USC Gamecocks Baseball

Five USC newcomers to watch

South Carolina freshman Carlos Cortes
South Carolina freshman Carlos Cortes

Newcomers who could have an impact for South Carolina baseball this season:

Sawyer Bridges

RHP, Freshman

USC’s pitching staff is loaded, but Bridges has pitched well enough in the preseason to earn a role in the bullpen. The Summerville native throws hard and can locate his pitches. He could be used as a set-up man for closer Tyler Johnson.

Carlos Cortes

INF/OF, Freshman

The Florida native is rated as the top freshman in the SEC by D1Baseball and Baseball America. Could be one of USC’s top hitters. He will get most of playing time at DH and in LF as a freshman, but he is working at 2B and 3B for future.

Riley Hogan

1B, Freshman

The likely 1B of the future for the Gamecocks, Hogan should see time at first base and DH this year. Chad Holbrook has said he might use a platoon at first with Matt Williams starting against righties and Hogan starting against lefties.

Jacob Olson

Utility, Sophomore

A bit of a pleasant surprise, Olson has been exceptional in the preseason, hitting for average and power. He hit .351 with eight homers, 20 doubles and 36 RBIs last season at JC. He can play 1B, OF and DH for the Gamecocks.

Justin Row

Infielder, Junior

Another pleasant surprise, the Juco transfer has worked at second base and could be pushing LT Tolbert for playing time. Row swung the bat well in the offseason and should see time at second and also possibly at shortstop.

The State's Matt Connolly outlines three storylines for the South Carolina baseball team heading into the 2017 season.