Third-seeded Coastal Carolina is ranked as high as No. 21 nationally and enters the Clemson Regional with a 41-18 record after sweeping four games in the Big South Conference tournament last week.
The Chanticleers, who are 11-12 on opponents’ home fields and 4-0 in neutral-site contests, had a 20-7 conference record during the regular season, as they finished atop the Big South Conference standings.
The Chanticleers have won five games in a row and 16 of their last 19 games.
This year marks the 11th time in school history and the 10th time in the last 11 years that Coastal Carolina has played in an NCAA Tourney.
Coastal Carolina is hitting .277 with a .426 slugging percentage and a .371 on-base percentage. The Chanticleers have a .972 fielding percentage, and have totaled 119 doubles, 18 triples, 47 home runs, 81 hit-by-pitches, 77 sacrifice bunts, and are averaging 6.5 runs per game. They have been successful on 99 of 114 stolen-base attempts/
Tommy La Stella leads the Chants is batting .391 with 14 doubles, four triples, 11 homers, 63 RBIs, and 54 runs. Scott Woodward is hitting .363 with 32 walks, 22 hit-by-pitches, a .496 on-base percentage, and 30 stolen bases. Taylor Motter has totaled 45 walks and 21 steals, while Daniel Bowman has added 14 doubles, two triples, 12 homers, 56 RBIs, and 11 steals. Hayes Orton has a team-high 18 sacrifice bunts.
The Coastal pitching staff has a 2.85 ERA and .228 opponents’ batting average. The staff has allowed just 24 homers and 179 walks against 460 strikeouts, good for a 2.57-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Junior righthander Anthony Meo is 9-3 with a 2.21 ERA and 108 strikeouts against 29 walks in 102.0 innings pitched over 15 starts. Senior lefty Matt Rein is 9-2 with a 1.78 ERA and .201 opponents’ batting average in 70.2 innings pitched over 17 appearances (nine starts). Sophomore righties Josh Conway and Ryan Connolly have three saves apiece to lead the squad.
Clemson and Coastal Carolina have met 46 times, with the Tigers holding a 39-7 lead in the series that dates back to 1986. On April 5, 2011, the Tigers defeated Coastal Carolina 5-4 when freshman pinch-hitter Jon McGibbon lined a walkoff single in the 10th inning to score Brad Miller. The Tigers trailed 4-3 entering the ninth inning before freshman pinch-hitter Dominic Attanasio hit a double in the frame to tie the score.
Coastal Carolina coach talks Clemson regional
Coastal (41-18) won the Big South
Clemson had won eight games in a row in the series before Coastal Carolina downed the Tigers 4-3 in 11 innings at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on March 31, 2010. In 2009, Jeff Schaus hit a walk-off grand slam with two outs in the ninth inning to lift the Tigers to a 5-3 win over the Chanticleers at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The Tigers lead 29-5 over the Chanticleers in games played at Clemson. Jack Leggett has a 26-5 mark against Coastal Carolina as Clemson’s head coach, including a 22-4 record at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The two teams have met twice in the NCAA Tournament. In the 2007 Myrtle Beach Regional, the Tigers won both games over Coastal by scores of 11-8 and 15-3 on their way to the regional title.