CCU baseball carries high expectations into season

The No. 21 Coastal Carolina baseball team will open up its 2019 season this weekend with the Brittain Resorts Invitational on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Springs Brooks Stadium.

For the third time since 2010, the Chanticleers were a consensus preseason top 25 nationally ranked program this preseason having been ranked in the top 25 in all six major nationally recognized preseason polls. The Chants were ranked No. 12 by Collegiate Baseball, No. 21 by D1Baseball, No. 22 by USA Today, No. 22 by NCBWA, No. 23 by Baseball America and No. 25 by Perfect Game. Coastal was also ranked in all six preseason polls in 2010 and 2017. The Chants were ranked in five preseason polls in 2016, yet were only receiving votes in the USA Today Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

The Chanticleers were a unanimous pick to win the Sun Belt Conference East Division in the 2019 Sun Belt Conference Coaches’ Preseason Poll. Picked to three-peat as East Division champions, the Chanticleers received 12 first-place votes and a total of 72 points in the preseason ballot.

Coastal had three players named preseason All-America by Collegiate Baseball in Cory Wood, Zach Biermann and Matt Eardensohn. A trio of Chants were also named preseason All-Sun Belt in Wood, Eardensohn and Parker Chavers.

Since 1974, Coastal Carolina is 30-13 overall in season openers. Since 2000, the Chanticleers are 17-2 in season openers with the lone two losses coming to Pittsburgh to start the 2014 season and at Campbell in the 2005 season opener.

In home openers, the Chanticleers are 33-9, including a perfect 4-0 mark at Springs Brooks Stadium.

Since head coach Gary Gilmore took over at his alma mater in 1996, Coastal is 19-4 in season openers, while posting a 21-2 record when playing its first home game of the season under Gilmore. CCU’s lone home-opening losses under Gilmore were versus Pittsburgh in 2014 and North Carolina in 1998.

The Chanticleers are a combined 48-22 (.686) all-time versus this weekend’s tournament field in VCU, Maryland and Campbell. Coastal is a perfect 4-0 versus VCU all-time with all four wins coming under head coach Gary Gilmore. CCU is 8-4 all-time against Maryland but has lost four out of the last seven meetings between the two teams. The Chants have won four-straight over Campbell and have an overall record of 36-18 versus the Fighting Camels.

Coastal will enjoy its home field for the first month of the season, as 12 of the Chants first 14 games will come at Springs Brooks Stadium. CCU’s lone two road games in the first four weeks of the season are at UNC Wilmington (Feb. 19) and at the College of Charleston (Feb. 27).

The first month of the season, which includes three home tournaments in the Brittain Resorts Invitational, the Brittain Resorts Bash at the Beach and the CCU Baseball Tournament will wrap up with a season-long seven-game road trip beginning with the Seattle Baseball Showcase at T-Mobile Park from March 8-10.

A total of 12 teams on Coastal’s schedule this season including Oregon State, the defending 2018 NCAA National Champions, NC State, Clemson, North Carolina, UConn, Indiana, Washington, Northeastern, UNC Wilmington, Troy, Campbell and Kent State all played in the 2018 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship Tournament last year.

This weekend’s tournament field also includes Campbell, Maryland and VCU. See the full tournament schedule below:

Friday (11 a.m.): Maryland vs. Campbell – Live Stats
Friday (4 p.m.): VCU vs. Coastal Carolina – Video | Audio | Live Stats | WRNN 105.5 HANK FM

Saturday (11 a.m.): Campbell vs. VCU | Live Stats
Saturday (3 p.m.): Maryland vs. Coastal Carolina – Audio | Live Stats

Sunday (11 a.m.): VCU vs. Maryland – Live Stats
Sunday (3 p.m.): Campbell vs. Coastal Carolina – Audio | Live Stats | WRNN 99.5 FM

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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