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      Fans send Gamecocks off in style

      COLUMBIA (WACH) - USC fans from around South Carolina gathered at Carolina Stadium Wednesday morning to wish the Gamecocks good luck as they make their third straight trip back to Omaha and the College World Series. Players and coaches greeted fans and signed autographs before boarding buses to the airport. For some of the new guys, the trip to the College World Series is still surreal.

      "It really hasn't set in yet. It's gonna be fun," freshman shortstop Joey Pankake said.

      It is the leadership from others who have already made the journey that keeps the first-timers calm and collected.

      "All these senior guys have been there before and they really know the ropes, so they'll keep our heads on our shoulders for us," freshman pitcher Evan Beal said.

      The Gamecocks are riding a record 21-game win streak in the NCAA Postseason and look to add to that when they take the field Saturday night. Head coach Ray Tanner acknowledges everything he and his team have accomplished, but still remains humble.

      "You can rest assured, no matter what happens in Omaha, we're going to do our very best to represent you (the fans) with class, dignity and the competitive nature like nobody else," Tanner said.

      "And maybe, just maybe the sun will shine on us and we can bring back another piece of hardware."