Gamecocks Ranked No. 7 In Collegiate Baseball Preseason Poll
Dec. 20, 2012
Columbia, S.C. - South Carolina is ranked No. 7 in the nation in the Collegiate Baseball Preseason Top 40 as announced on Thursday afternoon. The Gamecocks begin the 2013 season on Friday, Feb. 15 hosting a three-game series vs. Liberty at Carolina Stadium.
South Carolina is one of 10 SEC schools to be ranked in the preseason poll. Also ranked is Arkansas (No. 1), Vanderbilt (No. 3), LSU (No. 4), Kentucky (No. 8), Mississippi State (No. 13), Florida (No. 24), Ole Miss (No. 25), Texas A&M (No. 26) and Georgia (No. 28).
The Gamecocks return six position starters, 13 pitchers and 25 letterwinners from last year's National Runners-Up squad. Among the returning players include senor left-handed pitcher Tyler Webb (6-1, 1.56 ERA), who garnered second-team Preseason All-America honors earlier in the month from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
Sophomore catcher Grayson Greiner (.222-6-32) and sophomore left-handed pitcher Jordan Montgomery (6-1, 3.62 ERA) return as well after earning Freshman All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball last year.
Sophomore shortstop Joey Pankake (.264-2-27) and sophomore outfielder Tanner English (.298-0-23) also return 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).
Also back from the starting rotation last year is senior right-hander Colby Holmes (7-2, 3.05 ERA). 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.
Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's NCAA Div. I Pre-Season Poll
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.