CCU’s Beckwith, Lancaster, Cooke net Sun Belt honors

ccubase-beckwithIn its first year in the Sun Belt, Coastal Carolina landed three players on the league’s 14-person preseason All-Conference team, including preseason Pitcher of the Year Andrew Beckwith, third baseman Seth Lancaster and outfielder Billy Cooke.

The preseason team is voted on by the league’s coaches and coaches could not vote for their own players.

Dalton Thomas, an outfielder from Little Rock, was voted the Sun Belt’s preseason Player of the Year. Louisiana led the preseason team with four selections, including pitcher Gunner Leger, pitcher Dylan Moore, designated hitter Steven Sensley and utility player Joe Robbins. Coastal (3), South Alabama (2) and Georgia Southern (2) were the only other schools with multiple selections to the preseason All-Conference team.

Beckwith, a preseason All-American, led the NCAA in wins last season, going 15-1, and posted a 1.86 ERA with two saves in 26 appearances. He was named the College World Series Most Outstanding Player as well as the Touchdown Club of Columbus’ National Male Athlete of the Year. Beckwith enters his senior season with career 2.12 ERA, which stands as a CCU Division I record, while posting a 24-7 record with six saves in 82 appearances.

Lancaster was Coastal Carolina’s hottest hitter over the final month of the season but missed the College World Series after going 4-for-4 in the Chanticleers’ 11-8 game one win at LSU in the NCAA Super Regional. Prior to that, he was voted to the Big South Championship All-Tournament Team and the NCAA All-Raleigh Regional team. For the 2016 season, Lancaster batted .326 with 44 runs scored, 11 doubles, seven home runs, 35 RBI, 40 walks and 15 stolen bases.

Cooke is coming off a breakout sophomore season in 2016 after missing most of his freshman campaign with an injury. He was named honorable mention all-conference and batted .324 with a team-best 27 stolen bases – ranking 23rd in the NCAA – and a team-best 14 sacrifice bunts – ranking 17th in the NCAA – while adding 47 runs scored, 16 doubles, three home runs and 36 RBI. Cooke was named to the NCAA All-Raleigh Regional team, batting .412, and recorded a .318 batting average throughout the 2016 postseason.

Coastal Carolina opens the 2017 baseball season by hosting the annual Caravelle Resort’s Baseball at the Beach tournament. The Chants will kick off the season versus Richmond on Feb. 17 (Friday at 4 pm) before hosting Western Carolina (Feb. 18 at 2 pm), James Madison (Feb. 19 at 1 pm) and St. John’s (Feb. 20 at Noon).

Throughout that opening weekend, Coastal Carolina will have several ceremonies to celebrate the 2016 College World Series national championship.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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