College Baseball Analysis: Can South Carolina Compete in 2013?

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When people talk about the Gamecocks baseball team and the near three straight national championships, you'll hear a phrase like "what a great run by the Gamecocks."

I won't argue with that. South Carolina had one of the best three-year stretches in recent memory in college baseball. Record winning streaks in the NCAA Tournament and in the College World Series. Two National Championships. An appearance in the Championship Series for a third. 

All of this is fantastic. 

But the thing I don't understand is it seems like people speak about these things like it won't happen again. Yeah, it's a great run by the Gamecocks, but who says we're done now?

Look at the returning nucleus of this ball club. Tanner English, Grayson Greiner, Joey Pankake, Evan Beal, Jordan Montgomery and Colby Holmes. These aren't just no name players. These are guys that played big roles through the 2012 season for the Gamecocks and are expected to take the next step next year for the Gamecocks. Replacing the likes of Michael Roth, Matt Price, Evan Marzilli and Christian Walker will be difficult, but the talent on hand should put USC in prime position for another run at a national championship. 

Don't forget another strong group of incoming recruits as well. Max Shrock, Curt Britt, Jack Wynkoop, George Iskenderian, Austin LaBounty and Brett Knief could all step in and make an immediate impact just like several freshman did in 2012. 

You also have the best coaching staff in college baseball. Now, things could get interesting if Ray Tanner takes the athletic director position but Chad Holbrook is more than ready to step in and take over as the Gamecocks' head coach. He's got the pedigree, recruiting and comfort level with this team and university to be an immediate success, Ray Tanner has built a national powerhouse and the person who steps in after him will be able to win right away. Chad Holbrook looks to be that guy. 

My point in all of this is that there's plenty in place to think South Carolina is here to stay. 

South Carolina started this magical run in 2010. It continued in 2011. It even happened in 2012. 

At this rate, I don't see it ending anytime soon. So enjoy the ride. It won't be over for a long time Gamecock fans.

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