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March 18, 2015

CCU's Gary Gilmore and Clemson's Jack Leggett talk about new ballpark

Coastal Carolina hosted Clemson at Springs Brooks Stadium on Tuesday night before a standing-room-only crowd of 2,825 that is the largest ever for a Chanticleers game played on campus in Conway.

It's the 11th largest home crowd overall in program history when factoring in games played at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark, and coach Gary Gilmore went out of his way to praise the fans for their role in the Chanticleers' 9-5 win over the Tigers.

"I think our crowd, there was a lot of positive things that energized our kids and our team," Gilmore said. "I mean, the only other time it's been like this [for an on-campus game] since I've been at this university was when we played Alabama in the [NCAA] regional back in 2008. It was that kind of atmosphere, and it energizes your team. It really does. The fans and people that we're here have a lot of credit due to them for what they did. Our kids were really fired up about playing and I thought they did a great job."

He went on to say further that he hopes the program can get to the point where it doesn't take a Clemson or South Carolina to fill the seats like that.

"When I've gone Clemson, and I think [I've been] 18 or 19 out of the 20 years I've been here, when you go up there one of the things you talk about to your players is, 'We not only have to beat their team; their crowd has a huge part in them fastbreaking you because they get going and their players feed off of it," he said. "We've truly never had that here -- not consistently anyway. Tonight we had that. It was an intimidating atmosphere, and that's something I hope can continue to grow and not be just against Clemson and South Carolina where a whole lot more people can enjoy coming to this awesome ballpark."

Clemson coach Jack Leggett, meanwhile, was complimentary of the new stadium as well.

"They've done a great job with the ballpark. Gary deserved it. It's been one of those things -- it's a long time coming," Leggett said. "You can tell there was a lot of planning and they created a really first-class situation."

Here's a list of the biggest home crowds in program history with the top 10 all coming at Pelicans Ballpark.

T1. 6,599 -- June 13, 2010, vs. South Carolina (NCAA Super Regional)

T1. 6,599 -- June 12, 2010, vs. South Carolina (NCAA Super Regional)

T1. 6,599 -- March 28, 2011, vs. Texas Rangers (exhibition)

4. 6,231 -- June 3, 2007, vs. Clemson (NCAA Regional)

5. 4,327 -- June 4, 2007, vs. Clemson (NCAA Regional)

6. 4,306 -- June 5, 2010, vs. College of Charleston (NCAA Regional)

7. 3,565 -- Feb. 19, 2005, vs. Clemson (Baseball at the Beach tournament)

8. 3,138 -- June 1, 2007, vs. VCU (NCAA Regional)

9. 2,856 -- June 7, 2010, vs. College of Charleston (NCAA Regional)

10. 2,852 -- Feb. 25, 2007, vs. N.C. State (Baseball at the Beach tournament)

11. 2,825 -- March 17, 2015, vs. Clemson

| Ryan Young, ryoung@thesunnews.com

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