Hanahan's Seth Lancaster's big hit kept Coastal Carolina in the hunt for the College World Series Championship

Seth Lancaster spent a good portion of the 4th of July weekend driving from Omaha, Nebraska to Conway and then home to Hanahan.

The way the former Hanahan High School student-athlete talked, he could have just as well drifted home because he was still on Cloud 9.

Lancaster plays baseball for Coastal Carolina, and he plays it quite well. He was on the bench with a knee injury and couldn’t play in the College World Series, an event Coastal won in dramatic fashion over highly favored Arizona.

Still, it’s a thrill that will be with him forever.

“It’s everything you dream of and then some,”said Lancaster, who just completed his sophomore season in Conway. “It took a while to sink in, and, to be honest, it’s still sinking in. But it was a great accomplishment by a great group of guys – my teammates.”

Lancaster missed the best-of-3 CWS. But if it weren’t for Lancaster, the Chanticleers just might have had to watch the College World Series from their couches at home.

The second baseman provided the big hit against North Carolina State in the Raleigh Regional. With his team down 5-3 heading into the final inning of the game, the Chants rallied but rain forced postponement until the following day.

Play resumed and the Chants cut the lead to 5-4. With the bases loaded and Coastal Carolina down to its last out, Lancaster hit a fastball to right field for a single to drive in two runs to give Coastal Carolina a 6-5 lead. Coastal won, 7-5.

“When I got the hit to extend the season, I remember what got us there,” Lancaster said. “It took a lot of hard work. You get up at 5:30 (in the morning) practice, go to classes, study and practice some more -- behind the scenes things people don’t even think about. But we did the work. We wanted to win.”

Lancaster missed the College World Series when he injured his knee sliding into home plate in the Super Regional against LSU. He was safe on the play, but sidelined for approximately three months because of rehabilitation.

The good news was Lancaster was able to savor the pagentary that Omaha and the Series offered.

“I was raised to treat each day as a gift,” Lancaster said. “I know nothing is guaranteed. I just saw the College World Series from a different perspective. I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

Lancaster, who was all-state at Hanahan, remembers watching USC win the College World Series and watching the Chants come up short in the Super Regional a few years back. It was his dream to make the trip to Omaha.

“I remember when Coastal hosted the Super Regional, but couldn’t get the job done,” Lancaster. “But I knew coach (Gary) Gilmore was a winner and could lead us there. He preached it, preached it and preached it.”

The 6-1, 205-pound Lancaster played in 32 games as a freshman last spring. He batted .191 with a pair of doubles and a homer. He drove in 11 runs.

He stepped up this season after struggling early. He started in 57 of the team’s 63 games and batted .326 with 11 doubles and seven home runs. He collected 35 RBI and 15 stolen bases.

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