Notes and Quotes from Omaha

<b>Omaha, Neb.</b> - The team went to a brunch Saturday morning hosted by a local service club in Omaha. The brunch was held in a Firefighter's Hall about three miles from the team hotel ...

* After the brunch, the team returned to the hotel to dress for practice. They boarded the bus at 2:15 p.m. and went to practice at Creighton University.

* Practice was upbeat and the tempo was good. They took batting practice for about 60 minutes and then fielding practice for 30 minutes. The team looked focus and eager to erase Saturday's disappointing loss to Stanford.

* An AAU baseball team from Charleston, S.C., came by practice. The team -- The South Carolina Diamond Devils -- is made up of 16 and 17 year old players from across the Palmetto State. They are in Omaha for a tournament this week and they also are going to the games at the College World Series. Not a bad summer trip for a group of boys who love baseball.

* When practice was over, Coach Tanner invited three young boys (looked to be around 10 or 11 years of age) onto the field to take some grounders from assistant coach Monte Lee. The boys were baseball fans from Grand Rapids, Mich. As Coach Tanner said, it's never too early to try to convert some youngsters into Gamecocks.

* Coach Tanner and a few of the players met with the media after practice. Here are some excerpts from their comments:

Steven Bondurant (Sunday's starting pitcher): "The team was disappointed with the play we played Saturday, but we came out here today and everyone was upbeat. We're basically in the same position we were last year. We'll have to forget about Stanford now and get ready for LSU. We want to extend our stay here, that's for sure." note -- Bondurant is an honor's student who already has received his bachelor's degree (May, 2002) and will receive his master's degree in human resources after one more semester of classes.

Ray Tanner -- "There aren't many secrets in tomorrow's game. LSU knows about our team and we know about them. They know who our good players are and we know who theirs are. They want to try to survive and advance and so do we. One of us will have to go home tomorrow."

* Many of the players' parents made the trip to Omaha to follow their sons. Frank and Carol Meyer, parents of former Gamecock shortstop Drew Meyer, also made the trip to support their favorite team. Drew, who signed with the Texas Rangers last year, is currently playing Class A ball in Stockton, Calif. His parents said he is scheduled to come home to South Carolina for a couple of days later this month during the halfway point of the season. The Meyers live in Charleston.

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