South Carolina 2012 Baseball World Series Capsule

South Carolina Gamecocks
SEC (39-15, 18-11)

Like the Florida Gators, this is a team that had so much promise following a successful appearance in the College World Series. One year later, following an NCAA title, the Gamecocks hit the skids a bit even though they won the Southeastern Conference’s East Division championship. It is hopeful that a clean slate with another NCAA tourney appearance will help South Carolina get back to the promised land of Omaha. The lack of a running game on the basepaths, combined with the lack of a serious home run threat capable of 15-20 roundtrippers or more, might have hurt South Carolina more than people expected. Still, it was another good season in Columbia and the hope is more success lies ahead.

Big Wins: 03/22 vs. Florida (9-3), 05/04 at Arkansas (8-6), 05/11 at Georgia (3-0)
Big Losses: 03/21 vs. Wofford (5-4), 04/11 at Francis Marion (5-4)
Coach: Ray Tanner (15 years at South Carolina)

Why They Can Surprise:
South Carolina is a team that on the surface looks like it had a less-than-perfect season, if you can call winning 39 games in the regular season a disappointment. South Carolina’s struggles on the diamond have taken the spotlight off the Gamecocks and put it on other teams. With the spotlight removed, South Carolina can concentrate on its formula of strong hitting combined with solid pitching. Christian Walker (.335-10-49) is the team’s hottest hitter, and Kyle Martin has come off the bench for 19 hits in 60 at-bats. With a decent pitching staff led by starter Colby Holmes (6-0, 2.91 earned run average, 47 strikeouts), the Gamecocks can hold off a lot of talented offenses. In fact, eight pitchers on the South Carolina squad have an ERA under 3.00, and that should help the team avoid throwing its eggs into one or two baskets.

Why They Can Disappoint:
There are complaints that South Carolina is too streaky on offense. After the Gamecocks got off to a 9-1 start heading into March, that month was a month the team would love to have back. With a three-game sweep loss against Kentucky and a drop of two of three games against Florida, South Carolina was pretty much knocked down flat. Yes, the team did get back up to win the SEC East title, but a 2-6 stretch from March 16-24 is certainly not a good sign to see. What happens if South Carolina runs into a problem like that again? The Gamecocks have reached postseason play and there is no room for error at all when it comes to the NCAA. Two losses and you are out of regionals. A long, depressing stretch on offense could ruin South Carolina’s title-defense hopes before it even gets started.

Key Field Players:
Christian Walker, Junior, 1B/3B, .335 BA, 10 HR, 49 RBI
Tanner English, Freshman, OF, .311 BA, 17 RBI
Joey Pankake, Freshman, IF, .293 BA, 23 RBI
Evan Marzilli, Junior, OF, .292 BA, 29 RBI, 11 SB
Kyle Martin, Freshman, 1B, .317 BA, 11 RBI
T.J. Costen, Freshman, IF, .286 BA, 2 RBI

Key Pitchers:
Michael Roth, Senior, Pitcher, 2.66 ERA, 5-1 W/L, 94.2 IP, 70 SO
Colby Holmes, Junior, Pitcher, 2.91 ERA, 6-0 W/L, 58.2 IP, 47 SO
Tyler Webb, Junior, Pitcher, 1.69 ERA, 5-0 W/L, 37.1 IP, 37 SO
Jordan Montgomery, Freshman, Pitcher, 4.42 ERA, 4-1 W/L, 55.0 IP, 40 SO

By the Numbers:
Batting Average: .272 (167th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Offense: 5.5 (124, 8)
Doubles per Game: 1.67 (132, 8)
Triples per Game: 0.26 (101, 4)
Home Runs per Game: 0.72 (42, 3)
Slugging Percentage: .403 (81, 7)
Stolen Bases per Game: 0.63 (248, 12)
Earned Run Average: 3.16 (32, 4)
Fielding Percentage: .980 (4, 1)
Double Plays per Game: 0.78 (141, 7)

Recent Postseason Appearances:

2011Regionaldefeated Georgia Southern, defeated Stetson, defeated Stetson
2011Super Regionaldefeated Connecticut
2011CWSdefeated Texas A&M, defeated Virginia, defeated Virginia
2011Championshipdefeated Florida
2010Regionaldefeated Bucknell, defeated Citadel, defeated Virginia Tech
2010Super Regionaldefeated Coastal Carolina
2010CWSlost to Oklahoma, defeated Arizona State, defeated Oklahoma, defeated Clemson, defeated Clemson
2010Championshipdefeated UCLA
2009Championshipdefeated George Mason, defeated East Carolina, lost to East Carolina, eliminated by East Carolina
2008Regionaldefeated Charlotte, lost to North Carolina State, defeated James Madison, eliminated by North Carolina State
2007Regionaldefeated Wofford, defeated Charlotte, defeated Charlotte
2007Super Regionaleliminated by North Carolina

*all team stats through 5/20

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