SC Baseball Ranked No. 8 In Collegiate Poll

Columbia, S.C. - The University of South Carolina baseball team has been ranked No. 8 in the Collegiate Baseball Preseason Poll. Senior third baseman Steve Pearce and senior right-handed pitcher Aaron Rawl also were named to the Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American team with Pearce earning second team honors and Rawl named to the third team ...

Rawl finished his junior season as the team's leading pitcher with a 13-4 record including 98 strikeouts and just 17 walks allowed in 122 innings pitched with a 4.28 ERA. Rawl was a third team All-American selection by the NCBWA last year. The senior from Lexington, S.C. earned SEC Pitcher of the Week honors last season as well after hurling his first career complete game shutout in a 2-0 win over Tennessee on May 15. In his first three seasons as a member of the Carolina baseball team, Rawl has compiled 26 wins as well as eight saves. He is currently 10th on the All-Time Carolina Wins List.

Pearce was last year's triple crown winner for the Gamecocks leading the team with a .346 batting average, 21 HR and 70 RBI. Pearce was named to the College World Series All-Tournament Team and was the 2004 Columbia Regional MVP following USC's wins over The Citadel and North Carolina. Pearce had two home runs and four RBI in the first win over the Tar Heels and then went 3-for-4 with another homer as South Carolina clinched its fifth consecutive regional championship.

South Carolina begins the season on Friday, Feb. 11 at 3 p.m. when the Gamecocks host Longwood University at Sarge Frye Field. The Gamecocks schedule features 29 games vs. teams that reached the postseason in the NCAA Regionals last year. Carolina will open the SEC season on Friday, Mar. 18 at 7 p.m. when the Gamecocks host CWS participant Arkansas at Sarge Frye Field.

Over the last five seasons South Carolina has won more games than any other Division I baseball team in the nation with 260 victories. South Carolina has made three consecutive trips to the College World Series (2002, 2003, 2004), won two SEC championships (2000, 2002) and earned a SEC Tournament title (2004).

Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's NCAA Div. I Pre-Season Poll

(As of Dec. 22, 2004)

Rank School ('04 Final Record)  Points  Final '04 Rank
1. Texas (58-15)                497     2
2. Miami, Fla. (50-13)          496     5
3. Cal. St. Fullerton (47-22)   495     1
4. Tulane (42-21)               493     15
5. Louisiana St. (46-19)        486     8
6. Stanford (46-14)             484     9
7. North Carolina (43-21)       480     27
8. South Carolina (53-17)       477     3
9. Georgia (45-23)              475     4
10. Texas A&M (42-22)           472     16

11. Arizona St. (41-18) 468 23 12. Arizona (36-27-1) 466 6 13. Georgia Tech. (44-21) 462 11 14. Long Beach St. (40-21) 459 12 15. Rice (46-14) 458 10 16. Mississippi (39-21) 456 24 17. Washington (39-20-1) 453 21 18. Florida St. (45-23) 451 14 19. Mississippi St. (35-24) 447 NR 20. Notre Dame (51-12) 445 19

21. Clemson (39-26) 442 26 22. Florida (43-22) 441 18 23. Oklahoma St. (38-24) 437 NR 24. Central Florida (48-17) 433 25 25. Baylor (29-31) 430 NR 26. Wichita St. (49-16) 425 28 27. Virginia (44-15) 423 20 28. Winthrop (37-23) 420 NR 29. Pepperdine (30-32) 416 NR 30. Florida Atlantic (47-17) 413 30

31. Nebraska (36-23) 409 NR 32. East Carolina (51-13) 407 13 33. Arkansas (45-24) 403 7 34. Coastal Carolina (40-23) 399 NR 35. Michigan (34-26) 395 NR 36. U.C. Irvine (34-21-1) 394 NR 37. Texas Christian (39-26) 390 NR 38. Vanderbilt (45-19) 387 17 39. Stetson (36-23) 383 NR 40. Tennessee (38-24) 382 NR 

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