It’s award season in college baseball, and the state of South Carolina was well represented on Monday. Coastal Carolina head coach Gary Gilmore received his second Sun Belt Conference “Coach of the Year” award, while Clemson’s Cam Cannarella was named the ACC’s “Freshman of the Year.” USC’s Cole Messina and Ethan Petry were each named to the SEC’s first-team All-Conference.
From CCU: Picking up his 11th conference coach of the year honor overall and his second Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year award (2018), Gilmore guided the Chanticleers to their third Sun Belt Conference Regular-Season title and a 23-7 overall conference record. The Chants, who were picked to finish fifth in the 2023 Sun Belt Conference Coaches Preseason Poll, did not drop a weekend series conference and non-conference all season long and extended their conference series winning streak to 16-straight SBC series wins, which included sweeps over Georgia State, South Alabama, and Marshall.
CCU ranked as high as No. 5 nationally throughout the season and had the highest RPI and strength of schedule among all SBC teams all season long. CCU led the Sun Belt in hitting (.314), runs (521), hits (595), doubles (133), RBIs (484), and had a pitching staff that led the SBC with a 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings average and was second in total strikeouts with 573.
From Clemson: Cannarella is Clemson’s fourth ACC Freshman-of-the-Year, joining Matthew LeCroy (1995), Patrick Boyd (1998) and Seth Beer (2016). The Hartsville native, who was also an All-ACC Freshman selection, joined Billy Amick (DH/UT) as First-Team All-ACC selections. Caden Grice earned Second-Team All-ACC honors as a starting pitcher and Cooper Ingle was named Third-Team All-ACC at catcher.
Cannarella is hitting .393 with five homers, a triple, 13 doubles, 39 RBIs, 64 runs, a .461 on-base percentage and 23 steals in 53 games as the everyday starter in center field. He is among the ACC leaders in batting average and runs, and he leads the ACC in steals.
From USC: University of South Carolina sophomore catcher Cole Messina and freshman outfielder Ethan Petry both were named to the All-Southeastern Conference First Team while Petry was named to the league’s Freshman All-SEC team.
Messina is hitting .317 with 56 runs scored, 17 doubles, 17 home runs, 62 RBI, six stolen bases and 34 walks, staring in all 55 games for the Gamecocks in 2023. Messina is sixth in the SEC in RBI and eighth in doubles. He is a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and is on the Buster Posey Award Watch List. In conference play, Messina has nine doubles, seven home runs and 26 RBI.
Petry leads the Gamecocks and is sixth in the SEC with a .379 batting average. He has 48 runs scored, nine doubles, 21 home runs, 69 RBI, 24 walks and 13 hit by pitches. He is a semifinalist for both the Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser Trophy and was a four-time SEC Freshman of the Week honoree. In conference play, Petry is hitting .359 with three doubles, 13 home runs and 42 RBI.