Matthews back for senior season in Columbia?

Injuries kept then-junior outfielder Adam Matthews from having the big final season in Columbia he wanted. Now it appears the White Knoll High School product will be back for his senior year in Columbia.

Going into the Gamecocks' 2011 baseball season, it seemed likely that South Carolina junior right fielder Adam Matthews was starting his final season at South Carolina.

But a nagging hamstring injury that benched the former White Knoll High School product twice kept Matthews from having the big junior season he had hoped for.

Now it appears Matthews has made the decision to return to Columbia for his senior season.

"Looks like I'll be wearing Garnet and Black for my senior year," Matthews said on Twitter. "#2012GamecockBaseball."

When the Gamecocks' ace pitcher Michael Roth questioned if Matthews was serious, he responded: "Come on now...why would I tweet it!"

South Carolina associate head coach Chad Holbrook also confirmed the news on his Twitter account.

"Happy that @AdamMatthews26 wants to spend his senior year in Columbia," Holbrook said. "Great kid with incredible talent. We got some fast guys!"

A natural talent with great speed that had developed in his two seasons in Columbia, Matthews looked likely to have a big third year in Columbia before getting drafted and starting his Major League Baseball career in the minor leagues.

But the injury caused him to miss much of the final half of the season.

Matthews was still drafted in the 23rd round by Baltimore but appears ready to come back for a healthy senior season and raise his stock.

Matthews is currently hitting .415 with 14 RBIs and two home runs in 13 games with the Florence Redwolves of the Coastal Plain League.

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