The Daily Gamecock

Mark Kingston reflects on transfer portal impact, looks ahead to 2023

<p>FILE—Head coach Mark Kingston takes a minute to think during a game against Virginia Military Institute on Feb. 16, 2018.&nbsp;</p>
FILEā€”Head coach Mark Kingston takes a minute to think during a game against Virginia Military Institute on Feb. 16, 2018. 

In late May, D1Baseball's managing editor Kendall Rogers reported that Mark Kingston would return as head baseball coach at South Carolina. With three years remaining on his contract, Kingston held an online press conference to field questions from the media on Wednesday. 

The primary focus was on the impact that incoming and players returning from injury will have on the 2023 season.

Unable to produce the names of incoming players due to NCAA regulations, Kingston said there was a certain pedigree that his staff looked for. 

"We wanted to attack proven performers, and we wanted to approach guys that maybe were very high-end guys a year or two ago and for whatever reason, the light hasn't quite gone on," Kingston said. "They're filled with talent and maybe a change of scenery, maybe a new voice can help spark that talent."

Kingston used senior infielder Josiah Sightler as an example of who the team is looking for. He said that Sightler's continued hard work made him into a reliable player. 

"We saw what Josiah Sightler did this year, with continued hard work, sometimes the light really goes on with the talented player and so those are the areas we're really targeting," Kingston said.

He also gave an update on the many players who were injured last season, including junior and sophomore pitchers James Hicks and Jack Mahoney. Kingston said that they'll be ready to go by or around the start of the season. With Hicks pitching in only two games and Mahoney in none last season, Kingston expects them to have an impact on the rotation moving forward.

"They're rehabbing very well this summer," Kingston said. "They're both making really good progress. I think they're both going to be very, very important guys for us this year."

Looking ahead to 2023, Kingston spoke on what the team will look like with all the new and healed faces in the lineup.

"I just don't think next year's team will in any way resemble this past year's team," Kingston said. "What was great about this past year's team is that they played hard every step of the way and next year's team will as well. I've got to imagine next year's team will have much more good fortune."