South Carolina starts season with high expectations

By: associated press
By: associated press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina's ultimate goal this season is to make the College World Series.

But third baseman James Darnell says fans should relax for now because the Gamecocks cant make Omaha in the first two games.

South Carolina is scheduled to open the season tomorrow against East Carolina, weather permitting.

The Gamecocks have not made the College World Series since 2004, but appear to have their best blend of hitting and pitching since that year's team ended its third straight season in Omaha.

South Carolina's infield is the heart of the lineup with Darnell and first baseman Justin Smoak. The pair combined for 40 homers and 132 RBIs last season.

The Gamecocks went 46-20 last season, losing to North Carolina in the NCAA tournament super regional.

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