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Jan. 26, 2007

Columbia, S.C. –
The South Carolina baseball team has been selected No. 4 in the USA Today/ESPN preseason coaches’ poll released on Friday morning (January 26). The Gamecocks are a consensus top 10 selection across the nation. Carolina was also ranked No. 3 in the Collegiate Baseball Preseason Top 40, the NCBWA Top 30 and Top 25 along with No. 6 in the Baseball America Preseason Top 50. South Carolina will open its season on February 9, 2007 vs. Oklahoma at a tournament hosted by UNC Wilmington. The Gamecocks are the top ranked SEC school in the every preseason ranking released. Other SEC teams ranked by in the coaches’ poll include Arkansas (No. 7), Vanderbilt (No. 10), Ole Miss (No. 18) and Tennessee (No. 19). Rice is the consensus preseason No. 1 team in the nation.

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.