NATIONAL CHAMPIONS! Chants win it all in Omaha

ccubase-teamcwsNational Champs! Go ahead and say it, Coastal Carolina fans – and this time mean it!

The CCU baseball team pulled out one more win with their backs against the wall, defeating Arizona 4-3 on Thursday to capture the College World Series title and the first national championship in school history.

“It does not get sweeter than this!” shouted longtime CCU coach Gary Gilmore, who took his team to Omaha for the first time. “… I’ll be honest with you. My vocabulary isn’t big enough to describe it.”

Conway native GK Young crushed a two-run home run in the sixth inning, and it proved to be the game-winner as the Chanticleers got the job done. It came after Zack Remillard hit into an error that put Coastal ahead 2-0.

Alex Cunningham came on to hold off the Wildcats over the final three frames after starter Andrew Beckwith earned his third win of the CWS. He lasted 5 2/3 before giving up a pair of runs that cut it to 4-2, and Bobby Holmes came in to get the final out of the sixth.

Arizona tried to make a run in the ninth, scoring a run on a sac fly and advancing a man to third with two outs. But Cunningham struck out the final batter to touch off a wild celebration.

Coastal Carolina (55-18) won its first national championship in any NCAA sport by winning a game that had been postponed from Wednesday night because of inclement weather in the area. It was worth the wait for the Chanticleers, who had upset LSU in the Baton Rouge Super Regional, and had been down to their final strike in the North Carolina State regional to advance to the CWS for the first time in school history.

“We’re not the most talented team in America. We’re just the national champion,” Gilmore said. “That’s all that matters.”

In addition to the national title, Gilmore won his 1,100th career game, improving to 1,100-540 overall (27th year) and 847-438 in his 21tst year at CCU.

Andrew Beckwith (15-1), the national leader in wins, went 5 2/3 innings after pitching two complete games and picked up his third victory of the CWS. He was named the Most Outstanding Player.

Coastal also becomes the first team to win the national title in their CWS debut since Minnesota in 1956.

CCU fans are now invited to greet the team at 11 p.m. Thursday night and watch the Welcome Home Motorcade and Ceremony Friday afternoon. The Welcome Home Motorcade and Ceremony will parade through Downtown Conway at about 1:30 p.m., and arrive at the main entrance of the TD Sports Complex on West Chanticleer Drive at about 2 p.m.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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