The 2012 Chanticleer baseball season is over. Coastal was eliminated by Clemson in the Columbia Regional 5-3. I’m a little bit late writing about it and for a couple of reasons. First, we have been extremely busy at the office and clients take priority as I have often said. Second, it’s just not fun to write that it’s over. Surprisingly though, I have had a few people ask me when I was going to blog about it. So, here is brief post wrapping up the season, including the Big South Tournament, the regional and the draft.
The Big South Tournament
Coastal Carolina won the Big South Tournament for an unprecedented sixth consecutive season. The Chanticleers also won the regular season championship for the sixth time in a row. They swept through the tournament with a 4-0 record and won the “winner-take-all” Championship Game against Liberty 4-3.
Ryan Connolly (2-0) and Aaron Burke (2-0) were selected as Co-MVPs of the tournament. Connolly pitched 11 and one-third innings giving up nine hits, one walk while striking out nine. He did not allow a run. Burke went 9 and two-thirds innings giving up seven hits while allowing one run and no walks. He struck out five.
Let’s just take all that in for a minute. Connolly and Burke are relief pitchers and they accounted for all four of Coastal’s wins. Together they pitched 21 innings and only gave up one run. That’s pretty solid.
Chants on the All-Tournament Team
Daniel Bowman, Rich Witten and Alex Buccilli were named to the All-Tournament Team: DBow hit .692 with seven runs scored; Hard hittin Witten hit .385 and knocked in eight runs; and the most famous batter in all of college baseball, Alex Buccilli, was the third Chanticleer on the team.
The 2012 Big South All-Tournament Team
P: Aaron Burke, Coastal Carolina (co-MVP); P: Ryan Connolly, Coastal Carolina (co-MVP)
P: Patrick Eckelbarger, Liberty
P: Beau Hilton, Gardner-Webb
DH: Alex Buccilli, Coastal Carolina
OF: Daniel Bowman, Coastal Carolina
OF: Devin Bujnovsky, High Point
OF: Benji Jackson, Gardner-Webb
INF: Rich Witten, Coastal Carolina
INF: Alex Close, Liberty
INF: Ryan Retz, High Point
INF: Dusty Quattlebaum, Gardner-Webb
C: Trey Wimmer, Liberty
UTL: Spencer Angelis, High Point
The BSCT was held at High Point University and the Panthers did an excellent job hosting the event. A tip of the hat to High Point Sports for their hospitality. Here is a picture I took from up in the press box before the championship game.
The Columbia Regional
For the second year in a row, the Chanticleers were paired up against Clemson in regional play. This time it was in Game 1 at Carolina Stadium. Coastal played “un-Chanticleer” baseball in that game and lost 11-3. They bounced back to beat Manhattan 11-1 in the second game. Unfortunately, the Chants dropped another one to the Tigers on Sunday 5-3.
Congratulations to Rich Witten and Jacob May for their selection to the Columbia Regional All Tournament Team.
Our Seniors and the Draft
Coastal said farewell to three seniors: Tucker Frawley, Rich Witten and Daniel Bowman. Their leadership was invaluable to the Chanticleers and it directly contributed to the team’s accomplishments this year.
It appears that Coastal will also say goodbye and good luck to junior Josh Conway. The RHP was selected in the fourth round of the draft.
Rebuilding or reloading? That’s always the question for a college baseball team when looking ahead at the next season. Baseball is a cyclical sport. Building a team is difficult. Not only are the coaches competing with other schools (ahem, the aforementioned Tigers and the back-to-back National Champion Gamecocks), there’s the draft – an organization that can systematically wrench your heart by plucking that high school star just before he gets on campus or snatch your rising senior right off your roster just when he was getting really good.
Coastal Carolina may have lost some talent this year but there’s plenty more already on board and I think it’s a safe bet that Coach Gilmore and his staff have lined up what they need to compete in 2013.
Speaking of 2013, the Chants will play their home games at Pelican Field in Myrtle Beach next year. Watson Stadium is getting a complete renovation and will be a state of the art facility when it opens in 2014. That should help with recruiting.
Well that should do it for posts on college baseball for this year. I’ll get back to writing about law after the College World Series is over. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read Law and Baseball and for the comments and emails.
I would also like to thank Mark Etheridge for letting me write at SEBaseball.com this year covering not only Coastal baseball but the entire Big South Conference.
I would like to also remind everyone that comments on this blog are always welcome or you can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your college baseball question.