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Opponent Preview: Coastal Carolina [UPDATE: GAME CANCELED]

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Meet the Chanticleers...

BBC-STONYBROOK-CCU Photo by Charles Slate/Myrtle Beach Sun News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

UPDATE: D’oh.

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Who’s the Pack playing?

Opponent: Coastal Carolina

Mascot: Farm Alarm Clocks | School Location: Twitty, SC | Conference: Sun Belt

2022 Record: 10-6 (0-0, T-1st) | 2022 RPI Rank: 52

2021 Record: 27-24 (9-12, 6th East) | 2021 RPI Rank: 96

2020 Record: 11-5 (0-0, T-1st East) | 2020 RPI Rank: 33


When? Where? How do I watch?

Location: Doak Field at Dail Park (Raleigh, NC)

Game Time: Wed, Mar 16 @ 7:00pm

TV: ACC Network (Wednesday)

Radio: GoPack.com (Wednesday)

Live Stats: Sidearm Stats


Tell me about this team

Man, was 2021 a weird year for Coastal Carolina baseball. Last year marked the first time since 2006 that the Chanticleers finished outside of the top two in the conference division. Heck, it was their lowest conference finish since 1997, Gary Gilmore’s second season on the job. The 2021 season was only the fourth time since the beginning of the 2001 season that Coastal Carolina didn’t make an NCAA Regional.

This year won’t mark a fifth.

While the 10-6 record may not be overly impressive, it should be noted that three of the Chants’ six losses have come by one run, including a pair of 4-3 losses at UNC (boooo).

Coastal is a team that hits the ball well, gets on base at a great rate, plays small ball when they should, pushes the issue on the bases when they can, and has a nice blend of quality arms in the starting rotation and in the bullpen. Thankfully for State, those weekend rotation arms won’t be a factor in this game, but the rest of it stands.

About the only thing Coastal doesn’t do well is field the ball.

Sounds a lot like another 10-6 team we all know and hold dear to our hearts.


Who’s on the mound for these guys?

Wednesday: TBD (but probably RHP Riley Eikhoff (rFR))


Key Players:

Offense

3B Dale Thomas (SR) - .339/.443/.797, 5 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 16 R, 17 RBI, 10 BB, 14 K, 1 HBP, 2-3 SB. Dude just looks like a kid from Florida. On the smaller side for a third baseman, but the power is every bit what you’d expect.

LF Nick Lucky (SR) - .305/.408/.407, 3 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 9 R, 10 RBI, 8 BB, 13 K, 3 HBP, 1-2 SB. Lucky was expected to be a leader on this team and so far has lived up to that expectation. Was a 14th round draft pick in 2018 out of high school by the Red Sox. He’ll get drafted again.

2B Matt McDermott (SR) - .327/.386/.500, 2 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 10 R, 11 RBI, 4 BB, 13 K, 1 HBP, 4-4 SB. Transfer from William & Mary, where he was a 2021 2nd Team All-Colonial selection and the CAA Defensive Player of the Year.

Pitching

RHP Riley Eikhoff (rFR) - 1-0, 1 SV, 2.77 ERA, 13.0 IP, 12 H, 2 BB, 8 K. Started each of the last two midweek games for CCU, going a combined 6.0 IP of three-hit ball versus UNCW and Wake Forest. He did toss 1.1 IP on Sunday against Xavier, so if he does go he’ll be limited.

RHP Jacob Maton (rJR) - 1-0, 0 SV, 0.00 ERA, 12.0 IP, 7 H, 8 BB, 11 K. Just really hitting his stride on the mound after missing 2019 due to Tommy John Surgery and then having the 2020 season pulled out from under him. Was a 39th round draft pick (Mariners) out of high school in 2018, and has two older brothers who both play in the MLB (Nick Maton, INF, Phillies; Phlip Maton, RHP, Astros).

RHP Matt Joyce (SO) - 3-0, 0 SV, 5.40 ERA, 6.2 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 4 K. Tossed four hitless relief innings against Wake Forest a week ago.

RHP Michael Knorr (SR) - 1-0, 0 SV, 1.46 ERA, 12.0 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 16 K. Big 6’5, 245 lbs right-handed transfer from Cal State Fullerton was a weekend starter for the first two series this year, but hasn’t been seen from since. Not sure what happened to him. Worth noting that he was pumping 98 mph over his two appearances before disappearing.


Quick! Fun Facts!

The series between these two schools in Raleigh is tied at eight games a piece, while NC State holds the all-time series lead, 19-14.

In case you didn’t get your fill of New Jersey kids in the Elon game, Coastal’s roster features seven kids who come from the Garden State.

Coastal has just one kid on the roster from the state of North Carolina, Luke Barrow, a sophomore right-handed pitcher. Barrow was a high school teammate of NC State catcher Jacob Cozart at Wesleyan Christian Academy.


Prediction

These teams are pretty evenly matched - a weekend series between the two would have been excellent, but we’ll settle for this lone midweek affair. I’ll give State the advantage only because it’s in Raleigh and Coastal has struggled on the road this year (apologies in advance for the jinx).

Outcome: A very very verrrrrrrrry close Wolfpack win.