Last season, Carolina baseball proved they could beat any team in the country. They also proved that they could lose to anyone as well. Although the Gamecocks managed to take down several top dogs last season, they couldn’t manage to finish above .500 for the first time since 1992.
What will they need to do to turn those Ls into Ws?
Bats Need to Pick Up and Become More Consistent
This really has been an issue for the Yardcocks under Kingston for some time now. Until this issue is resolved, Carolina will not be a championship team.
Sure, in baseball, you’ll have days where the bats fall quiet. You’ll have to rely on pitching and 1 or 2 productive innings. However, when these instances are constantly occurring, you aren’t going to find success.
Even in 2021, Carolina had a decent overall season. But their game plan appeared to be, “score 3 or 4 runs and beat them on the mound.” Had they been able to consistently score more runs, they certainly could have wound up in Omaha.
Hopefully, scoring won’t be a struggle for the Gamecocks this season, and they’ll finally be able to put up runs on the board game in and game out.
Mid-week Performances Must Improve Dramatically
It’s definitely understandable to drop a midweek game in a season to a pretty inferior opponent. BUT 5 IN ONE SEASON? Unacceptable…
Giving up 15 runs against Xavier, Presbyterian loses 36-4 to Campbell and then comes into Columbia two days later and beats your ass, and by the time Charlotte rolled into town it almost felt like a guaranteed loss.
I understand pitching injuries played a huge part in last seasons struggles, but at times, Carolina really didn’t seem motivated in the mid-week. If you think I’m wrong, go back and watch the Xavier game.
If Carolina is to get anywhere this season, the midweek performance as a whole must change.
Find a Way to Duplicate the Moments of Success From Last Season
Obviously, we don’t have a positive outlook on last season. However, the good moments were really good!
Series wins over Vandy, Ole Miss, and Texas. Including a 13 run win over UNC in Charlotte. These aren’t flukes. Last season Carolina won their series against two teams who wound up in Omaha, one of which won the national championship.
With that being said, it’s really quite simple. Find that success and do it again this season, but more often. If South Carolina played they way they did against those opponents the entire season, they would have ended up in Omaha. I really don’t see who would have stood in their path of doing so.
Obviously, you can’t expect every series to fall that way; however, South Carolina needs to find that same team, and find a way to play like them as consistently as they can. If they’re able to do so. They’ll be in great shape next season. At that point I would expect it to be Kingston’s most successful season with the team.
Regardless of how close next seasons’s outcome is to meeting our expectations, I know next season will fair better than last.
With the majority of key players returning, along with a healthy pitching staff, I really don’t see there being any way Carolina falls below .500 again.
The question is, how far will they go?