Small but dangerous: Coastal Carolina
College baseball season is about to begin. Here you will find everything you need to
know about Coastal Carolina’s team, ready to take over this season. Head Coach Gary R.
Gilmore is on his 23rd season, and ready to bring one of the best performances of the
CCU Chanticleers that the Sun Belt Conference has yet to see.
The team is ready to bring excitement to the diamond. This past January 14th, the team
was ranked no. 21 in D1Baseball’s Preseason Top 25 poll. This is a national ranking and
Coastal Carolina has been included for the third time. The 2016 National Champions
have been hard at work preparing for this upcoming season. As the 2016 big win proved,
Coastal Carolina might be a small school, but this does not stop their baseball fire.
The team’s history is long and full of bright moments. CCU has won more than 50 games
and is often at the top of their regional tournament. It could be considered one of the
Sun Belt’s top teams. As previously mentioned, its most recent and notable accomplishment was winning the 2016 College World Series. The team has appeared in 15 NCAA tournaments. In 2016, it was the last time the team was a part of the Big South
Conference, and then the team switched to its current conference. In 2018, CCU was the
Sun Belt Conference champion.
Coach Gilmore has been head coach at Coastal Carolina since 1996. His history with the
team goes back to 1979 when he played as a center fielder for two seasons, ’79 and ’80.
Gilmore has been able to build up the team throughout the years, with consecutive
appearances at the NCAA Tournament from 2001 to 2005, and then again from 2007 to
2012. In 2002 and 2005, Gilmore was named Big South Conference Coach of the Year.
For the CCU Chanticleers progress has not been easy, but a big part of the growth the
team has experienced has been thanks to Gary R. Gilmore.
This year, Coastal Carolina’s Roster is made up by some of the best. Returning this year
is outfielder Parker Chavers. Chavers is now a Sophomore, but last year he became the
most decorated Freshman in CCU history. He played 62 games, with 60 starts. Another
player fans will be glad to see in the roster is junior Cory Wood. Wood had a good season
last year, where he played in 58 games and made 57 starts. Along with Matt Eardensohn
and Zach Biermann, Wood was named to the 2019 Collegiate Baseball Preseason All-
American team. While Eardensohn and Biermann were named to the third team, Wood
earned a spot on the second. Wood’s position is Infielder and Outfielder. Eardensohn is
a Right Hand Pitcher, and last year he was named Sun Belt Pitcher of the Week on the
week of April 17th. Biermann’s position is 1B/DH and, in 2018, was tabbed the Sun Belt
Tournament Most Outstanding Player. Of course, there are multiple other returning
players we are excited to see back in the field.
Some departing players are Zach Hopeck, Garret Sheppard, Jason Bilous, Demarco
Reaves, and many others. On the other hand, we will have some fresh faces in the field,
such as catcher Dallas Callahan. Other Freshmen to watch are right-hand pitcher Alaska
Abney, Infielder Nick Lucky, and left-hand pitcher Garret McDaniels. We expect the
team will be champion of the Sun Belt Tournament once more, thanks to the Roster of
outstanding players and exciting recruits.
The team is very excited to start the new season. For instance, last Christmas Eve,
Parker Chavers tweeted “All I want for Christmas is baseball season to be here #53days”.
Also, the team has been training hard since the fall and documenting it in their Athletic
Performance Twitter profile, @CCUBaseball_AP. On the topic of the physical
conditioning of the team, Nick White, the team’s speed, conditioning, and strength
coach, said to WMBF News this past January 16th that: “Every single play comes down
to a difference in milliseconds. Beating out a play at first, running out an infield single, it
could be the difference between winning and losing.”
What will the season bring?