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Jan. 31, 2007

Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina baseball team has been predicted to win the 2007 SEC baseball championship, as voted by the league’s 12 baseball coaches in the annual preseason conference poll. Carolina enters the 2007 season ranked as high as third in the national preseason publications/polls and return six position players from last year’s squad that reached the NCAA Super Regional and were within one game of going to the College World Series. The Gamecocks open the season next Friday, Feb. 9 at the Hughes Brothers Challenge in Wilmington, N.C. with the opener against Oklahoma at 12 noon ET. The Gamecocks will also face Western Kentucky and UNC Wilmington on that first weekend.

South Carolina last won the SEC regular season crown in 2002 with a 21-8 conference record and also took home the league championship in 2000 with a 25-5 mark. The 2004 squad won an SEC Tournament championship. Head coach Ray Tanner has also won four Eastern Division titles (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003). South Carolina is one of only three teams in the nation to have reached the NCAA Super Regional six of the last seven years and its seven-year streak of a bid to the NCAA Tournament is the longest current streak in the conference among the 12 SEC schools.

Points for this year’s poll were complied on a 6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for each division. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team. Each coach also voted for one team as an overall conference champion.

EASTERN DIVISION            WESTERN DIVISION1.  South Carolina (9) - 63         1.  Arkansas (11) - 662.  Vanderbilt (3) - 54             2.  Ole Miss (1) - 533.  Tennessee - 39              3.  Alabama - 474.  Kentucky - 31               4.  LSU - 335.  Georgia - 30                5.  Auburn - 246.  Florida - 29                6.  Mississippi State - 23
() - First Place Votes
SEC CHAMPION: South Carolina (7); Arkansas (3); Vanderbilt (2)