Coastal Carolina baseball gearing up for 2022 season

Published: Feb. 5, 2022 at 10:24 AM EST
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - With the start of the season less than a month away, the Coastal Carolina baseball team held their first media availability during practice on Friday.

Head Coach Gary Gilmore is entering his 27th season with the Chanticleers at his alma mater and is looking to rebound from a 27-24 campaign in 2021.

“Their enthusiasm helps make me want to show up to work every day,” he said. “And honestly showing up to coach this group of guys so far, again, as long as they don’t change as people and they give us what they give us now and compete like this all year. Regardless of what happens, it’ll be one of my happiest years coaching just because I love being around them.”

There will be a lot of new talent on the team this season as the Chants add 28 new players to their 39-man roster.

That includes preseason junior infielder Eric Brown, who was selected as the Sun Belt Preseason Player of the Year by scouting service Perfect Game.

Brown was also part of Perfect Game’s preseason all-conference team, alongside redshirt junior catcher Kameron Guangorena.

Perfect Game also ranked several Chants as top prospects in the Sun Belt with Brown, senior Nick Lucky, junior Cooper Weiss and super senior Reece Maniscalco among the top 20 list for the Class of 2022.

Sophomore Luke Barrow and freshman Orlando Pena both ranked within the top five of their respective classes.

There’s also some local talent to keep tabs on this season, including Conway High School graduate Will Smith and St. James High School alum Derek Bender.

Smith is coming off a labrum injury that kept him sidelined last season, but Gilmore and elder pitchers on the staff are optimistic about his collegiate debut.

“He may have the best breaking ball on our team,” Gilmore said of Smith. “Right now today he’s inconsistent, he’s probably improved from the fall 50 percent with his command compared to where it was he just needs to continue to trickle forward. For the most part, hopefully, we can find a situation or two early where we can put him in a game and hopefully not put a lot of pressure on himself.”

Coastal Carolina opens their season at home on Feb. 18 against Kent State at Springs Brooks Stadium.

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