USC Gamecocks Baseball

Gamecocks picked to finish middle of the pack in SEC East. One player named All-SEC

South Carolina baseball has been picked to finish fourth in the SEC East, the conference announced Wednesday as part of its annual preseason coaches poll.

Last year, the Gamecocks were picked to finish fourth in the division. They finished third and fifth overall in the conference, eventually becoming one of six SEC teams to advance to an NCAA Super Regional.

Heading into 2019, however, USC and coach Mark Kingston must replace its entire weekend rotation and nine of the 13 batters who started more than 10 games last season.

Gamecock sophomore Noah Campbell, one of the few returners, was also named to the All-SEC preseason first team by the league’s coaches. After a freshman season in which he played 47 games and hit .270 with three home runs and 13 RBIs, Campbell tore up the Cape Cod League this summer, hitting .364 and earning All-Star honors.

Campbell was previously named a second-team All-American by Baseball America this preseason.

South Carolina opens its season on Feb. 15 against Liberty. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.

2019 SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason Poll

East Division

1. Vanderbilt (9) - 87

2. Florida (4) - 81

3. Georgia (1) - 68

4. South Carolina - 53

5. Tennessee - 40

6. Kentucky - 30

7. Missouri - 26

West Division

1. LSU (10) - 88

2. Ole Miss (1) - 65

3. Arkansas (1) - 59

4. Auburn (1) - 57

5. Texas A&M (1) - 48

6. Mississippi State - 47

7. Alabama - 21

() - First place votes

SEC Champion: Vanderbilt (6), LSU (5), Florida (2), Arkansas (1)

2019 SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason All-SEC Team

First Team

C: Philip Clarke, Vanderbilt

1B: Cole Zabowski, Ole Miss

2B: Austin Martin, Vanderbilt*

2B: Noah Campbell, South Carolina*

3B: Aaron Schunk, Georgia

SS: Casey Martin, Arkansas

OF: Heston Kjerstad, Arkansas

OF: Dominic Fletcher, Arkansas

OF: Jake Mangum, Mississippi State

DH/UTL: T.J. Collett, Kentucky

SP: Tanner Burns, Auburn

SP: Zack Thompson, Kentucky

RP: Matt Cronin, Arkansas

Second Team

C: Mason Meadows, Georgia

1B: Tanner Allen, Mississippi State

2B: LJ Talley, Georgia

3B: Tyler Keenan, Ole Miss

SS: Braden Shewmake, Texas A&M

OF: JJ Bleday, Vanderbilt

OF: Antoine Duplantis, LSU

OF: Daniel Cabrera, LSU

DH/UTL: Aaron Schunk, Georgia*

DH/UTL: Chase Cockrell, Ole Miss*

SP: John Doxakis, Texas A&M

SP: Tyler Dyson, Florida

RP: Parker Caracci, Ole Miss

Greg Hadley is the beat writer for South Carolina women’s basketball and baseball for GoGamecocks and The State. He also covers football and recruiting.