41
Sammy Esposito
Sammy Esposito

Position:
Assistant Coach


Sammy Esposito was named recruiting coordinator by head coach Chad Holbrook on August 20, 2012. Esposito has worked on the baseball staff since the fall of 2007 and has worked with the hitters and catchers since joining the Gamecocks. He has been a part of seven NCAA regional teams including the 2010 and 2011 national championship squads. Esposito has signed consecutive Top 5 recruiting classes with Baseball America ranking the 2013 class No. 3 in the nation and the 2014 class No. 5 in the country.

The 2014 season featured junior catcher Grayson Greiner, who was among the top catchers in college baseball. Greiner was a third round pick and the No. 99 overall selection by the Detroit Tigers. Greiner was a second-team All-America honoree by Baseball America and Perfect Game and was named the 2013-14 USC Co-Male Student-Athlete of the Year alongside Gamecock football/basketball standout Bruce Ellington. He would also be a semi-finalist for the Johnny Bench Award for the top catcher in college baseball and a member of the SEC All-Defensive team. Greiner's career .994 fielding percentage is the best percentage by a Gamecock catcher in school history (1168 PO, 97 A, 7 E).

In the 2013 season, Esposito's catching corps kept opposing teams at bay as only 26 stolen bases were allowed on 45 attempts. Greiner continued his elevation as one of the game's top backstops as he earned second-team All-SEC honors and was named to USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team. Greiner allowed just 23 stolen bases and made only three errors in 49 starts behind the plate. Senior catcher Dante Rosenberg also contributed in 14 starts as he yielded only three stolen bases on eight attempts. Rosenberg signed a free agent contract with the St. Louis Cardinals.

The duo of Greiner and Rosenberg shined in 2012. Greiner would go on to earn Freshman All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball with Rosenberg a key cog in the Gamecocks' postseason run. Greiner limited opponents to just 25 stolen bases in 62 games played, while throwing out 18 runners attempting to steal. Both Greiner and Rosenberg made just five errors behind the plate as well and helped contribute to a pitching staff that finished the year with a 2.97 ERA.

The 2011 catching corps had a solid season behind the efforts of senior co-captain Brady Thomas and senior Robert Beary. The pair was dynamic in helping lead behind the plate a pitching staff that went 55-14 with a 2.45 ERA along with 536 strikeouts. The catchers allowed 38 stolen bases in 69 games. Beary fielded a solid .993 behind the plate and earned NCAA Regional MVP honors as well as College World Series All-Tournament team accolades. Thomas was also a CWS All-Tournament team recipient.

In 2010, Esposito led a catching staff that included senior co-captain Kyle Enders, Brady Thomas and Richard Royal. The trio helped to catch a pitching staff that finished with a 3.45 ERA along with 625 strikeouts to 220 walks. The group also allowed just 43 stolen bases in 70 games. In addition, Enders finished his career with a .993 fielding percentage, the best career mark in school history. Enders was also an NCAA Regional All-Tournament team selection with Thomas earning CWS All-Tournament team honors in Omaha.

In 2009, Esposito worked with junior catcher Justin Dalles, who earned All-SEC honors and was a sixth round MLB draft selection by the Baltimore Orioles. Dalles, Kyle Enders and Brady Thomas were among the most efficient defensive catchers in the nation as well with just four errors behind the plate in 553 chances and only 27 stolen bases allowed in 63 games.

In 2008, Esposito also oversaw a strong catching trio in Enders, Phil Disher and Richard Royal that finished with just four errors as well. Disher was a 2008 MLB Draft selection by the Houston Astros.

Esposito came to Columbia in the fall of 2007 after two seasons on the Georgia Southern staff. A four-year letterwinner at NC State, Esposito is the son of former NC State head coach Sam Esposito, who coached South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner during his playing days. Tanner also served on Esposito's staff from 1981-87 before becoming his successor with the Wolfpack.

In addition to his two seasons with Georgia Southern, Esposito has also been involved with several baseball camps in the Southeast Region including South Carolina, NC State and Richmond. Esposito also served as an assistant coach in the Cape Cod League for the Yamouth-Dennis Red Sox. Y-D won the Cape Cod Championship in 2007 following a league-best record of 31-12-1 in the regular season.

Esposito lettered as a catcher at NC State from 1999-2002. He graduated from NC State with a bachelor of arts degree in sociology. He attended Broughton High School in Raleigh, N.C., where he was a two-time all-conference selection in baseball.

Esposito and his wife, the former Neal Webb, were married January 1, 2011. They have a son, Samuel Donato III, who was born on October 31, 2012.