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A Review of the 2013 South Gamecock Baseball Season

I was disappointed as most Gamecock fans were to lose to the North Carolina Tar Heels in the NCAA Baseball Super Regionals this past weekend.  In the end, the Tar Heels did not beat the Gamecocks but the Gamecocks beat the Gamecocks by stranding runners on base and by having 9 errors in 3 games.  The Gamecocks middle relief also struggle.  While UNC gets the wins and they advance to the College Baseball World Series in Omaha, the Gamecocks will forever feel they were the better team in the end but blew too many chances to win.

The Gamecocks finished the 2013 baseball season a game short of their goal of making it back to Omaha.  Their record of three straight trips to the World Series came to end with a 5-4 loss to UNC in Chapel Hill.  The Gamecocks finished 43-20.  Overall it was a good first year for new head coach Chad Holbrook who took over for the legend, Ray Tanner, when Tanner became the Gamecocks new athletic director in 2012 following the Gamecocks loss to Arizona in the World Series.  Tanner led the Gamecocks to three straight World Series appearances and won the 2010-2011 national titles.  The Gamecocks were runners-up in 2012 to Arizona.  I found it a bit humorous that one UNC reporter twitted after the final game that UNC is the true Carolina.  How many baseball titles does UNC have again?  South Carolina has 2 national championships in 4 years.  None can compare to that.

Holbrook had his work cut out for him.  Tanner had set the mark for SC baseball high.  After all, three straight World Series appearances is hard to do.  Before the Gamecocks run from 2010-2012, Texas was the last team to do it in the 1980’s and they only won 1 title in that run.  Holbrook had a good team coming back in 2013 so expectations were high.  The Gamecocks had some highs and lows.  The lows would be the sweep by Arkansas, the sweep at Florida, the two game sweep by Vanderbilt, losing to UNC in the Supers, the disappointing series at Mississippi State, and even a loss to Gardner-Webb (a tiny school in North Carolina).  The highs for the Gamecocks would be taking the series from Clemson, taking the series from LSU at LSU, sweeping Texas A&M, sweeping Georgia, advancing to the Super Regionals and out playing UNC only to lose because of errors by the Gamecocks.

What the Gamecocks need is dominating pitching.  This is what got South Carolina to where they were under Tanner.  Michael Roth.  Matt Price.  Colby Homes.  Nolan Belcher.  Tyler Webb.  These names stand out as great pitchers for the Gamecocks.  Roth pitched in all three College World Series’.  Roth was the hero of the 2010-2011 teams.  The Gamecocks also had great defense.  Consider the plays the Gamecocks made against Florida in the 2011 World Series.  The Gamecocks defense failed in the UNC series and thus they are now sitting at home watching the Series.

Holbrook is a good coach.  I fully expect South Carolina to be loaded again next season.  Vanderbilt will be good.  Florida will be good.  LSU will be good.  Arkansas will be good.  But I do believe the Gamecocks will be a solid team in 2014 and I believe they can make another run at getting back to Omaha.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

06/14/2013 at 3:23 PM

Posted in Sports

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