Chants Unanimous Pick to Win the East Division
NEW ORLEANS, La. – Coastal Carolina baseball was a unanimous pick to win the Sun Belt Conference East Division for the 2019 season, as voted by the league coaches in the 2019 Sun Belt Conference Baseball Coaches’ Preseason Poll.
Picked to three-peat as East Division champions, the Chanticleers received 12 first-place votes and a total of 72 points in the preseason ballot, it was released today by the league office. South Alabama (52 points), Troy (48), Georgia Southern (43), Georgia State (24) and Appalachian State (13) rounded out the East Division voting.
Louisiana was picked to win the West Division, garnering 11 first-place votes and 71 total points overall. Little Rock received the lone other first-place vote and a total of 48 points to be tabbed third in the West Division voting behind Texas State with 55 points.
The Chants return the majority of its batting order from last season, including All-Sun Belt performers Cory Wood, Zach Biermann and Parker Chavers.
Wood hit .296 with a team-high 19 doubles, 61 runs scored, 52 walks and 17 stolen bases, while Biermann ranked in the top three on the team with a .302 batting average, 13 home runs and 57 RBIs. Chavers led the Chants as a freshman in 2018 with a .323 batting average and was second on the team with 70 base hits. He also scored 48 runs and drove in 42 RBIs on the year.
Also returning offensively are as veterans Kieton Rivers, Keaton Weisz and Kyle Skeels.
CCU returns two starting pitchers from last season in Anthony Veneziano and Zach McCambley. Veneziano finished the season tied with a team-high seven wins, going 7-1 with a 3.81 ERA and 61 strikeouts over 15 appearances and 12 starts. McCambley came on late in the season, appearing in 18 contests and making seven starts. He went 3-0 with a 3.14 ERA and struck out 50 batters in just 48.1 innings pitched.
Perhaps the deepest part of the Chants’ roster this season in the bullpen, highlighted by the return of Matt Eardensohn, Jay Causey, Dylan Gentry and Davie Inman. Eardensohn led the team with a 2.18 ERA, went 7-0 with a team-high six saves and held opponents to a .188 batting average in 20 appearances last year for the Chants out of the bullpen. Causey was second on the team with five saves, a 2.28 ERA and held opponents to a .205 batting average on the season in 24 appearances, while Gentry struck out 18 batters in 16.1 innings of work in 15 chances on the mound for the season. Inman led the team with 27 appearances out of the bullpen last season, holding opponents to a .213 batting average and striking out 47 batters in just 43.0 innings of work.
The Coastal bullpen also returns a pair of Freshmen All-Americans in Bobby Holmes and Austin Kitchen from injuries, as well as left-handed hurler Scott Kobos to add even more depth on an experienced pitching staff.
The Chanticleers open up the 2019 season with the Brittain Resorts Invitational from Feb. 15-17 at Springs Brooks Stadium in Conway, S.C. The opening-weekend tournament will consist of host CCU, Maryland, VCU, and Campbell.
Baseball season tickets for all home games at Springs Brooks Stadium are on sale now. Season ticket prices start at a low cost of $250 for the entire home season.
Fans can purchase tickets by calling the Chanticleer Athletics Ticket Office at 843-347-8499 online at GoCCUsports.com.
2019 Sun Belt Conference Baseball Coaches’ Preseason Poll
First-place votes in parentheses
1. Coastal Carolina (12) - 72 pts
2. South Alabama - 52 pts
3. Troy - 48 pts
4. Georgia Southern - 43 pts
5. Georgia State - 24 pts
6. Appalachian State - 13 pts
1. Louisiana (11) - 71 pts
2. Texas State - 55 pts
3. Little Rock (1) - 48 pts
4. UTA - 36 pts
5. Arkansas State - 24 pts
6. ULM - 18 pts