Chants Unanimous Pick to Win the East Division

Coastal Carolina baseball’s Eardensohn, Wood and Chavers earned preseason all-conference accolades

Chants Unanimous Pick to Win the East Division

NEW ORLEANS, La. – Coastal Carolina baseball was a unanimous pick to win the Sun Belt Conference East Division for the 2019 season, as voted by the league coaches in the 2019 Sun Belt Conference Baseball Coaches’ Preseason Poll. Picked to three-peat as East Division champions, the Chanticleers received 12 first-place votes and a total of 72 points in the preseason ballot, it was released today by the league office. South Alabama (52 points), Troy (48), Georgia Southern (43), Georgia State (24) and Appalachian State (13) rounded out the East Division voting. Louisiana was picked to win the West Division, garnering 11 first-place votes and 71 total points overall. Little Rock received the lone other first-place vote and a total of 48 points to be tabbed third in the West Division voting behind Texas State with 55 points. The Chants return the majority of its batting order from last season, including All-Sun Belt performers Cory Wood, Zach Biermann and Parker Chavers. Wood hit .296 with a team-high 19 doubles, 61 runs scored, 52 walks and 17 stolen bases, while Biermann ranked in the top three on the team with a .302 batting average, 13 home runs and 57 RBIs. Chavers led the Chants as a freshman in 2018 with a .323 batting average and was second on the team with 70 base hits. He also scored 48 runs and drove in 42 RBIs on the year. Also returning offensively are as veterans Kieton Rivers, Keaton Weisz and Kyle Skeels. CCU returns two starting pitchers from last season in Anthony Veneziano and Zach McCambley. Veneziano finished the season tied with a team-high seven wins, going 7-1 with a 3.81 ERA and 61 strikeouts over 15 appearances and 12 starts. McCambley came on late in the season, appearing in 18 contests and making seven starts. He went 3-0 with a 3.14 ERA and struck out 50 batters in just 48.1 innings pitched. Perhaps the deepest part of the Chants’ roster this season in the bullpen, highlighted by the return of Matt Eardensohn, Jay Causey, Dylan Gentry and Davie Inman. Eardensohn led the team with a 2.18 ERA, went 7-0 with a team-high six saves and held opponents to a .188 batting average in 20 appearances last year for the Chants out of the bullpen. Causey was second on the team with five saves, a 2.28 ERA and held opponents to a .205 batting average on the season in 24 appearances, while Gentry struck out 18 batters in 16.1 innings of work in 15 chances on the mound for the season. Inman led the team with 27 appearances out of the bullpen last season, holding opponents to a .213 batting average and striking out 47 batters in just 43.0 innings of work.

The Coastal bullpen also returns a pair of Freshmen All-Americans in Bobby Holmes and Austin Kitchen from injuries, as well as left-handed hurler Scott Kobos to add even more depth on an experienced pitching staff.

The Chanticleers open up the 2019 season with the Brittain Resorts Invitational from Feb. 15-17 at Springs Brooks Stadium in Conway, S.C. The opening-weekend tournament will consist of host CCU, Maryland, VCU, and Campbell.

Coastal Carolina baseball had a trio of players in senior pitcher Matt Eardensohn, junior infielder Cory Wood and sophomore outfielder Parker Chavers named to the 2019 Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Baseball Team, the league office announced today. Eardensohn, who was named a third-team preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball this year, earned a spot on the All-Sun Belt second team a year ago. Tabbed the Sun Belt Pitcher of the Week on April 17 last year, the right-handed hurler appeared in 20 games on the mound for CCU, making one start. He posted a 7-0 record with six saves and a 2.18 ERA, all of which were team bests on the year. Part of three shutouts on the season – versus No. 30 Texas State (March 23) and twice against Little Rock (May 11 and May 13) - Eardensohn struck out 51 batters compared to just 14 walks over 57.2 innings, a 3.6-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio on the season. The Nebraska native held opponents to a .188 batting average on the year and fanned a season-high five batters three times – versus Illinois (Feb. 23), at Troy (April 14) and versus South Alabama (May 24) in the Sun Belt Championship Tournament. A two-time All-Sun Belt selection, first-team honors in 2018 after second-team accolades in 2017, Wood was named a second-team preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball. Named a third-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball last season at second base after earning Freshman All-American honors in the outfield in 2017, Wood played in 58 games, making 57 starts a year ago. The 2017 Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year hit .296 with a triple and 19 doubles as a sophomore in 2018 and was fourth on the team with 66 base hits. He drove in 22 RBIs and was second on the team with 61 runs scored, 52 walks and 17 stolen bases (17-of-24). At the plate, he posted a team-high 21 multi-hit games on the year, including six multi-RBI games, and registered a team-high on-base streak of 38-straight games. In the field, Wood recorded a .975 fielding percentage in his first year at second base.

Arguably the most decorated freshman in CCU history, Chavers was named a Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American and a second-team Freshman All-American by Baseball America, D1Baseball.com and Perfect Game/Rawlings last season. Tabbed second-team All-Sun Belt, Chavers also was also named to the Sun Belt Championship All-Tournament team and the NCAA Conway Regional All-Tournament team last year as a true freshman. In his first year as a Chant in 2018, Chavers played in 62 games, making 60 starts. He led the team with a .323 average on the season and totaled 70 base hits which was second on the team. He recorded seven home runs, a triple and 15 doubles, drove in 42 RBIs and scored 48 runs on the year. Chavers drew 39 walks and was 9-of-14 in the stolen base department. He also registered a .498 slugging percentage and a .435 on-base percentage for the season, while totaling 17 multi-hit games and seven multi-RBI games offensively on the year. He tallied a season-high eight-game hitting streak and had two season-high 15-game on-base streaks throughout the season. In Sun Belt play, the Alabama native hit a team-high .321 and posted an impressive .442 on-base percentage. In the field, Chavers made just one error (148 chances) and posted a .993 fielding percentage in center field for the Chants.

The Chanticleers open up the 2019 season with the Brittain Resorts Invitational from Feb. 15-17 at Springs Brooks Stadium in Conway, S.C. The opening-weekend tournament will consist of host CCU, Maryland, VCU, and Campbell.

2019 Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Baseball Team

Seth Shuman (Georgia Southern, Junior, Starting Pitcher)

Hunter Gaddis (Georgia State, Junior, Starting Pitcher) 2

Gunner Leger (Louisiana, Senior, Starting Pitcher)

Matt Eardensohn (Coastal Carolina, Senior, Relief Pitcher) 2

Carter Perkins (South Alabama, Senior, Catcher) 2

Kyle MacDonald (Arkansas State, Senior, First Base) 2*

Cory Wood (Coastal Carolina, Junior, Second Base) 1

Hayden Cantrelle (Louisiana, Sophomore, Shortstop)

Drew Frederic (Troy, Junior, Third Base) 1

Parker Chavers (Coastal Carolina, Sophomore, Outfielder) 2

Daniel Lahare (Louisiana, Senior, Outfielder) 2

Rigsby Mosley (Troy, Sophomore, Outfielder) 2^

Ryan Glass (Georgia State, Sophomore, Designated Hitter) 2

Brandon Bell (Georgia State, Senior, Utility Player)

2018 Preseason Player of the Year

Kyle MacDonald (Arkansas State, Senior, First Base) 2*

2018 Preseason Pitcher of the Year

Hunter Gaddis (Georgia State, Junior, Starting Pitcher) 2

2019 Sun Belt Conference Baseball Coaches’ Preseason Poll

First-place votes in parentheses

EAST DIVISION

1. Coastal Carolina (12) - 72 pts

2. South Alabama - 52 pts

3. Troy - 48 pts

4. Georgia Southern - 43 pts

5. Georgia State - 24 pts

6. Appalachian State - 13 pts

WEST DIVISION

1. Louisiana (11) - 71 pts

2. Texas State - 55 pts

3. Little Rock (1) - 48 pts

4. UTA - 36 pts

5. Arkansas State - 24 pts

6. ULM - 18 pts