The Daily Gamecock

Gamecock baseball head coach Mark Kingston holds press conference highlighting season expectations

Freshman Jalen Vasquez swings at the ball during the scrimmage on Thursday, Oct. 10.
Freshman Jalen Vasquez swings at the ball during the scrimmage on Thursday, Oct. 10.

South Carolina head baseball coach Mark Kingston held a press conference Wednesday afternoon to discuss his expectations for the team in the coming season and how much talent the team recruited in the offseason.

"A lot of our positions are open for business," Kingston said. "A lot of roles on the pitching staff are being fought for."

Kingston said his main goal was to "get more clarity" on the roles of the team, especially with pitching, seeing as its bullpen is full of "power arms."

"We have more left-handed arms than we've had since I've been here," Kingston said. "We have 10 guys that have touched 95 so far this fall, probably 15 guys that have been 93 or higher ... I can't imagine there's many schools in the country that have as many power arms as we do right now."

However, pitching is not the only position in which the team has options. Kingston said the outfield, shortstop and catching positions all have options as well and the team is "going to catch the ball at shortstop regardless of who's out there."

Kingston outlined some of his goals for the next three weeks, including the growth of the new recruits, the struggles of SEC play and if the freshmen will be able to handle "the grind." 

Kingston also focused on the strikeout problem of the new freshmen and said he wants the hitters to improve on making contact with the ball. 

He said even though his pitching staff is throwing hard, they "need to command the zone a little bit better" for the team to be an "elite team."

Kingston then spoke on SEC baseball in general and said pitching will be ahead of hitting, because it takes time for new batters to adjust to the speed of college pitchers. He said veteran offenses, in his opinion, will have an advantage this season.

"In the grand scheme of the game, we're gonna see a lot of great talent out there playing college baseball," Kingston said.