2022 Charleston vs Towson

Charleston Approaches The Postseason Among Nation's Hottest Teams

Charleston Approaches The Postseason Among Nation's Hottest Teams

Charleston heads into the final regular-season weekend sitting at No. 49 in RPI.

May 19, 2022 by Kyle Kensing
Charleston Approaches The Postseason Among Nation's Hottest Teams

College baseball may not have had a hotter team over the past month than the Charleston Cougars. With the conclusion of the regular season on the horizon, a Colonial Athletic Association title in reach and the NCAA Tournament not far off, Charleston’s momentum could take it to unprecedented heights. 

The Cougars won their sixth straight and ninth in the last 10 outings on May 17, and avenged a previous loss in the process with a 15-9 rout of The Citadel. The slugfest marked Charleston’s third consecutive game plating at least 10 runs and fourth such output in the last six. 

And commensurate with their bats heating up, the Cougars are seeing their NCAA Tournament stock rise. 

Charleston heads into the final regular-season weekend sitting at No. 49 in RPI, with a series against the CAA’s last-place Towson Tigers. That’s not an insignificant statistic, as it’s arguably worthy of at-large consideration. 

Make no mistake, the Cougars want to avoid leaving their postseason fate up to the selection committee, no matter how strong Charleston’s RPI. That means winning the CAA Championship, where the Cougars already have the No. 1 seed locked up. 

But anything can happen in the compacted, high-stakes format of a conference tournament. Should the automatic bid elude Charleston, how does its at-large case stack up? 

  • The Cougars have non-conference wins over three teams currently projected to make the field in the May 17 College Sports Madness bracketology forecast: Clemson, Texas and East Carolina. 
  • The Tigers, Longhorns and Pirates–the last of which Charleston beat in 2-of-3 over a series–currently sport RPI of 23, 17 and 29. 
  • Charleston is playing its best baseball of the season down the stretch, evident not just in its recent roll but in the quality of its wins in May. The Cougars took 2-of-3 from CAA contender UNC Wilmington, the Colonial’s other top 100 RPI club, just before the 7-5 defeat of Clemson on May 10. 
  • Bracketology pegs at-large berths for Rutgers–which is just five spots ahead of Charleston in RPI–and the University of San Diego, which is one spot ahead of the Cougars. 

Meanwhile, it may be less of a consideration for NCAA Tournament inclusion, but Charelston’s statistical profile aligns with teams solidly in the field of 64. 

To wit, the Cougars have played masterful small ball all season, boasting 81 stolen bases–good for No. 34 nationally. Among the teams with similar production on the base paths are Coastal Carolina, Louisville and Belmont. 

The Cougars balance their effective offensive approach with outstanding pitching. Charleston heads into the regular-season finale with a team ERA of 4.02, good for No. 26 nationally. That’s just behind Rutgers, Long Beach State and Gonzaga, while leading noteworthy teams like Virginia Tech, Miami and the Texas bunch Charleston knocked off in March. 

A hot pitching staff is often the catalyst for a run to Omaha, and Charleston’s rotation currently features Ty Good, who has given up five combined earned runs over his last 30 innings of work, and Emmett Bice. 

Bice has come on strong, coinciding with Charleston’s emergence in recent weeks, striking out 19 in his last four appearances. He has earned wins in each of the three starts he’s made since moving in from the bullpen. 

All told, the nation may not have a hotter team just two weeks out from the NCAA Tournament. If the Cougars make the field, there likewise may not be a stronger dark-horse candidate to land in Omaha.