Chants open 2014 baseball season with series vs. Pitt

ccubase-Ben-SmithIt may not look like baseball season outside, but the calendar says its time for the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers to step up to the plate for another action-packed campaign.

Coastal will open the 2014 season this weekend, hosting Pittsburgh for a three-game series. The first game will be played in Florence at Francis Marion’s Sparrow Stadium at 1 pm. Games two and three will be at CCU’s 2014 home – TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark – at 4 pm (Saturday) and Noon (Sunday).

Tickets may be purchased the day of the weekend games at Gate 1 of Pelicans Ballpark or ordered online at www.GoCCUSports.com/tickets. Due to the Myrtle Beach Marathon Saturday, fans are asked to park in the grass areas across 21st Avenue at Broadway at the Beach.

The Chanticleers are once again picked to win the Big South Conference in Baseball America’s 2014 College Preview. Junior left-hander Ben Smith, the publication’s 48th-best junior in the nation, was picked to be the league’s Pitcher of the Year, while Dalton Moats was picked to be the league’s Freshman of the Year. Smith is additionally the top professional prospect in the Big South, while sophomore pitchers Seth Lamando and Tyler Poole are the third and fourth, respectively, best prospects.

Coastal Carolina will once again play one of the nation’s top schedules and face some of the nation’s best players. According to the Baseball America’s 2014 College Baseball Preview, the Chanticleers will face preseason #5 North Carolina State, #7 South Carolina, #13 Clemson and #17 North Carolina. Also, UNC Wilmington and Wichita State are both picked to win their respective conferences.

Coastal will also face six Baseball America preseason All-Americans, including first team picks Casey Gillespie (1B, Wichita State); Trea Tuner (SS, NC State); and Carlos Rodon (LHP, NC State) as well as Skye Bolt (OF, North Carolina); Grayson Greiner (C, South Carolina) and Joey Pankake (3B, South Carolina). Rodon and Turner are the ACC preseason Pitcher and Player of the Year picks, respectively, while Clemson catcher Chris Okey is the league’s preseason Freshman of the Year.

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