler Herb (102nd at 2.43) and Ryan Connolly (113th at 2.47). In addition, Herb and Burke rank 27th nationally, each with seven wins, while Connolly ranks 13th in the NCAA with 10 saves.

Coastal Carolina will have another key Big South battle this weekend, welcoming Campbell (33-12). While the Chanticleers remain the nation’s leader in ERA (2.42) and rank sixth nationally by allowing just 7.31 hits per game, the Camels come to Watson Stadium with a potent offense, ranking fifth nationally in batting average (.321), eight in scoring (7.6 runs per game), second in hits (504) and eighth in stolen bases (90).

Coastal and Campbell will square off in a Saturday doubleheader with first pitch set for 2 pm. The teams will play a single game Sunday, also set for a 2 pm start.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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