Coastal Carolina isn’t the first school most people would think of as a top NCAA Division I Baseball school, but the Chanticleers are nothing to mess with.
Coastal Carolina has really turned around its program since the turn of the century. The program was founded in 1974 and since the year 2000, the Chanticleers have won their conference title 11 times, conference tournament 11 times, made the NCAA tournament 13 times, and won an NCAA regional three times. This year’s squad became the first in program history to make it to the College World Series in Omaha, and they aren’t wasting anytime making a name for themselves.
Coastal’s Head Coach Gary Gilmore did an interview with ESPN during the team’s 7-5 upset of Texas Tech. Let’s just say Gilmore’s players had some fun video bombing their head coach.
Hey Coach…don't look behind you. #CWS @GoCCUsports pic.twitter.com/2N1QdQc1Bs
— ESPNU (@ESPNU) June 24, 2016
The great thing about the stuffed monkey, is that it’s not an ordinary stuffed monkey or a player’s special stuffed monkey. Instead, it’s a mascot for the team with quite the backstory.
That’s right, Rafiki the stuffed monkey was bought by the team at a truck stop during a regular season road trip that wasn’t going well. However since his purchase, the Chanticleers have kept on winning.
Coastal Carolina's good luck charm, Rafiki pic.twitter.com/DgJmetgtZK
— Gary Sharp (@GarySharp1620) June 24, 2016
He doesn’t necessarily look like his namesake from The Lion King movies, but does that really matter? Not only does Coastal Carolina have the strangest school mascot in the College World Series, a Chanticleer, it also now has the best honorary good luck charm mascot in Rafiki.
If this is the first story you’ve read about the College World Series this year, maybe it’s time to turn on ESPN and watch Rafiki and company’s push towards a national title.
Coastal Carolina now has to go up against Texas Christian University, who it already lost to 6-1 on June 21st. The Chanticleers have to beat the Horned Frogs twice to advance to the Finals while TCU has to win just once to advance in the double elimination bracket.
On the other side of the bracket, after losing to Oklahoma State 1-0 on June 20th, Arizona now has to beat Oklahoma State twice to advance. If OSU wins just one game, it’ll move on to the finals.
All four teams will play today, with Arizona vs. Oklahoma State at 3:00 pm EST on ESPN 2 followed by Coastal Carolina against TCU at 8:00 pm EST on ESPN. If both Coastal and U of A win, the four teams will play again tomorrow. The finals of the College World Series begin Monday June 27th at 7:00 pm EST on ESPN.