College Baseball

South Carolina ranked 5th, 7th in polls released Thursday

info@islandpacket.comJanuary 25, 2013 

South Carolina is No. 5 in the USA Today baseball coaches poll and No. 7 in Baseball America's rankings as announced on Thursday.

Collegiate Baseball also ranked South Carolina No. 7 with Perfect Game USA ranking the Gamecocks No. 11 earlier this week. The Gamecocks begin the 2013 season Feb. 15 with a three-game series against Liberty at Carolina Stadium.

South Carolina returns 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 from Collegiate Baseball. He was a SEC All-Freshman selection and hit six homers, 32 RBIs and 13 doublesl.

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.

USA Today Top 25

The USA Today preseason top 25 baseball coaches' poll, with final 2012 records, total points based on 25 points for first place through one point for 25th, ranking in the final poll of 2012 season and first-place votes received:

Rank/School (2012 rec.), Points, 2012 rank, 1st votes

1. Arkansas (46-22), 715, 3, 10

2. UCLA (48-16), 644, 5, 4

3. LSU (47-18), 619, 11, 3

4. North Carolina (46-16), 613, 17, 4

5. South Carolina (49-20), 591, 2 , 0

6. Oregon (46-19), 567, 10, 0

7. Stanford (41-18), 565, 12, 1

8. Vanderbilt (35-28), 523, 25, 3

9. Florida State (50-17), 451, 4 , 2

10. Arizona (48-17), 422, 1, 3

11. North Carolina State (43-20), 408, 13, 0

12. TCU (40-22), 359, 15, 0

13. Florida (47-20), 350, 6, 1

14. Oregon State (40-20), 329, 22, 0

15. Kentucky (45-18), 307, 19, 0

16. Oklahoma (42-25), 302, 14, 0

17. Rice (41-19), 248, 20, 0

18. (tie) Mississippi State (40-24), 215, NR, 0

18. (tie) San Diego (40-17), 215, NR, 0

20. Arizona State (36-20), 204, NR, 0

21. Georgia Tech (38-26), 187, NR, 0

22. Cal State Fullerton (36-21), 165, NR, 0

23. Baylor (49-17), 130, 9, 0

24. Texas A&M (43-18), 124, 18, 0

25. (tie) Virginia (40-18-1), 111, 23, 0

25. (tie) Louisville (41-22), 111, NR , 0

Others receiving votes: Mississippi (37-26) 92; Texas (30-22) 84; Kent State (47-20) 68; Clemson (35-28) 63; Miami (Fla.) (36-23) 61; St. John's (40-23) 58; Stony Brook (52-15) 28; Central Florida (45-17) 27; Purdue (45-14) 26; Tulane (38-20) 19; UC-Irvine (31-25) 13; Pepperdine (36-23) 9; Missouri State (40-22) 8; California (29-25) 6; Oklahoma State (32-25) 6; Georgia (31-26) 5; New Mexico (37-24) 5; Southern Mississippi (32-24) 5; North Carolina-Wilmington (39-23) 3; Sam Houston State (40-22) 3; Cal Poly (36-20) 2; Coastal Carolina (42-19) 2; Dallas Baptist (41-19) 2; Fresno State (31-28) 2; Notre Dame (31-27) 1; Virginia Tech (34-21) 1; Wichita State (35-25) 1.

Baseball America Top 25

DURHAM, N.C. -- The top 25 teams in the preseason Baseball America poll with final 2012 records and ranking (voting by the staff of Baseball America):

Team, 2012 Record, 2012 rank

1. North Carolina, 46-16, 17

2. Vanderbilt, 35-28, nr

3. Arkansas, 46-22, 6

4. Louisville, 41-22, nr

5. Mississippi State, 40-24, 22

6. Oregon State, 40-20, 24

7. South Carolina, 49-20, 2

8. N.C. State, 43-20, 12

9. Stanford, 41-18, 13

10. LSU, 47-18, 9

11. Kentucky, 45-18, 20

12. UCLA, 48-16, 5

13. Mississippi, 37-26, nr

14. TCU, 40-22, 16

15. Oregon, 46-19, 11

16. Georgia Tech, 38-26, nr

17. Florida, 47-20, 3

18. Rice, 41-19, 18

19. Oklahoma, 42-25,14

20. Florida State, 50-17, 4

21. New Mexico, 37-24, nr

22. Cal State Fullerton, 36-21, 21

23. Southern Miss., 32-24, nr

24. Arizona, 48-17, 1

25. San Diego, 40-17, nr

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