Gamecocks Preseason No. 7 By Baseball America

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Columbia, S.C. (USC SID) -- South Carolina is ranked No. 7 in the nation in the Baseball America Preseason Top 25 as announced on Thursday morning. The Gamecocks begin the 2013 season on Friday, Feb. 15 hosting a three-game series vs. Liberty at Carolina Stadium. This is the third preseason ranking to be released as Collegiate Baseball also ranked South Carolina No. 7 in their poll released in December with Perfect Game USA ranking the Gamecocks No. 11 earlier this week.

The Gamecocks return six position starters, 13 pitchers and 25 letterwinners from last year’s National Runners-Up squad.

Sophomore catcher Grayson Greiner, senior left-handed pitcher Tyler Webb, senior right-handed pitcher Colby Holmes and sophomore left-handed pitcher Jordan Montgomery return and are Preseason All-Americans after being named to the 2013 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-America team in December. Greiner was a second-team selection with Holmes, Montgomery and Webb named to the third team.

Greiner returns after earning Freshman All-America honors last season by Collegiate Baseball. He was a SEC All-Freshman selection and hit six homers with 32 RBI with 13 doubles as well.

Webb, who also garnered second-team Preseason All-America honors in December from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, went 6-1 with a 1.56 ERA last year in 39 relief appearances.

Montgomery and Holmes both were starters last season. Montgomery went 6-1 with a 3.62 ERA in 74.2 innings with Holmes going 7-2 with a 3.05 ERA in 79.2 innings. Montgomery also earned Freshman All-America honors last year.

Sophomore shortstop Joey Pankake (.264-2-27) and sophomore outfielder Tanner English (.298-0-23) are back 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).

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.



Baseball America Preseason Top 25
1. North Carolina
2. Vanderbilt
3. Arkansas
4. Louisville
5. Mississippi State
6. Oregon State
7. South Carolina
8. NC State
9. Stanford
10. LSU
11. Kentucky
12. UCLA
13. Ole Miss
14. TCU
15. Oregon
16. Georgia Tech
17. Florida
18. Rice
19. Oklahoma
20. Florida State
21. New Mexico
22. Cal State Fullerton
23. Southern Mississippi
24. Arizona
25. San Diego

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