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Gamecocks ranked #5 in D1Baseball Preseason Top 25

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South Carolina is one of three SEC East teams ranked in the top 5

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The newly relaunched D1Baseball.com debuted their preseason top 25 today and have the Gamecocks ranked at 5th in the country. Here is the complete top 25:

Rank
Team
1
Vanderbilt
2
Florida
3
Virginia
4
UCLA
5
South Carolina
6
North Carolina
7
Houston
8
TCU
9
LSU
10
Texas
11
Louisville
12
Oklahoma State
13
Rice
14
Maryland
15
Miami
16
Texas Tech
17
Texas A&M
18
Ole Miss
19
Cal State Fullerton
20
Alabama
21
Florida State
22
Oregon
23
Nebraska
24
Arizona State
25
Tennessee

The Gamecocks are in good company in the top 5, rounding out a very talented group of teams that includes the two that played for the national title in 2014. South Carolina is one of 8 SEC teams ranked in the preseason top 25, indicating that the SEC is again expected to be the strongest conference in college baseball. With 3 of the top 5 teams in the country, the SEC East is expected to be particularly intimidating.

These preseason ranking emphasize what a tough 2015 schedule the Gamecocks have, as there are 5 South Carolina opponents in the top 25. Three of those (Florida, Vandy, and Tennessee) are teams that the Gamecocks will face in consecutive weekends in their brutal April slate of games. Three more Gamecock opponents (Mississippi State, College of Charleston and Clemson) were listed by Aaron Fitt as being just outside the top 25.

Though there is a  challenging schedule awaiting South Carolina, D1Baseball's top 25 breakdown of the Gamecocks indicates that their staff expects to see impressive things from the team this season. Their ratings have the Gamecocks as solidly above average in every category except speed, with defense as a particular strength of the team. Despite the lackluster ending to the 2014 season, this is a team that should have the talent and experience to put together a great season and has a good shot at earning the high ranking they've been given going in.