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Jan. 23, 2015

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook and members of the 2015 Gamecock baseball team met with the media Friday afternoon. The Gamecocks began team practice indoors today. The squad is set to scrimmage on Saturday at 11 a.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

South Carolina Head Coach Chad Holbrook
Opening Statement
“It’s great to start another season, the marathon starts today. The players have been working extremely hard, and we’re very excited to start the 2015 season. We have a lot of work to do between now and Opening Day. I don’t really feel like three weekends of scrimmages is enough time to prepare, and to get our pitchers to where we want them to be, but they worked very hard in the offseason and winter months to get ready. We have a great opponent (College of Charleston) coming in here (to Carolina Stadium) February 13th, so we’re going to have to be ready. That being said, I’m excited about our team. We showed some great promise in the fall, and for (the) coaching staff, we have a lot to do in terms of putting players in the right spots and right roles. All in all it’s always exciting to start a new season, our players are ready to go, they’ve worked extremely hard, they’ve done everything I’ve asked them to do. They’ve had a great semester academically, and they’ve done a lot of great things off the field, and now they just want to be in between the white lines playing ball, we’re ready to get that cranked up. Today is the first day as a team we’ll all be together, and I couldn’t be more excited, and I don’t think our players could be any more excited as well.”

On Finding Leaders and Filling Holes from Juniors Leaving Last Year
“I saw D1Baseball came out this week and said we’re number 5 in the country, I think that’s a bit of a stretch. I don’t think we’re the 5th best team in the country (right now), I can assure you that as we sit here right now that’s not where we’re at. Losing a Friday night starter in Jordan Montgomery, All America closer in Joel Seddon, and two standout position players in Grayson Greiner and Joey Pankake, we obviously have holes to fill. That being said, Kyle Martin is a big shot in the arm for our team, he’s a senior leader. Kyle and Connor Bright will provide great leadership for us from a position player standpoint. We do feel good about Jack Wynkoop and Wil Crowe, having two of our weekend starters back. We have to figure out what to do with Taylor Widener and how to use him. We have a lot of questions to answer. They have done everything I’ve asked from them, and with Kyle leading the way, I feel good about what they’ve done and what they’ve tolerated, and what they wouldn’t tolerate off the field from their teammates, so I’ve been very impressed and couldn’t be prouder of what Kyle has done in terms of leadership.”

On Max Schrock’s Health
I think Max is one of the best players in the country. Our fans and you guys haven’t been able to see him perform at the level that he’s capable of performing at consistently. We’ve all seen flashes, but he’s been pretty hurt and banged up. He lost about 20-25 pounds, he looks different in a uniform, he’s more agile, faster and quicker, and he worked extremely hard in the offseason. His rehab was very intense in the summer. And he’s changed his lifestyle, he’s eating healthier and putting the right foods in his body and skipping the late night pizza. He looks fit and in shape, and I think that’s going to make a difference not only offensively but it will help is defense and lateral movement. It’s a hard game, but Max is a very special player and we expect him to have a big year.”