The South Carolina Gamecocks have won the NCAA College Baseball National Championship in 2010 and 2011, now there is talk of a 2012 run. The Gamecocks will certainly have the tools in place for a potential run and they have proven they can overcome challenges to obtain the ultimate goal.
The reason this is being mentioned, even before the Columbia parade for the champs, is Aaron Fit of BaseballAmercia.com came out with a prediction of his eight teams to be in Omaha as part of the 2012 College World Series. His list has South Carolina, UF, Arizona, LSU, GT, Rice, Texas A&M and Stanford.
Here is what he wries about USC –
It’s time to stop doubting the Gamecocks, until further notice. Sure, South Carolina has some big shoes to fill—Jackie Bradley Jr. seems very likely to sign as the No. 40 overall pick, and departing seniors Scott Wingo, Adrian Morales, Brady Thomas and Rob Beary were consummate winners and leaders who will be sorely missed. Vital setup man John Taylor also graduated, and the Gamecocks could lose closer Matt Price as a sixth-round pick—and maybe also shortstop Peter Mooney as a 21st-rounder. So there is plenty of uncertainty facing the champs this summer, but their weekend rotation will return intact. Ace and first-team All-American Roth made it clear to scouts he intends to return for his senior year (he’s a standout student and he’s spending his summer studying Spanish and windsurfing in Spain), which is one reason he slipped to the 31st round of the draft. Holmes and Koumas will also be back. Other key recruits include speedy undersized outfielder Tanner English, versatile Joey Pankake (a potential replacement in the middle of the infield) and powerful catcher Grayson Greiner. If that group arrives at school, they will form a sound supporting cast for lineup centerpieces Christian Walker and Evan Marzilli, and hopefully senior-to-be Adam Matthews, a 23rd-rounder.
I would love for USC to make another run and make the parade today a annual event. “Battle” and “Win Anyway,” right?
Below is a great photo from The State to remind us of “it is great to be a Gamecock” –