South Carolina is looking for a bounce back season after missing the NCAA Tournament last year for the first time since 1999. The Gamecocks are hopeful new equipment will help the turnaround.
USC will use DeMarini bats in 2016 after using Rawlings for the previous five seasons. Carolina also will use Wilson gloves instead of Rawlings beginning this year.
USC coach Chad Holbrook told The State his team experimented with several different brands of bats this fall before deciding on DeMarini.
“It was a decision our players made,” Holbrook said. “We wanted our players to swing the bats they wanted to swing. We swung a lot of different bats and different models over the course of the fall. There were several that they liked, but it was almost unanimous to go with Demarini.”
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Several high profile teams use DeMarini bats, including LSU, Vanderbilt and Arizona State. Clemson also recently made the switch to DeMarini.
In 2015, four of the top five and six of the top eight home run hitting teams in the country used DeMarini bats.
“I want to make sure whatever bat is in our players’ hands they feel good about it and they’re comfortable with ,” Holbrook said. “We’re excited about it. Our players are juiced. It’s a great partnership.”
In addition to South Carolina and Clemson, several other in-state teams use DeMarini bats, including College of Charleston, Furman and Wofford.