2010 CWS Preview: South Carolina

SouthCarolinaLogo The South Carolina Gamecocks enter the College World Series with a 48-15 overall record and went 21-9 in the SEC this season. They won the Columbia Regional with a perfect 3-0 record with victories over Bucknell (9-5), The Citadel (9-4), and Virginia Tech (10-9). In the Super Regional round, they got sent to Myrtle Beach where they took on Coastal Carolina. The Gamecocks won the first two games of the best of three series by scores of 4-3 and 10-9 to head to the College World Series.

The Gamecocks enter the College World Series with a team batting average of .302 while hitting 90 homers. Jackie Bradley Jr. leads the team with a .371 average while hitting 11 homers and driving in 51 runs. Whit Merrifield is second on the team with a .327 average but leads the team with 12 homers. Brady Thomas (.322), Adam Matthews (.318), Christian Walker (.315), and Jeffrey Jones (.300) are the other hitters on the team which averages at or above .300.

The pitching staff for South Carolina has a team ERA of 3.61. Blake Cooper leads it with a 12-1 record while having a 2.81 ERA while holding opponents to a .227 batting average. Sam Dyson has served as the number 2 starter with a 5-5 record with a 4.35 ERA. Michael Roth has been the most consistent relief pitcher as he has made 33 appearances while going 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA in 24.0 innings pitched. He is also holding opponents to a .214 batting average. Matt Price is the closer on the team with 10 saves in 27 appearances while going 3-1 with a 2.54 ERA.

During the regular season, South Carolina really slipped under my radar as I predicted them to finish in second place in the SEC Eastern Division which they did end up doing. I just didn’t think they would end up with such a strong season in the conference going 21-9. South Carolina will probably throw Blake Cooper in Game 1 and if they can win the second game on Tuesday, then they can bring Cooper back for a spot in the Championship series. If South Carolina ends up losing a game, then I think the pitching depth of the Gamecocks will come into question and likely eliminate them.

Odds: 8-1

  • matt

    I’m a little surprised that you think SC’s pitching depth is what will be their downfall. This is by far the deepest pitching staff the Cocks have had in the last couple decades. And they don’t have any 20 HR guys – they’ve usually got a couple. The reason I think they have some shot this year is because of the depth of their pitching staff.

  • Randall

    You must be crazy if you think the pitching depth will be the thing that eliminates South Carolina in the end. Pitching depth is what has taken South Carolina this far. With Cooper and Dyson at the beginning of the rotation and the bullpen as deep as it is, South Carolina has been able to have one of its best seasons this year. Tanner has the luxury of bringing in a different relief pitcher to face any batter in the last few innings of a game. Michael Roth, Matt Price, Jose Mata, Ethan Carter, John Taylor, Stephen Neff, and Parker Bangs have been more than solid in relief this season. Tanner can even bring in Nolan Belcher or Tyler Webb in certain situations, or can use them as 4th and 5th starters. Please visit http://gamecocksonline.cstv.com/sports/m-basebl/stats/2009-2010/teamcume.html and tell me the pitching depth is what will eliminate South Carolina.

    • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com Brian Foley

      We will see what happens. I just am not impressed by some of the pitching they have.

  • Brian

    Straight and simple. Pitching will not eliminate South Carolina. If anything does it will be leaving players on base. That is their deal breaker. To even think their pitching would eliminate them is to say you don’t know much about the team. Most teams would’ve lost the two games vs Coastal if they had to toss that many pitchers. Scoring runs was the problem late in the season for South Carolina and is the only thing that can prevent them from getting to the championship series. If you watched the SEC tourney you’d know that. 0-3 loss to Ole Miss…UF or any other team would’ve won that game easy with the pitch. USC’s pitching took Auburn to extra innings! Arguably one of the best offensive teams in college baseball at the time, Auburn had to go 12 innings in a 3-1 game to eliminate South Carolina. Pitching is no issue with USC. The bats are where the issue lies.