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USC celebrates 2012 CWS squad

South Carolina held its annual banquet on Thursday night at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. The 2012 College World Series runner-up team was celebrated as all 35 players on the roster last year received rings.

Former first baseman Christian Walker was honored as the team MVP from the 2012 season

All of the familiar faces were back with players like Michael Roth, Matt Price, Christian Walker, and Evan Marzilli making their return. It was a night to celebrate as former head coach Ray Tanner passed the torch to new head coach Chad Holbrook. This was Tanner’s last function celebrating one of his teams.

The usual suspects received awards for last year’s accomplishments. Walker earned team MVP honors while Roth and Price shared the Most Outstanding Pitcher award. Marzilli was the big winner taking home three awards - a Gold Glove, the Strength & Conditioning award, and the Fighting Gamecock award for playing hard and showing a fighting spirit.

With the top four players from last year’s team pursuing professional careers, there were new faces on the field this fall. Newcomers Max Schrock and Graham Saiko shared the Position Player of the Fall award. Senior Colby Holmes won the Pitcher of the Fall award.

Schrock hit .340 this fall with a pair of home runs, seven RBIs, and seven stolen bases. Saiko hit .319 and had a .396 on-base percentage. He had 12 runs scored and 12 RBIs in his first fall on campus.

Academic advisor Steven Bondurant stepped to the podium to talk about the success of the team in the classroom. The team had an overall GPA of 3.05 for the 2011-12 academic year. A total of 27 players finished with a 3.0 while 19 players made the Dean’s list finishing with a 3.5 GPA or higher.

Three players - Nolan Belcher, Sean Sullivan, and Adam Matthews - made the President’s list finishing with a perfect 4.0 GPA.

After passing out awards and College World Series rings, Holbrook addressed the crowd one final time. He didn’t get into specifics but he had one final plea for all in attendance.

“Be in your seat early,” Holbrook said, referring to the season-opener against Liberty on February 15. “We have something special planned for one Ray Tanner.”

Freshman Max Schrock, along with junior Graham Saiko, was named Position Player of the Fall

Baseball award winners

Strength & Conditioning Award (position player) - Evan Marzilli
Strength & Conditioning Award (pitcher) – Patrick Sullivan
Fighting Gamecock Award – Evan Marzilli
Kip Bouknight Award (best first-year pitcher) – Jordan Montgomery
Tom Price Award (improvement, dedication work ethic) – Chase Vergason
Golden Glove Award – LB Dantzler
Golden Glove Award – Evan Marzilli
Irby Raines Award (coaches’ award) – Dante Rosenberg
Sarge Frye Award (class and integrity on and off the field) – Sean Sullivan
Sarge Frye Award (class and integrity on and off the field) – Adam Matthews
Fred Brinkman Inspirational Award – Matt Price
Rookie of the Year – Joey Pankake
Best Reliever Award – Tyler Webb
Taylor McEntire Most Valuable Player - Christian Walker
Most Outstanding Pitcher - Matt Price
Most Outstanding Pitcher - Michael Roth
Position Player of the Fall – Max Schrock
Position Player of the Fall – Graham Saiko
Pitcher of the Fall – Colby Holmes

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