Charlotte, NC - From Big South Sports
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – For the fourth consecutive season and the fifth time in the last six years, Coastal Carolina is the No. 1 seed in the Royal Purple Big South Baseball Championship, which will be contested May 25-29 at The Winthrop Ballpark in Rock Hill, S.C.
The Chanticleers, ranked as high as No. 4 in the nation in three polls this week, won the outright 2010 regular-season championship with a 25-0 Conference mark to become just the second team in Big South history to go undefeated in the Conference season, joining the 1988 Coastal Carolina club that finished 15-0. Coastal Carolina's 25 Big South wins has set the League's single-season record, and the Chanticleers have won their fifth regular-season Big South baseball crown in six years and sixth in nine seasons.
Liberty secured the No. 2 seed for the second time in three seasons with its record of 19-8 in Big South play (39-17 overall). Radford is the No. 3 seed following its 15-11 mark in League action this season (29-24 overall), while High Point earned the No. 4 seed with its 15-12 Conference mark (29-27). It is the highest seeding for the Highlanders since being the No. 3 seed in 2000, and the highest for the Panthers since being the No. 4 seed in 2006. The top four seeds will open tournament play on Wednesday, May 26.
For the fourth-straight year, the Royal Purple Big South Baseball Championship will feature eight squads competing for the League's automatic berth to the NCAA Regional. The bottom four teams will play a single-elimination game on Tuesday, May 25. The first game will feature the No. 6-No. 7 game at 4:00pm, followed by the No. 5-No. 8 match-up at 7:00pm.
Tournament host Winthrop will enter the Conference Championship as the No. 5 seed, and will face No. 8 seed Gardner-Webb. VMI is the No. 6 seed this year and will face No. 7 seed UNC Asheville. UNC Asheville and Gardner-Webb tied for seventh in the standings with 10-17 records in League play, but Asheville won the season series with GWU, 2-games-to-1, to win the tiebreaker. Presbyterian College closed out the campaign in ninth-place at 7-20, but is not eligible for the Conference tournament until 2012 due to its ongoing transition to Division I. Charleston Southern did not qualify for the tournament with its last-place finish this season at 6-20 and misses the postseason for the first time since the bracket expanded to eight teams in 2007.
Tuesday's winners will advance to the main double-elimination bracket, with the lowest remaining seed playing No. 1 Coastal Carolina Wednesday morning at 11:00am, and the highest remaining seed facing No. 2 Liberty at 3:00pm. The No. 3 Radford-No. 4 High Point contest is scheduled for 7:00pm. The No. 6 seed and No. 8 seed have advanced to the main bracket each of the past two seasons.
In addition to the start of main bracket play Wednesday, the Big South will announce the 2010 All-Conference teams in an on-field ceremony prior to one of the three games, which is still to be determined. The championship will continue with Games 6-8 on Thursday, May 27, Games 9-11 on Friday, May 28 and the championship game on Saturday, May 29 at 1:00pm.