South Carolina baseball coach Mark Kingston led his team to a good season in 2023. Despite coming into the season on the hot seat, Kingston helped his Gamecocks become a Regional host for the first time since 2016 (USC hosted in 2021 but it was as a 2-seed because 1-seed Virginia could not host) and Super Regional berth for the first time since 2018.
The Gamecocks lost a fair amount of pitching talent to the 2023 MLB Draft, but the transfer portal was good to USC. Carolina added a lot of potential difference-makers to the pitching staff and upgraded several positions on offense. With the transfer class and the incoming freshman group, there is reason to believe that South Carolina baseball could be even better in the spring.
Some college baseball writers are starting to agree.
The staff at College Baseball Central were asked to give their way-too-early College World Series picks, and the Gamecocks were a common pick to make their way to Omaha for the first time since 2012 when they lost to Arizona in the National Championship Series after winning the previous two National Titles in 2010 and 2011.
Specifically, writers Noah Darling, Sinderella, Mark Garland, AJ Sessions, and Sam Thorn all picked a trip to Omaha for the South Carolina baseball team.
The optimism around the program is only growing as the Gamecocks hired two really good assistant coaches this offseason in pitching coach Matt Williams (who replaced the outgoing Justin Parker who will coach at Mississippi State next season) and assistant coach Joey Holcomb.
A different kind of energy is emanating from the Gamecock baseball fanbase, and expectations are as high as they have been since Ray Tanner stepped out of the dugout after the 2012 season.