Thursday, February 16, 2017

A by-the-numbers look at S.C.'s NCAA Division I baseball teams entering 2017

There's also some commentary interspersed.


The minimum number of state teams making it to Omaha for the College World Series. Clemson, Coastal Carolina and South Carolina are all capable of doing it if they can avoid injuries. I would offer a double-your-money-back guarantee on this, but since this Website is free, zero times two is still zero.


New head coaches at S.C. Division I teams this season. Brett Harker takes over at Furman and Adam Ward is serving as interim head coach at Charleston Southern after Stuart Lake left to take an administrative position with South Carolina's baseball program.


Hands South Carolina freshman Carlos Cortes throws with. He throws right-handed when he plays the infield and left-handed when he pitches and plays the outfield.


S.C. teams I expect to reach the 64-team NCAA Tournament field.  Clemson, Coastal Carolina and South Carolina are talented enough to be ranked in the Top 25. College of Charleston appears to be the most likely state team to join the others in the postseason, although I think Furman has the talent to win the Southern Conference Tournament and join the field.


College World Series I've attended. I worked at two and attended another two as a fan. I recommend it highly for any college baseball fan and I'm hoping I get to make Trip No. 5 soon.


South Carolina's position in a composite of the six major preseason rankings. The Gamecocks were fourth in three polls and fifth in the other three, finishing just one point short of tying Florida State for fourth. Clemson came in at 12th and Coastal Carolina at 15th.


The state of South Carolina's rank among the 50 states in College World Series appearances.  The only states ahead of the Palmetto State are California, Texas, Florida, Arizona and Oklahoma.


At-bats College of Charleston's Dupree Hart had in a 13-inning victory at South Carolina last season. The freshman from Rock Hill tied the Founders Park record for at-bats in a game


South Carolina's current losing streak in the SEC Tournament. Until the Gamecocks' fortunes change, Hoover Metropolitan Stadium won't rank high on USC fans' most enjoyable road venues.


Scholarships baseball teams can award. This is a travesty.  A team can't field a nine-man lineup, a three-starter weekend rotation and a closer without going to at least two guys on partial scholarship. And that doesn't account for middle relief or platoon situations. I'd prefer to see baseball teams get 18-20 grants to work with, but 15 would at least be a start in the right direction.


The school-record number of Big South Conference victories by Presbyterian last season. The Blue Hose qualified for the league tournament for the first time.


ACC championships by Clemson.  Coach Monte Lee had his team peak at the right time to roll to the tournament title last season.


Newcomers on the Charleston Southern roster.  Since the Buccaneers were 19-34 last season, so much new blood might be a good thing.


Combined number of saves South Carolina relievers Josh Reagan (11) and Tyler Johnson (9) had last season. It will be interesting to see how Gamecocks coach Chad Holbrook juggles his pitching staff  to get maximum effectiveness out of his two closers.


Lettermen Furman returns from last season. The Paladins are optimistic about the 2017 season because of a strong (14-6) finish to 2016 and an abundance of veterans.


Triples by both USC Upstate and Wofford in 2016. None of the state's nine other teams had more than 13, far behind the mark of the two Spartanburg schools.


College World Series appearances by S.C. teams. That's 12 for Clemson, 11 for USC and one apiece for Coastal Carolina and The Citadel.


Fred Jordan's number of openers as The Citadel's head coach.  His 26th season in Charleston brings him within one year of matching the tenure of his predecessor Chal Port.


Victories by Presbyterian each of the past two seasons.  The Blue Hose have never won more games as a Division I school.


Clemson appearances in the NCAA Tournament.  That's fifth all-time behind Texas, Florida State, Miami and Oklahoma State


Regular-season games an NCAA Division I team can play. Fall exhibition games against other schools count against that total. Most schedule the full complement in the spring.


Consecutive winning seasons by Clemson.  The Tigers' last losing season was in 1957, the year before Bill Wilhelm took over as coach.


Seth Beer's consecutive game on-base streak to end the 2016 season. The Clemson freshman reached base in all but one of the 62 games he played in last season.


Potential starts five Furman players lost to injuries or suspensions last season. Despite having their full complement of projected starters for just 12 of 59 games, the Paladins came in just under .500 at 29-30.


Baseball seasons Clemson has had. There have been 23 losing seasons.


Innings Alex Cunningham pitched for Coastal Carolina during its NCAA title run. The Byrnes High graduate was a workhorse for coach Gary Gilmore's squad last season.


Baseball seasons for South Carolina. The Gamecocks are 85-39 in openers.


Weston Jackson's batting average at Presbyterian last season. He's transferred to Clemson for his final season and is expected to help pick up the offensive slack caused by the loss of Chris Okey and others.


Strikeouts by University of South Carolina pitchers last season. It was the third-highest total in school history.


The slugging percentage for Clemson's Seth Beer last season. That's video-game territory.


Chairback seats Furman will be installing at Latham Stadium beginning in March. The Paladins continue to spruce up their baseball facility, which has been in use since the campus moved from downtown Greenville in the 1950s.


A sellout crowd at Founders Park in Columbia. The Gamecocks have yet to convince the Fire Marshal to let more than that number into the stadium, so there's a 48-way tie for largest single-game crowd. 


The national-best amount of dollars Furman raised in its Vs. Cancer campaign in 2016. The total topped the 76 other competing college baseball teams and was almost $17,000 ahead of the next closest team.

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