South Carolina Baseball: Two Gamecocks named preseason All-Americans

South Carolina baseball stars Ethan Petry and Cole Messina were named preseason All-Americans by Perfect Game.

South Carolina baseball catcher Cole Messina
South Carolina baseball catcher Cole Messina / Cyndi Chambers / USA TODAY NETWORK
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After winning back-to-back national titles in 2010 and 2011 (and again playing in the national championship series at the College World Series in 2012), the South Carolina baseball fanbase believed USC could never fall from the mountaintop of the college baseball world.

Since then, head coach Ray Tanner stepped down to become the University of South Carolina's athletics director, and the baseball program didn't win 40 games for six years, the longest stretch of mediocrity ever in the age of the modern schedule (started in the early 1970s).

South Carolina baseball enters 2024 with high expectations, though. After making it to their first Super Regional since 2018, hosting their first Regional as a 1-seed since 2016, and having their best season in some time, the Gamecocks could be poised to make a long-awaited run at Omaha in 2024.

A big reason why the Gamecocks will be successful in 2024 is because of their offense. Returning the top three power hitters on the roster and bringing in some impact transfer portal bats, the Gamecocks could be among the top scoring clubs in the country this spring.

On Thursday, Perfect Game announced their 2024 preseason All-American teams, and two Gamecock bats made the cut.

Catcher Cole Messina, a team captain and an All-American by some publications in 2023, was named to Perfect Game's third-team preseason All-American squad. Ethan Petry, an almost universal first-team All-American last season, was named, as expected, a Perfect Game first-team preseason All-American.

Messina and Petry are expected to hit in the middle of the Carolina batting order again in 2024, and they will joined by fellow big-time bats Gavin Casas and Kennedy Jones to make up one of the country's top combinations of power hitters.

If a player or two steps up in the USC lineup, South Carolina baseball will possess one of the most fearsome lineups in the game. This contrasts a bit with the 2010-2012 run in which the Gamecocks were elite pitching teams, but if the end result is a return trip to Omaha (one that is over a decade overdue), Carolina fans certainly will take it.

Next. South Carolina Baseball: Gamecock legend leaving Columbia for another coaching opportunity. South Carolina Baseball: Gamecock legend leaving Columbia for another coaching opportunity. dark