CCU CWS team photo
CCU CWS team photo

Coastal Carolina debuts Sunday in College World Series with honors

Coastal Carolina hadn't played its first College World Series game but the Chanticleers were already winners.

After leading CCU to the greatest season in program history, head coach Gary Gilmore was named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association National Coach of the Year on Saturday. Outfielder Connor Owings and designated hitter G.K. Young were selected first-team All-Americans by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA).

Owings, the Big South Player of the Year, and Young are the first Chanticleers selected to the ABCA's first team.

Gilmore, Big South Coach of the Year, has led the Chanticleers to 981 victories, 15 NCAA Regional appearances and three NCAA Super Regional appearances in 21 years at CCU.

"Congratulations to Coach Gilmore on his first NCBWA National Coach of the Year award and getting his Chanticleers to Omaha," NCBWA Executive Director Bo Carter said. "He has given so much time and energy to that program and for him to lead his team to the pinnacle of the sport is a testament to his loyalty and dedication."

The Chanticleers also feature righthander Andrew Beckwith, the Big South Pitcher of the Year, and shortstop Michael Paez, who was selected in the fourth round of last week's MLB Draft last week by the New York Mets.

In their CWS opener, the Chants stunned No. 1 seed Florida, 2-1, behind Andrew Beckwith's career-high seven strikeouts.

The Chanticleers have won 40 of their last 48 games, winning the Big South regular season by seven games, sweeping through the conference tournament, winning the NCAA Raleigh Regional and becoming the first team to sweep LSU at Alex Box Stadium in an NCAA Super Regional.

The Chanticleers punched their first ticket to the CWS with a thrilling 4-3 walk-off victory against LSU in game two of the Baton Rouge Super Regional last weekend. They are the first Big South team to reach the CWS.

Some highlights from #CCUinOMAHA:

Behind the scenes look at one of the coolest nights in CCU history, the Opening Ceremonies of #CWS #CCUinOMAHA

— Coastal Baseball (@CoastalBaseball) June 19, 2016

"Worth it", "promised land", "a dream come true" - there's a lot of ways to describe #Omaha & @NCAACWS #CCUinOMAHA

— Coastal Baseball (@CoastalBaseball) June 18, 2016

Head Coach Gary Gilmore has been named the National College Baseball Writers Association Coach of the Year!

— Coastal Baseball (@CoastalBaseball) June 18, 2016

The question was "what does Omaha mean to you?" #14 nails it. #CCUinOMAHA

— Coastal Baseball (@CoastalBaseball) June 17, 2016

Just one team's opinion, but the @NCAACWS logo looks darn good on teal. #CCUinOMAHA

— Coastal Baseball (@CoastalBaseball) June 17, 2016

• Coastal Carolina's Road to Omaha

Above: Video courtesy WPDE ABC15 in Conway, S.C.
Middle: Quite possibly the most anticipated team photo in Coastal Carolina history, the Chanticleers in Omaha for the College World Series. (Courtesy CCU Athletics)

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