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Gamecock baseball notes

South Carolina has a player who earns preseason All-SEC honors from the league coaches, preseason poll is released.
Credit: WLTX, AP

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina junior Wes Clarke was named to the Preseason All-Southeastern Conference second team while the South Carolina baseball team has been picked to finish fourth in the SEC's Eastern Division by the league's 14 coaches, that according to the coaches' preseason poll.

Clarke, who has been named a Preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball, led the SEC and was tied for third in the country with eight home runs in 2020 while driving in 22, which was tied for third in the league. Clarke hit .286 with 14 runs scored in 16 games played for the Gamecocks.

The Gamecocks earned 55 votes in the coaches' poll, good for fourth in the division behind Florida (91 votes, 13 first-place votes), Vanderbilt (79 votes, 1 first-place votes) and Tennessee (58 votes). Carolina was followed by Georgia (51 votes), Missouri (28 votes) and Kentucky (23 votes).

Ole Miss has been picked to win the Western Division with 78 votes and seven first-place votes. The Rebels were followed by Mississippi State (73 votes, 3 first-place votes), Arkansas (72 votes, 2 first-place votes), LSU (63 votes, 2 first-place votes), Texas A&M (36 votes), Auburn (32 votes) and Alabama (31 votes).

Florida earned 12 votes to win the SEC championship, followed by Mississippi State and Vanderbilt with one vote apiece.

The Gamecocks will open the 2021 season on Friday, Feb. 19 against Dayton with a 4 p.m. first pitch.