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South Carolina newcomers power latest run to CWS

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina coach Ray Tanner and the Gamecocks have a chance to three-peat at the College World Series.

Not that he expected his two-time defending national champions to be in this position.

In the spring Tanner was looking to have one of the longest seasons of his life ahead of him.

The team was without much of the punch it had once had and opened the year with first-year players at six spots in the lineup. South Carolina took its lumps early, starting 1-5 in Southeastern Conference play.

Now the fresh-faced Gamecocks are back in Omaha and seeking to become just the second team with three straight college baseball titles. Southern Cal won five in a row from 1970-74.

The Gamecocks open against Florida on Saturday.


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