Chants carry momentum, awards into tournament

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Coastal Carolina’s Billy Cooke, who led the league in three offensive categories, was voted Sun Belt Player of the Year and Cory Wood, who had the league’s best batting average in conference games, was selected Sun Belt Freshman on the Year, it was announced Monday by the Conference.

Cooke, Alex Cunningham and Kevin Woodall Jr., were named first team All-Sun Belt, while Wood, Andrew Beckwith and Jordan Gore earned second team honors.

Although this is Coastal Carolina’s first year in the Sun Belt Conference, Cooke becomes the 13th Chanticleer since 1986 to earn a conference’s Player of the Year award, while Wood is the fifth Chant to be named a league’s Freshman of the Year.

In other awards news, Coastal Carolina Golden Spikes Award candidate Alex Cunningham was voted Sun Belt Pitcher of the Week for the third time this season after tying a CCU record with 14 strikeouts this past Thursday versus Appalachian State.

In addition, Cunningham is in the running for the Golden Spikes Gold Standard Performance honor for the second time this season. (Fans can vote for Cunningham on the Golden Spike official Twitter page: @USAGoldenSpikes.)

Winners of 12 of its last 14 games, Coastal Carolina will serve as the #1 seed at this week’s Sun Belt Championship, played at Statesboro, Ga., on the campus of Georgia Southern. (All games of the tournament will be on ESPN3). The following is the tournament schedule:

Tuesday, May 23 (start of single-elimination)
GM 1: #7 Arkansas State vs. #10 Georgia State • 3:00 pm
GM 2: #8 Texas State vs. #9 Little Rock • 6:30 pm

Wednesday, May 24 (start of double-elimination)
GM 3: #3 South Alabama vs. #6 Troy • 9 am
GM 4: #2 UTA vs. 1st Rd Winner (High Seed) • 12:30 pm
GM 5: #1 Coastal vs. 1st Rd Winner (Low Seed) • 4 pm
GM 6: #4 Louisiana vs. #5 Georgia Southern • 7:30 pm

Thursday, May 25
GM 7: Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 • 9 am
GM 8: Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6 • 12.30 pm
GM 9: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 • 4 pm
GM 10: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6 • 7:30 pm

Friday, May 26
GM 11: Winner Game 7 vs. Loser Game 9 • 3 pm
GM 12: Winner Game 8 vs. Loser Game 10 • 6:30 pm

Saturday, May 27
GM 13: Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 11 • 9 am
GM 14: Winner Game 10 vs. Winner Game 12 • 12:30 pm
*GM 15: Winner Game 13 vs. Loser Game 13 • 4 pm
*GM 16: Winner Game 14 vs. Loser Game 14 • 7:30 pm

Sunday, May 28
Winner take all Championship • 1 pm

NOTE: Games 15 & 16 are “if necessary” games

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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