Coastal Carolina

Fragile, at best: Next few weeks will be telling for CCU baseball’s tourney prospects

Coastal Carolina baseball coach Gary Gilmore looks on during a recent Chanticleers game.
Coastal Carolina baseball coach Gary Gilmore looks on during a recent Chanticleers game.

If the Road to Omaha began today, it is possible college baseball’s reigning national champions would not be part of the mix.

According to projections released Wednesday, the Coastal Carolina baseball team is not part of the 64-team tournament set to begin in a matter of weeks.

As late as April 22, the Chanticleers were slotted as the No. 3 seed in the Clemson regional. They were one of two Sun Belt Conference clubs in that projection, with UL-Lafayette also listed.

Things have since changed for the ball club, and in short order. Following a series loss to Georgia Southern, Coastal Carolina’s projected spot in the tournament field is now in the hands of the Ragin’ Cajuns, who are favored by D1Baseball to win the Sun Belt.

While it answered by winning two of three against Troy last weekend, the sentiment remains the club still has work to do to safely find itself in this year’s field.

Sharing a similar belief to D1Baseball is two other publications, Baseball America and College Sports Madness, each of which discarded the Chants from their postseason projections.

College Sports Madness has two Sun Belt clubs — UT-Arlington and South Alabama — in the mix. Baseball America also has the aforementioned Jaguars in its projected tournament field, with UL-Lafayette among its first four out.

Coastal Carolina returns to the field Friday night, on the road for three games against Louisiana-Monroe. Games against UNC-Wilmington and College of Charleston follow before an important series at UT-Arlington on May 12-14.

The Chants will close with a May 16 date at Clemson and a three-game home stand May 18-20 against Appalachian State.

CCU men’s soccer team unveils 2017 schedule

Its debut earning rave reviews and a Sun Belt Conference title to boot, the Coastal Carolina men’s soccer team announced their plans for an encore on Wednesday with the release of its 2017 schedule.

The regular season schedule sees the Chanticleers taking part in 17 matches, nine of which will be played at home. Play begins on the road, however, with matches at George Mason (Aug. 25) and Georgetown (Aug. 28).

Following the brief road trip, the team will play three straight at home, taking on UNC Greensboro (Sept. 1), Charlotte (Sept. 5) and Radford (Sept. 9). Also on the CCU’s non-conference slate is matchups with College of Charleston (Sept. 20), VCU (Sept. 24), South Carolina (Sept. 30), UNC Wilmington (Oct. 3), Old Dominion (Oct. 14), Maryland (Oct. 20), William & Mary (Oct. 24), Howard (Nov. 1) and Georgia State (Nov. 4).

Coastal Carolina will also play host to this year’s Sun Belt Conference Tournament, which is scheduled for Nov. 9-12.

Ruiz named All-Sun Belt performer

Coastal Carolina men’s golfer Luis Ruiz was voted All-Sun Belt second team, as announced Wednesday by the league.

Ruiz finished in a three-way tie for medalist honors at the recently completed Sun Belt Championship. He finished with the Chanticleers’ top scoring average (73.64), barely beating out his brother for the honor.

A sophomore, Ruiz has been Coastal Carolina’s top performer in three of his last four events, recording top 20 results in those competitions. Over the course of those activities, he has averaged 72.64 strokes per round and posted four rounds of par or better.

Joe L. Hughes II: 843-444-1702, @JoeLHughesII