Thursday, February 18, 2016

News digest, Feb. 18

Gamecocks picked third in SEC East
SEC coaches predict South Carolina will finish third behind Florida and Vanderbilt in the East Division this season. Texas A&M is favored in the West and Florida is picked to win the overall title.

USC sets roster reports South Carolina has set its 35-player roster for the season by designating six players as inactive. Pitchers Wil Crowe, Cody Morris and John Parke will sit out 2016 as they recover from surgery. Freshmen Hank Nichols (Mann) and Harrison Smith (Wando) and junior Hayden Hefli are the others who did not make the cut.

State programs get recognition
Staffers for the excellent Website have made their 2016 season predictions, with several state players/programs getting mention.

Aaron Fitt picked South Carolina's Alex Destino as his breakout star, while Mark Etheridge gave the same honor to College of Charleston's Bailey Ober.

Michael Baumann picked Clemson's Seth Beer to be freshman of the year and also tabbed the Tigers as the the surprise team among among squads not  in the Website's projected 64-team field. Kendall Rogers pegged College of Charleston as his surprise team.

In addition, several players from state schools are ranked in the Website's position rankings. I don't have a subscription, so I can't offer a complete list and won't do a partial one.
D1 Baseball

NCAA Division I teams open their season on Friday. Nine of the 11 S.C. teams are at home with the other two -- Furman and Presbyterian -- playing at Fluor Field in Greenville. Here are season or series previews as provided by the schools. As of 8:15 p.m. Thursday Wofford had not posted its preview notes.

* Charleston Southern opens with a three-game home series with West Virginia. The Mountaineers are coached by former Clemson player Randy Mazey.

* The Monte Lee era opens at Clemson with a three-game weekend series vs. Maine. These is video streaming planned for all three games on Clemson's TigerCast platform.

* Coastal Carolina plays host to the Caravelle Resort Tournament, with games in Conway and Myrtle Beach. The Chanticleers will play their three games at Brooks Stadium: Appalachian State on Friday, N.C. State on Saturday and Virginia on Sunday. The Virginia game will be streamed on ESPN3.

* College of Charleston plays host to Nebraska as Matt Heath begins his tenure as Cougars' head coach.

* Furman competes in the First Pitch Invitational at Fluor Field in Greenville. The Paladins will play Fordham Friday, Michigan State on Saturday and Presbyterian on Sunday. Sunday's game will be streamed on at Many of Furman's games will be broadcast on WDAB (AM-1580) in Travelers Rest and audio streamed on

* Prior to its Furman game on Sunday, Presbyterian faces Michigan State on Friday and Fordham on Saturday in the First Pitch Invitational.
Blue Hose

* South Carolina opens with a home series against Albany. All three games are scheduled to be streamed on the SEC+ platform.

* The Citadel entertains Virginia Tech for three games at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park in Charleston.

* Winthrop opens with a four-game (there's a Saturday doubleheader) against La Salle.

* USC Upstate and Wofford are sharing opponents over the first three days. The Spartans meet George Mason on Friday, Dayton on Saturday and Stony Brook on Sunday. The Terriers face Kentucky on Friday, Stony Brook on Saturday and George Mason on Sunday Wofford's Friday and Sunday games will be streamed on the

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