USC's projected Opening Day lineup, batting order

February 16, 2012 

The South Carolina baseball team took to the field Friday to talk to the media and have a team scrimmage. Here, LB Dantzler, left, and Evan Marzilli, right, talk before practice.

TIM DOMINICK — tdominick@thestate.com

  • Season preview

    GoGamecocks' Neil White previews the 2012 South Carolina baseball season. OPENING DAY WHO: USC vs. VMI WHEN: 3 p.m. Friday WHERE: Carolina Stadium TICKETS: Sold out RADIO: 107.5 FM FESTIVITIES: 2010 and 2011 CWS Most Outstanding Players Jackie Bradley Jr. and Scott Wingo will throw out ceremonial first pitches to former catchers Robert Beary and Brady Thomas.

1. Evan Marzilli, CF, Jr.

Defensively very smooth and steady, Marzilli has the speed and the swing to get the offense going, but he must cut down on his strikeouts.

2. Adam Matthews, RF, Sr.

After working his way through a serious hamstring injury last season and turning down a pro offer, Matthews is healthy and prepared to have a big season.

3. Christian Walker, 1B, Jr.

The driving force in the lineup, the hard-hitting All-American candidate should once again lead the team in every important offensive category.

4. LB Dantzler, 3B, Jr.

A top-notch hitter in the junior college ranks, Dantzler is expected to provide power as well as much needed protection for Walker.

5. Grayson Greiner, C, Fr.

The freshman from Blythewood has displayed good receiving skills, a strong throwing arm, and the ability to hit the ball a long way.

6. Kyle Martin, DH, Fr.

While stuck behind Walker at first base, Martin has shown a solid bat and could help supply the team with more long-ball power than it had a year ago.

7. Joey Pankake, SS, Fr.

The rifle-armed Pankake has great potential, but he isn’t going to be at the defensive level of a Bobby Haney or Peter Mooney yet. But he can hit.

8. Chase Vergason, 2B, Jr.

The junior college transfer has big shoes to fill taking over for Scott Wingo, but the coaches hopes he can provide steady play up the middle.

9. Tanner English, LF, Fr.

The incredibly fast English turned down a big pro offer to bring his skills to Columbia, and he has shown enough evidence to earn the starting nod.

SP. Michael Roth, P, Sr.

The ace left-hander compiled incredible numbers last season (14-3, 1.06 ERA) on the way pitching the Gamecocks to another NCAA title.

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