Several drafted Gamecocks to return to school

All-America pitchers Matt Price and Michael Roth as well as outfielder Adam Matthews and left-handed pitcher Tyler Webb will return to the South Carolina baseball program as the deadline to sign professional contracts passed at Midnight on Monday evening/Tuesday morning.

Roth and Matthews will enter their senior seasons with the Gamecocks with Price and Webb returning as juniors. All four have been a part of back-to-back National Championships at South Carolina.

In addition to the four returning players, the Gamecocks will also welcome seven newcomers who were selected in the 2011 MLB Draft. Right-handed pitcher Evan Beal (8th round/Kansas City Royals), outfielder Tanner English (13th round/Tampa Bay Rays), right-handed pitcher Joel Seddon (20th round/Toronto Blue Jays), infielder T.J. Costen (22nd round/Texas Rangers), infielder Joey Pankake (42nd round Texas Rangers) will join the Gamecock baseball team.

Current football players Shon Carson (44th round/Cincinnati Reds) and Ahmad Christian (46th round/Milwaukee Brewers), who also play baseball, chose not to sign professional contracts as well.

Price returns to South Carolina for his junior season after his second successful year as the closer for the Gamecocks. A redshirt sophomore last year, Price was selected in the sixth round by the Arizona Diamondbacks. This past season, Price earned All-America honors from Baseball America, CollegeBaseballInsider.com, the NCBWA and Perfect Game as one of the top closers in all of college baseball. Price finished with a 7-3 record and a 1.83 ERA along with 20 saves in 59.0 innings pitched; opponents hit just .213 against him, he also compiled 75 strikeouts. He was also 2-0 with two saves in five CWS appearances; hurled nine scoreless innings with eight strikeouts and made the CWS All-Tournament Team.

Roth, a 31st round selection by the Cleveland Indians, was a consensus All-America pick and the National Player of the Year by CollegeBaseballInsider.com. Roth had an impressive season with a 14-3 record and a 1.06 ERA in 21 games with 112 strikeouts in 145 innings pitched. He won his 14th game of the season with 7.2 innings and just two runs allowed in five hits as Gamecocks clinched second straight national championship in 5-2 win over Florida at College World Series. In addition, Roth earned first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America honors and earned the NCAA Elite 88 Award with highest grade point average of all student-athletes from eight schools at College World Series.

Matthews, like Roth, will be a senior in the 2012 season for the Gamecocks. A 23rd round selection by the Baltimore Orioles, Matthews played in 34 games with 29 starts last year but was hampered by a hamstring injury. He hit .264 (29-for-110) with four doubles, two triples, two homers, 14 RBI and 26 runs scored.

Tyler Webb returns for his junior season after being selected in the 48th round by the Cincinnati Reds. The southpaw was 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 22 appearances with five starts. Webb hurled 36 innings this past year and opponents hit just .248 against him. He had a key relief appearance in the 2-1 win over Florida in game one of championship series at College World Series (6/27); did not allow a run in 2.1 innings of work.

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