South Carolina Baseball: Gamecock backstop receives multiple All-SEC honors

South Carolina baseball catcher Cole Messina was honored by multiple publications as an All-SEC performer for the 2024 campaign.
South Carolina baseball catcher Cole Messina
South Carolina baseball catcher Cole Messina / Cyndi Chambers / USA TODAY NETWORK

South Carolina baseball hasn't had the season they hoped to have, but that does not mean that there haven't been any bright spots this year.

Perhaps the brightest of all of the garnet and black-colored spots in the 2024 season was catcher Cole Messina. The Gamecock backstop has been really good yet again this year after taking home some All-American hardware after the 2023 campaign.

On the season, Messina has been even better at the plate than he was a season ago as he currently is slashing .312/.444/.653/1.097. He also is 1st on the team in RBI (53), runs (54), doubles (18), total bases (130), slugging percentage (.653), and hits (62) while ranking 2nd on the squad in home runs (16), on-base percentage (.444), and OPS (1.097). He was named the SEC Player of the Week just two weeks ago after a stellar weekend series against the Missouri Tigers.

Messina has also been one of the top defensive catchers in the country, though, he was snubbed from a spot on the SEC's All-Defensive team.

#19 was not snubbed from the All-SEC squad, however.

The coaches of the Southeastern Conference had their All-SEC team voting revealed on Monday, and Cole Messina was a 2nd team selection. Texas A&M catcher Jackson Appel got the nod to the 1st team despite inferior offensive numbers to Messina and worse defense.

USA Today did not get it wrong, though, as the outlet named Messina, not Appel, to its All-SEC squad.

Frankly, team success likely played a role in the SEC coaches picking Appel over Messina. The Aggies have had a much better year to this point than the Gamecocks.

If South Carolina baseball is going to reverse the trend and salvage something out of what has turned into a very disappointing 2024 campaign, Cole Messina will play a big part in it.

Messina and the Gamecocks will play on Tuesday afternoon in Hoover, Alabama in the single-elimination round of the SEC Tournament against the Alabama Crimson Tide. The game will begin at about 2:30 PM EST (30 minutes after the Georgia-LSU game that will start at 10:30 AM EST) and will be broadcast on the SEC Network and streamed on the ESPN app.

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