More national awards roll in for Coastal’s Gary Gilmore

ggPreviously honored by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, Coastal Carolina’s Gary Gilmore has been named National Coach of the Year by three additional organizations, including the American Baseball Coaches Association, Collegiate Baseball newspaper and HERO Sports.

In his 21st year at his alma mater, Gilmore led the Chanticleers to the 2016 NCAA National Championship. With two wins the championship series versus Arizona to claim the title, Gilmore recorded his 1,100th career victory, which ranks 35th in the NCAA all-time Division I wins list, and led CCU to its 55th win of the season, which was the best win total in the NCAA and tied a school record for wins in a season.

Gilmore is 1,100-540 overall (27th year) and 847-438 in his 21tst year at CCU.

The Chanticleers were 6-0 in elimination games during the 2016 NCAA baseball tournament and 5-0 at the College World Series. CCU is the first school to win five elimination games in Omaha since Oregon State in 2006. Coastal Carolina also became the first team to win the championship in its College World Series debut since Minnesota in 1956 — some 60 years ago. Overall, CCU won its 11 NCAA Tournament games, went 7-0 in games decided by two or less and 4-0 in one-run games.

Coastal posted a 24-4 record down the stretch and ended the regular season 12th in the RPI. The Chants faced the nation’s seventh-toughest non-conference schedule and 19-12 in such games.

In addition to leading the NCAA in wins, the Chanticleers led the nation in home runs (96) and runs scored (516) while ranking among the nation’s top 10 in walks drawn (4th, 342); hits (4th, 709); sacrifice bunts (4th, 78); double plays turned (5th, 66) and stolen bases (7th, 112).

Gilmore won his ninth Big South Coach of the Year honor this season as Coastal won the conference regular season by an astounding seven games for his 10th regular-season championship and went 4-0 in winning the league’s tournament title, his 11th tournament title.

The Chanticleers then won the NCAA Raleigh Regional as the number two seed. After beating Saint Mary’s in the opening round, Coastal knocked off host North Carolina State in the second round. The Wolfpack bounced back to defeat CCU and force a second championship game. Coastal then won the first of its six elimination games with an improbable 7-5 win over NC State over the span of two days due to inclement weather. Coastal, down two runs in the ninth, loaded the bases in the top of the ninth before the game was suspended due to heavy rain. With the game resumed Coastal scored one run immediately. Then, facing an 0-2 pitch with two outs, pinch hitter Tyler Chadwick was hit by a pitch to set up RBI singles by both Seth Lancaster and Billy Cooke to cap a four-run inning. Mike Morrison closed out the Wolfpack in the bottom of the ninth to second CCU to its third Super Regional.

At the NCAA Super Regional, Coastal faced #8 national seed LSU in one of the toughest venues to play in all of college baseball – Alex Box Stadium. Coastal powered its way to an 11-8 win in game one versus the Tigers. In game two, CCU used pitching and speed to win. The Chants were up 2-0 after the first inning and 3-1 through six. LSU scored one in the seventh and one in the ninth, but Bobby Holmes escaped a couple of jams in both frames to only allow one run each time. In the bottom of the ninth, Anthony Marks drew a leadoff walk, stole second and scored the game winner on an RBI single by Michael Paez. With the win, Coastal became the first team to sweep LSU at home in a Super Regional.

Coastal opened the College World Series by defeating #1 national seed Florida. After a setback to TCU in the second round, CCU rebounded to eliminate #5 national seed Texas Tech, the first of four elimination games for the Chants. With that win, Coastal earned a rematch with TCU in the bracket final. Coastal won two more elimination games, first beating the Horned Frogs 4-1 to force a second bracket final, a game CCU win 7-5.

In the best-of-three final championship series, Coastal dropped a 3-0 decision to Arizona. However, the Chants came back to win elimination games number five and six of the NCAA postseason to win the national championship.

Photo Courtesy of CCU Athletics

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