Four in-season tournaments, including the annual Baseball at the Beach at BB&T Coastal Field, 13 games against Atlantic Coast Conference competition, midweek games at traditional powers and 21 Big South Conference games highlight the 2008 Coastal Carolina University baseball schedule, annouced today (Oct. 29) by head coach Gary Gilmore.
Coastal will open the season Friday, Feb. 22 against Maryland in the IMIChotels.com INN-vitational. Coastal will have another game against the Terrapins and two games against Virginia Tech to wrap up that tournament. After a midweek game at the College of Charleston, the Baseball at the Beach Tournament will take place Feb. 29-March 2. Coastal faces Marshall Friday at 4 p.m., West Virginia Saturday at 4 p.m., and host both Western Carolina and George Mason on Sunday, March 2.
Coastal then hosts two more tournaments, the Springmaid Beach Resort Tournament and the Centex Homes Invitational. The Chanticleers will play Toledo and Ball State in the first tournament and Ball State and Michigan, a 2007 NCAA Super Regional participant, in the last in-season tournament of the year. A road game at North Carolina, the 2007 College World Series runner-up, will be in the middle of the two tournaments Tuesday, March 11 at 3 p.m.
Coastal travels to Clemson Tuesday, March 18 at 7:15 p.m. Clemson and Coastal faced off in the championship game of the 2007 NCAA Myrtle Beach Regional. A road game at UNC Wilmington follows the next day. The Chants host Albany for a three-game set March 21-23. After a midweek game at The Citadel, Coastal opens its Big South schedule at Liberty March 28-30. The home portion of the Big South schedule begins April 4-6 against Winthrop. Coastal hosts UNC Asheville and High Point while traveling to Charleston Southern, VMI and Radford on the conference schedule this year. The Chants also have home-and-home matchups with College of Charleston, UNC Wilmington, The Citadel, Elon and Wake Forest.
The Chanticleers have one more non-conference series as they travel to Atlanta, Ga., to face Georgia Tech May 2-4. After the three-game set at Radford May 16-18, the Chanticleers will travel to the Big South Tournament in Danville, Va., May 20-25.
“You look at the challenge we took on last year. I think this one follows suit,” Gilmore said. “It may even be a greater test. We have 13 ACC games plus two with Michigan, who will probably be a top-15 club coming out of the gate. We also have our normal nailbiters with teams from the region. It may be as competitive if not the most competitive schedule we’ve played. For us to ever host again and to one day have a chance to win a regional and move forward, these are the teams outside of our league that we need to play. We’re looking forward to it as we’re trying to build this program to be able to compete with these national powers day in and day out.”
Coastal (50-13) won 50 games in a season for the second time in three years in 2007. Coastal was a top-seed and hosted the 2007 NCAA Myrtle Beach Regional. The Chanticleers also won both the Big South regular season and tournament championship for the first time since 2002.