Fans of the Coastal Carolina University baseball team all know exactly what coach Gary Gilmore meant Sunday when he said the 1,312 miles to Omaha, Neb., had never felt "as far away as it feels right this very minute." That was immediately following his team's 10-9 loss to the University of South Carolina, which sends the Gamecocks to the College World Series in Omaha.
The Chanticleers certainly could have prevailed in the best-of-three super regional games played at BB&T Coastal Field in Myrtle Beach drawing 13,198 spectators on Saturday and Sunday. Both games, televised on ESPN, were close and good baseball to watch. The Gamecocks held on to a 4-3 victory on Saturday and came from behind to win on Sunday. Had the Chants held on to their lead, the super regional outcome would have been decided by a third game Monday. That was not to be as the Chants' defensive play faltered with five errors - completely out of character for a team that had 73 errors in 64 games (1.14 errors per game) this season prior to Sunday.
Gilmore gave credit to USC's stellar defense, saying, "Trying too hard or whatever, I don't know if you can put a finger on it, it's just one of those things that happened." That's perhaps the best way to view the close of the Chants 2010 season, which ended in a super regional against a South Eastern Conference team. Gilmore describes the team as one with great character, "the best team I've ever coached." The coach is rightly proud of his players and surely CCU fans will remember the 2010 baseball season as a great one.