According to Coastal Carolina’s website, a Chanticleer is a proud and fierce rooster who dominates the barnyard. The name comes from the Nun’s Priest Tale, part of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
Coastal Carolina’s nickname was once Trojans, but when the school began its stint as a two-year branch of the University of South Carolina system in the 1960s, people associated with Coastal Carolina began pushing for a nickname more closely related to South Carolina’s Gamecock moniker. When USC-Coastal Carolina College became Coastal Carolina University in 1993, there was broad interest in a new nickname. But once again, the Chanticleer dominated, and the unique nickname stuck.
The proper pronunciation of the name is “SHON-ti-cleers.” It’s teams are often also called “Chants” (pronounced Shonts) for short.
THE SCOUTING REPORT
Coastal Carolina is adept at winning with the long ball or playing small ball. The Chanticleers have hit 91 home runs and have 66 sacrifices, making them one of just two teams in the nation with 90-plus homers and 60-plus sacrifice bunts. On the mound, CCU is anchored on the front end by starters Andrew Beckwith (12-1, 1.82 earned run average, two saves) and Alex Cunningham (9-3, 3.66 ERA) and can turn to the bullpen for All-America ace Mike Morrison (7-1, 0.79, 10 saves). The Chanticleers went 21-3 in their final go-round in the Big South (they join the Sun Belt in 2017) winning by seven games.
Another big factor in the Chanticleers’ success this season: simply staying healthy. Coastal Carolina went 24-33 in 2014 and 39-21 in 2015, suffering at least a combined 10 injuries in those two seasons to front-line players.
That’s the number of the largest crowds Coastal Carolina has ever played baseball in front of, coming against South Carolina on June 12 and 13, 2010, in a super regional CCU hosted at BB&T Coastal Field (the home of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans) in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
By comparison, LSU’s Alex Box Stadium has a listed capacity of 10,326.
RALLY POSSUM, MEET RAFIKI
Forget about the Tigers’ pitchers against the Chanticleers’ batters, who has the better defense or running game.
The “real” question is: Who has the better good luck charm?
LSU, of course, has the Rally Possum, born from a wayward marsupial running onto the field late in the Tigers’ 10-9 comeback win over Arkansas on May 7. Since the possum’s appearance, LSU is 17-3.
The Chanticleers counter with Rafiki, a stuffed monkey they purchased in May at a truck stop on the way back from Atlanta after being swept in a three-game series at Georgia Tech.
Since then, Coastal Carolina is 16-2.
“The possum’s gotten a lot more publicity than Fiki,” pitcher Bobby Holmes told the Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) Sun News, “but Fiki’s all right with that.”
FAMOUS COASTAL CAROLINA ALUMNI
Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman, PGA Tour golfer Dustin Johnson, Chicago Cubs infielder Tommy La Stella, Carolina Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert, actor Doug Kelly (“House of Cards”), Olympic hammer thrower Amber Campbell, former major league catcher Kirt Manwaring.