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2017 South Carolina Baseball Season Preview: Preseason Rankings and Expectations

Gamecock baseball is almost back and we’re very excited about this team!


Opening Day is Friday and the Gamecocks are in a completely different place than they were at this time last year, as they headed into the 2016 season with little recognition and low preseason rankings. South Carolina surprised everyone by bouncing back from a horrendous 2015 season with a 46-18 (20-9 SEC) record in 2016 and an SEC East Championship. The Gamecocks hosted a Super Regional as well, and though the season ended on a sour note as they were eliminated by Oklahoma State, it was a good year for the team.

After last year’s success, there’s a good bit of excitement around the Gamecock baseball team heading into the 2017 season. The Gamecocks were chosen by the SEC coaches to finish 2nd in the East behind Florida and they landed two players on the Preseason All-SEC Team. Junior right-handed pitcher Tyler Johnson was selected to the first team, while fellow junior Alex Destino landed on the second team.

The Gamecocks have collected plenty of preseason honors for individual players. In addition to being recognized by the SEC coaches, Tyler Johnson was selected as a first-team Preseason All-American by D1Baseball, the NCBWA, and Perfect Game. Alex Destino also earned Preseason All-America honors in addition to his SEC recognition, as he was named to the second team by the NCBWA. Junior right-hander Clarke Schmidt was selected as a first-team Preseason All-American by the NCBWA. He was a second-team selection by Collegiate Baseball, D1Baseball and Perfect Game. Senior lefty Josh Reagan received third-team Preseason All-American honors from Collegiate Baseball. Junior right-hander Wil Crowe, who is returning after missing the 2016 season due to Tommy John surgery, was named a third-team Preseason All-American by Baseball America.

In large part due to the strong pitching staff that is piling up preseason accolades, South Carolina is a consensus top-5 team across the major college baseball preseason polls. The Gamecocks also have several opponents that are ranked and expected to do well this year. Most notably, conference foes Florida, Vanderbilt, and LSU are all in the top ten in nearly every poll. That means that, as usual, there will be some very tough games on South Carolina’s schedule, but the Gamecocks are expected to be able to hold their own among the best teams in the country.

Check out the preseason polls below and stay tuned throughout the week as we preview South Carolina’s 2017 team!

Preseason Rankings

Rank D1Baseball Baseball America USA Today Coaches Poll Perfect Game NCBWA
Rank D1Baseball Baseball America USA Today Coaches Poll Perfect Game NCBWA
2 Florida Florida State Florida LSU Florida
3 Florida State Florida LSU Florida State LSU
4 South Carolina LSU South Carolina Florida Florida State
5 LSU South Carolina Florida State South Carolina South Carolina
6 NC State East Carolina Vanderbilt Louisville Vanderbilt
7 Vanderbilt Louisville Oregon State Oregon State Oregon State
8 Oregon State Cal State Fullerton Louisville Ole Miss Louisville
9 North Carolina Oregon State Coastal Carolina Vanderbilt East Carolina
10 East Carolina Clemson East Carolina East Carolina NC State
11 Coastal Carolina Vanderbilt Cal State Fullerton Oklahoma State Coastal Carolina
12 Louisville Washington Clemson North Carolina North Carolina
13 Louisiana-Lafayette Louisiana-Lafayette North Carolina Louisiana-Lafayette Clemson
14 Texas Tech NC State NC State NC State Cal State Fullerton
15 Clemson Coastal Carolina Arizona Cal State Fullerton Louisiana-Lafayette
16 Cal State Fullerton Virginia Louisiana-Lafayette Stanford Arizona
17 Virginia North Carolina Miami Texas Texas Tech
18 Stanford Oklahoma State Virginia Washington Miami
19 Arizona UC-Santa Barbara Texas Tech Clemson Virginia
20 Texas A&M Long Beach State Texas A&M Houston Texas A&M
21 Miami Georgia Tech Stanford Rice UC-Santa Barbara
22 Maryland Arizona Oklahoma State Cal Poly Oklahoma State
23 Rice Stanford UC-Santa Barbara Maryland Stanford
24 UNCW Maryland Ole Miss Coastal Carolina Rice
25 UC-Santa Barbara Texas Tech Rice Arizona Maryland