Gamecocks lose a second outfielder to transfer

Gamecocks lose a second outfielder to transfer

COLUMBIA, SC ( -- South Carolina had one of last year's freshman outfielders transfer. One of next year's senior outfielders has decided to leave as well. Rising senior Danny Blair has elected to finish his final year of college eligibility at another school and will not return to the program for his final season with the Gamecocks.

"Leaving is not and will not be easy, although it is what's best for me to reach my goal," Blair tweeted on Wednesday. "I am excited for the opportunity to attend the University of Tampa in the fall, where I will continue my academic and athletic career as a student-athlete. Thank you and God Bless."

Blair's decision was actually made last week, but he planned to visit a potential school this week before finalizing his decision to leave the program.

Blair was named the Most Outstanding Player in the Greenville Regional, largely because of his three-run home run to give the Gamecocks the lead in the opening game against Ohio State. That home run propelled South Carolina to a victory, and a three-game sweep in the Regional. Blair then started four of the team's final five games of the season.

The Bel Air, Md. native finished the season hitting .230 in 41 games with 12 starts. He walked five times and struck out 19 with a .288 on-base percentage. Blair finished his career with a total of 46 hits with three of them going for home runs. He started 43 games during his three-year career with the Gamecocks.

In addition to Blair transferring out of the program, rising sophomore Kyle Jacobsen, a former Perfect Game All-American, also departed South Carolina.

With the two transfers and Carlos Cortes expected to sign along with the possibility of Jacob Olson moving to the infield, the Gamecocks are running a bit low on outfield numbers. South Carolina will welcome back rising senior TJ Hopkins and Ian Jenkins, who redshirted his freshman year on campus.

Rising sophomore Noah Campbell, brought in to South Carolina as an infielder, spent some time in the outfield as well. Both Campbell and Olson are expected to spend the vast majority of their practice time this fall on the infield.

South Carolina has four players in the 2018 recruiting class who are outfielders. Both Xavier Bussey and Brady Allen project as corner outfielders. Joel Brewer projects as a future center fielder. Josiah Sightler, if he spurns his selection by the Cincinnati Reds, can play either a corner outfield position or first base. Check out a detailed update on Sightler.

Hopkins, assuming he can stay healthy, would certainly project as a starting outfielder next year. The other two positions would be wide open. Hopkins has played all three outfield positions during his time with the Gamecocks.

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