CCU baseball picked to win championship of Big South

ccubase-paezFor the first time since 2012, Coastal Carolina University’s baseball team has been voted the Big South Conference’s outright preseason favorite by the league’s Head Baseball Coaches, it was announced today by the Conference office.

In addition, the coaches voted High Point junior outfielder Josh Greene (Ocala, Fla.) the Conference’s Preseason Player of the Year and Winthrop junior Matt Crohan (Jamesport, N.Y.) the league’s Preseason Pitcher of the Year.

Coastal was the near-unanimous selection to win the Big South crown in 2016, as the Chants received 10 of the 11 first-place votes and finished with 120 out of a possible 121 total points.  Coastal Carolina is coming off its 14th NCAA Tournament berth after finishing as the league’s runner-up in 2015.

Led by 21-year head coach Gary Gilmore – the Big South’s winningest baseball coach with a record of 792-420 (65.3 percent), the Chanticleers are nationally-ranked in three preseason polls – Baseball America (No. 23), D1Baseball.com (No. 23) and PerfectGame.org (No. 21).  The Chants return eight starters on offense, two starting pitchers and its top three relief pitchers with a total of 21 lettermen returning from last year’s 39-21 club.

Winthrop was second in the preseason poll with 102 points — its highest position in the preseason ranking since being picked the favorite in 2007.  Liberty was picked third with 99 points, while High Point finished fourth in the voting with 83 points — just ahead of defending Big South Champion Radford (fifth with 81 points).  Campbell landed in the sixth spot with 74 points, with Charleston Southern in the seventh position (52 points).  Longwood garnered eighth-place (40 points), followed by Presbyterian College (ninth, 31 points), Gardner-Webb (10th, 23 points) and UNC Asheville (11th, 21 points).  Campbell is eligible for the league’s regular-season championship but not the conference tournament in 2016 due to its most recent APR score.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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