Teal-clad crowds welcome home national champ CCU

ccubase-crowdsFired-up Coastal Carolina fans were in such disbelief over the Chanticleers’ baseball national championship, they had to turn out to see it for themselves.

Thousand of teal-clad fans welcomed the College World Series champions home from Omaha at various points along the Grand Strand, beginning with a late-night gathering at the Myrtle Beach Airport just before midnight Thursday evening.

The formal events continued Friday as the Chants were treated the a victory parade through the streets of downtown Conway, followed by a final stop on the CCU campus and a ceremony at Springs Brooks Stadium.

Players, coaches and administrators took turns at the mic before a packed house at the new ballpark, which already has a national title banner to hang in its first year. The biggest cheers were reserved for the national championship trophy itself – the symbol of an amazing feet by a mid-major program on a national stage – and for coach Gary Gilmore, whose 21-year journey to Omaha couldn’t have ended better.

Ironically, Coastal didn’t get to host a single postseason game at Spring Brooks after the Big South stripped the school of hosting the conference tournament, and the NCAA Selection Committee denied the Chants a regional seed. But that didn’t faze the Chants, who went 6-0 in elimination games and won a pair of Super Regional games over LSU at one of the toughest venues for visitors in the nation.

Coastal showed true grit by winning three straight elimination games to reach the CWS final. After losing the opener, the Chants won back-to-back games by a single run each to capture the school’s first national title in any sport.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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