Will USC baseball repeat as champs?

By Rick Henry - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - It's 21 days and counting to the start of a new baseball season for the Gamecocks.

Carolina opened practice Friday as the defending national champs.

Head Coach Ray Tanner and his guys still have that warm fuzzy feeling that comes with winning it all, but now they have to deal with being a marked team. Everyone wants a shot at the champ.

There's also higher expectation. Tanner heard the question all off season, can the Gamecocks repeat?

"We want our fans and alumni to feel like we do as players and coaches," said Tanner, "All you can do is try to get in the post season. Last year became magical. We played as good as we could play at the right time of year. Certainly we know how difficult it will be to repeat. I don't think you'll get any of my players to say that we'll do that today...although some might."

"I know people are saying there's some pressure, but I'm not going into the season with pressure on us, " said 2nd baseman Scott Wingo, "It's the same as last year, trying to get to Omaha like we did last year. You get there, and you never know what's going to happen."

The Gamecocks scrimmaged Friday afternoon. They'll also scrimmage Saturday at 1:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm. Both workouts are open to the public.

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