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Baseball Ranked No. 5 In USA Today Coaches' Poll
Jordan Montgomery
 
Jordan Montgomery

Jan. 24, 2013

Columbia, S.C. - South Carolina is No. 5 in the USA Today baseball coaches poll as announced on Thursday. The Gamecocks begin the 2013 season on Friday, Feb. 15 hosting a three-game series vs. Liberty at Carolina Stadium. Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball also ranked South Carolina No. 7 with Perfect Game USA ranking the Gamecocks No. 11 earlier this week.

The Gamecocks return six position starters, 13 pitchers and 25 letterwinners from last year's National Runners-Up squad.

Sophomore catcher Grayson Greiner, senior left-handed pitcher Tyler Webb, senior right-handed pitcher Colby Holmes and sophomore left-handed pitcher Jordan Montgomery return and are Preseason All-Americans after being named to the 2013 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-America team in December. Greiner was a second-team selection with Holmes, Montgomery and Webb named to the third team.

Greiner returns after earning Freshman All-America honors last season by Collegiate Baseball. He was a SEC All-Freshman selection and hit six homers with 32 RBI with 13 doubles as well.

Webb, who also garnered second-team Preseason All-America honors in December from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, went 6-1 with a 1.56 ERA last year in 39 relief appearances.

Montgomery and Holmes both were starters last season. Montgomery went 6-1 with a 3.62 ERA in 74.2 innings with Holmes going 7-2 with a 3.05 ERA in 79.2 innings. Montgomery also earned Freshman All-America honors last year.

Sophomore shortstop Joey Pankake (.264-2-27) and sophomore outfielder Tanner English (.298-0-23) are back after earning SEC All-Freshman Team accolades in 2012. Position starters also returning include senior infielder LB Dantzler (.262-10-48), junior infielder Erik Payne (.265-3-19) and senior infielder Chase Vergason (.258-1-13).

 

 

Veteran southpaws Nolan Belcher (4-2, 2.12 ERA) and Adam Westmoreland (2-1, 2.86 ERA), as well as senior right-hander Patrick Sullivan (0-0, 3.52 ERA), junior right-hander Forrest Koumas (2-3, 4.82 ERA) and sophomore righties Evan Beal (4-4, 3.81 ERA) and Joel Seddon (2-0, 2.76 ERA), all started at least one game as well last year.

USA TODAY SPORTS TOP 25 COACHES' POLL -- Jan. 24, 2013

The USA TODAY Sports preseason Top 25 baseball coaches' poll, with final 2012 records, total points based on 25 points for first place through one point for 25th, ranking in the final poll of 2012 season and first-place votes received:

	Final 2012 	 First-place
	Rank	School (final 2012 record)	Points	rank	votes
	1.	Arkansas (46-22)		715	3	10
	2.	UCLA (48-16)			644	5	4
	3.	LSU (47-18)			619	11	3
	4.	North Carolina (46-16)		613	17	4
	5.	South Carolina (49-20)		591	2	0
	6.	Oregon (46-19)			567	10	0
	7.	Stanford (41-18)		565	12	1
	8.	Vanderbilt (35-28)		523	25	3
	9.	Florida State (50-17)		451	4	2
	10.	Arizona (48-17)			422	1	3
	11.	North Carolina State (43-20)	408	13	0
	12.	TCU (40-22)			359	15	0
	13.	Florida (47-20)			350	6	1
	14.	Oregon State (40-20)		329	22	0
	15.	Kentucky (45-18)		307	19	0
	16.	Oklahoma (42-25)		302	14	0
	17.	Rice (41-19)			248	20	0
	18. (tie)Mississippi State (40-24)	215	NR	0
	18. (tie)San Diego (40-17)		215	NR	0
	20.	Arizona State (36-20)		204	NR	0
	21.	Georgia Tech (38-26)		187	NR	0
	22.	Cal State Fullerton (36-21) 	165	NR	0
	23.	Baylor (49-17)			130	9	0
	24.	Texas A&M (43-18)		124	18	0
	25. (tie)Virginia (40-18-1)		111	23	0
	25. (tie)Louisville (41-22)		111	NR	0

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South Carolina won the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship in 2010 and 2011 at the College World Series as well as a national runner-up finish in 2012. South Carolina has 11 College World Series appearances including six in the last 11 years. Carolina owns the second-highest win total in the nation in the last 13 years with a 626-251 record. South Carolina is one of six schools to appear in the NCAA Regional every season in the last 13 years including 10 NCAA Super Regional appearances in that span, one of only two schools to accomplish the feat.

Carolina owns more overall wins than any SEC team in the last 13 years and more conference wins than any SEC team in the last 13 years with a 240-148 record. South Carolina is the only SEC school to record 40 or more wins each season from 2000-present and the only SEC school to reach the NCAA Regional every season in the last 13 years.

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