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Jan. 19, 2007

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina sophomore first baseman Justin Smoak has been selected to the 2007 Baseball America Preseason All-America first team as announced on Friday afternoon (January 19). Smoak hit .303 in his first season with the Gamecocks last year and added 17 homers and 63 RBI to earn freshman All-American honors. He was also the only player on the squad to start all 66 games in the 2006 season. Smoak played this summer for Cotuit in the prestigious Cape Cod League, where he earned league MVP honors and was named the top collegiate prospect by Baseball America. Along with this honor, Smoak has also been named preseason All-America by Collegiate Baseball and and was named to the Wallace Award Watch list, presented annually to the national college baseball player of the year.

South Carolina returns six position starters back from last year’s team that reached the NCAA Super Regional and also adds a recruiting class ranked No. 1 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball and No. 2 in the nation by Baseball America. Last year’s Super Regional appearance was Carolina’s sixth in the past seven seasons, making the Gamecocks one of only three teams in the nation to achieve that feat since the 2000 season. In that span, Carolina has reached the College World Series three times (2002, 2003, 2004), won two SEC championships (2000, 2002) as well as an SEC Tournament title (2004). Carolina’s seven consecutive years reaching the NCAA Regionals is also the longest current streak among all 12 SEC schools. Over the past seven years, the Gamecocks own a 342-135 record; the fourth highest win total in Division I Baseball as well as an SEC-best 130-79 record in conference match-ups.