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.