Gamecocks ranked No. 7 in College Baseball Preseason Poll - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Gamecocks ranked No. 7 in College Baseball Preseason Poll

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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
1. Arkansas (46-22)                    
2. North Carolina (46-16)              
3. Vanderbilt (35-28)                  
4. Louisiana St. (47-18)               
5. UCLA (48-16)                        
6. Oregon (46-19)                              
7. South Carolina (49-20)              
8. Kentucky (45-18)                    
9. Stanford (41-18)                    
10. Oregon St. (40-20)                 

11. N.C. State (43-20)                 
12. San Diego (40-17)                  
13. Mississippi St. (40-24)            
14. Oklahoma (42-25)                   
15. Texas Christian (40-22)            
16. Arizona St. (36-20)                
17. Georgia Tech. (38-26)              
18. Arizona (48-17)                    
19. Florida St. (50-17)                
20. Rice (41-19)                               

21. Texas (30-22)                              
22. Louisville (41-22)                 
23. Cal. St. Fullerton (36-21) 
24. Florida (47-20)                    
25. Mississippi (37-26)                
26. Texas A&M (43-18)                  
27. Clemson (35-28)                    
28. Miami, Fla. (36-23)                
29. Georgia (31-26)                    
30. U.C. Irvine (31-25)                

31. Missouri St. (40-22)               
32. Wichita St. (35-25)                
33. New Mexico (37-24)                 
34. Kent St. (47-20)                   
35. Virginia (39-19-1)                 
36. Southern Mississippi (32-24)       
37. East Carolina (36-24-1)            
38. Coastal Carolina (42-19)           
39. Dallas Baptist (41-19)             
40. Pepperdine (36-23)                 

OTHER TEAMS RECEIVING VOTES: Central Florida, Baylor, Oklahoma St., Long
Beach St., Cal Poly, U.C. Santa Barbara, Tulane, St. John's, South Florida,
Notre Dame, Seton Hall, Florida Atlantic, College of Charleston, Fresno St.,
Indiana St., Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri, Southern Illinois,
Nevada, San Diego St., Nevada-Las Vegas, South Alabama, Florida
International, Gonzaga, Texas St., New Mexico St., Western Carolina,
Appalachian St., Georgia Southern, Sam Houston St., Southeastern Louisiana,
Southern California, Washington, California, Washington St., Oral Roberts,
Austin Peay St., Stony Brook, S.C. Upstate, Kennesaw St., Mercer, Florida
Gulf Coast, St. Louis, Rhode Island, Virginia Commonwealth, Liberty,
Campbell, High Point, Indiana, Nebraska, Michigan St., Ohio St., Illinois,
Minnesota, Purdue, N.C. Wilmington, Hofstra, James Madison, Valparaiso,
Manhattan, Canisius, Miami (Ohio), Toledo, Eastern Michigan,
Bethune-Cookman, Southern, Bryant, Monmouth, Belmont.

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