For the fifth consecutive season and the sixth time in the last seven years, Coastal Carolina is the No. 1 seed in the Royal Purple Big South Baseball Championship presented by Triangle Rent A Car, which will be contested May 24-28 at Gray-Minor Stadium in Lexington, Va. The Chanticleers won the outright 2011 regular-season championship with a 20-7 Conference mark – its fifth consecutive regular-season crown and 14th overall. Coastal Carolina (37-18 overall) will attempt to win its unprecedented fifth consecutive Tournament title next week.
Liberty secured the No. 2 seed for the third time in four seasons with its record of 18-9 in Big South play (33-22 overall). Charleston Southern and Winthrop tied for third-place in the League standings at 15-12, and the Buccaneers (28-28 overall) receive the No. 3 seed due to winning the season series with the Eagles, 2-games-to-1. It is the highest seeding for Charleston Southern since being the No. 3 seed in 2002. Winthrop (27-28 overall) claims the No. 4 seed, and the top four seeds will open tournament play on Wednesday, May 25.
For the fifth-straight year, the Royal Purple Big South Baseball Championship will feature eight squads competing for the League’s automatic berth to the NCAA Regionals. The bottom four teams will play a single-elimination game on Tuesday, May 24. The first game will feature the No. 6-No. 7 game at 4:00pm, followed by the No. 5-No. 8 match-up at 7:00pm.
Gardner-Webb, Radford and Tournament host VMI tied for fifth in the League standings at 14-13, and the tiebreaker procedure for multiple-team ties was used – composite records of the tying teams against each other to determine if one team won more games against the other institutions. Gardner-Webb was 5-1 against Radford and VMI and receives the No. 5 seed. With the tie reduced to Radford-VMI, the Highlanders claim the No. 6 seed due to winning the season series over the Keydets, 2-games-to-1, which drops VMI to the No. 7 seed. High Point rounds out the bracket at No. 8 after finishing the Conference season 9-18 (24-31 overall).
Presbyterian College closed out the campaign tied with High Point for eighth at 9-18 (24-32 overall), but is not eligible for the Conference Tournament until 2013 due to its ongoing transition to Division I. UNC Asheville did not qualify for the tournament with its 10th-place finish this season at 7-20 (15-37 overall).
Tuesday’s winners will advance to the main double-elimination bracket, with the lowest remaining seed playing No. 1 Coastal Carolina Wednesday morning at 11:00am, and the highest remaining seed facing No. 2 Liberty at 3:00pm. The No. 3 Charleston Southern-No. 4 Winthrop contest is scheduled for 7:00pm.
In addition to the start of main bracket play Wednesday, the Big South will announce the 2011 All-Conference teams in an on-field ceremony prior to one of the three games, which is still to be determined. The championship will continue with Games 6-8 on Thursday, May 26, Games 9-11 on Friday, May 27 and the championship game on Saturday, May 28 at 1:00pm. Saturday’s Championship day, including the “if necessary” game, will be televised live on ESPN3.com.
Tuesday, May 24 (Games 1-2)
Game 1: No. 6 seed Radford vs. No. 7 seed VMI, 4:00pm ET
Game 2: No. 5 seed Gardner-Webb vs. No. 8 seed High Point, 7:00pm ET
Wednesday, May 25 (Games 3-5)
Game 3: No. 1 seed Coastal Carolina vs. lowest remaining seed, 11:00am ET
Game 4: No. 2 seed Liberty vs. highest remaining seed, 3:00pm ET
Game 5: No. 3 seed Charleston Southern vs. No. 4 seed Winthrop, 7:00pm ET
Thursday, May 26 (Games 6-8)
Game 6: Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 11:00am ET
Game 7: Loser Game 5 vs. Winner Game 3, 3:00pm ET
Game 8: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 7:00pm ET
Friday, May 27 (Games 9-11)
Game 9: TBA vs. TBA, 11:00am ET
Game 10: TBA vs. TBA, 3:00pm ET
Game 11: TBA vs. TBA, 7:00pm ET
Saturday, May 28 (Games 12-13)
Game 12: Championship Game, 1:00pm ET – TV: ESPN3.com
Game 13: If necessary, Championship Game (immediately following Game 12) – TV: ESPN3.com