Guests at Compass Cove Resort in Myrtle Beach who were visiting during their memorable June run got caught up in the fever as local fans and folks all over the country gathered around their TVs to watch the Chants knock off national powers like LSU, Florida, TCU and Arizona en route to the national championship - a major achievement for a small school from nearby Conway. Fans flocked to the Myrtle Beach International Airport to welcome the Chants and they lined the streets for a victory parade.
"I was speechless when we returned from Omaha to see the thousands of fans waiting for us at the airport," said CCU baseball coach Gary Gilmore, who was named the National Coach of the Year to cap an amazing season. "I was also blown away with the tremendous crowds that showed up for the parade through Conway and the reception at Springs Brooks Stadium the following day."
This year local and visiting fans alike can see the defending national champs in action as Coastal Carolina faces a tough 2017 schedule in their title defense campaign. With a target on their backs and making their debut appearance in the Sun Belt Conference, the Chants face another thrilling season by welcoming a wealth of top teams and talent to the Myrtle Beach area.
Coastal Carolina plays a total 34 home games and hosts three season-opening tournaments that will be held at their on-campus Springs Brooks Stadium in Conway (about 15 miles inland on Highway 501) and at TicketReturn.com Stadium in Myrtle Beach (about 5 miles from Compass Cove near Broadway at the Beach). For baseball fans, it's a great chance to see the champs.
Coastal opens the season Feb. 17-20 with the 18th annual Baseball at the Beach tournament, which includes Western Carolina, St. John's, North Carolina A&T and James Madison. At 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, the Chants will unfurl their national championship banner and hold a pre-game ring ceremony, followed by their season opening contest against Western Carolina.
"This year's opening weekend, and the Western Carolina game in particular, will be a major stepping stone as we continue build this program to consistently stay at the elite level," Gilmore said. "It is my sincerest hope that we pack Springs Brooks Stadium to the limit to make a statement nationally in defense of our national championship while celebrating last year's team for pride they brought to this university, community and state."
Coastal hosts another tournament on Feb. 24-27, with George Mason, Ball State and West Virginia playing in the round-robin format. The Tidelands Health Classic is set for March 3-5, as Albany, San Francisco and rival Winthrop come to Conway and Myrtle Beach. Other key home games include rival College of Charleston (Feb. 22 and May 10), Wake Forest (March 8), Illinois (March 10-12) and UNC Wilmington (Match 15), as well as Sun Belt conference series with Arkansas State (March 24-26), Louisiana Lafayette (April 7-9), Georgia Southern (April 21-23), Troy (April 28-30) and Appalachian State (May 18-20). For game times and ticket information, visit http://www.goccusports.com
Guests at Compass Cove can catch a game while they are in town and enjoy college baseball at its highest level. After a day at the old ballpark, head back to Compass Cove and feel safe at home for a family vacation that is sure to be a hit.