The Road to Omaha doesn't begin in the spring; coaches already are driving their players toward the College World Series. It's the rise-n-grind that players tweet about; it's the workout pictures that are shared on social media. It's the day-in, day-out work that coaches and players hope will separate their team in June. Before the first pitch in February, NCAA.com is highlighting teams that may reach the Mecca of college baseball: Omaha.

South Carolina Gamecocks
• 2014: 44-18 (18-12 SEC)
• Head coach: Chad Holbrook (third year)
Gamecocks' team website

1. What can fans expect from this squad in 2015? A team that plays hard every game and plays with emotion and enthusiasm. Hopefully will have the same intangibles that this program was built on.

2. What is the one thing that this year’s team does best? Play defense.

3. Bottom of the ninth, tied game, two outs, winning run on second … which player does this team want to step up to the plate? Max Schrock because of his success in those situations the previous two years.

4. If this team had one game to win, which pitcher would get the ball? Wil Crowe or Jack Wynkoop.

5. Who are we most likely to see make a SportsCenter Top 10 play on this squad? Any of our infielders.

6. What does Omaha mean to this team? It's a place that we've had great success in the past and are eager to return.

-- Head coach Chad Holbrook

TOP RETURNING HITTERS
PLAYER AVG. G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI
Kyle Martin .336 62 244 35 82 11 0 5 38
Connor Bright .311 44 161 25 50 11 0 0 24
Max Schrock .299 35 127 26 38 5 1 5 20
TOP RETURNING PITCHERS
PLAYER ERA W-L SV IP H ER BB K B/AVG.
Josh Reagan 0.36 3-0 0 25.1 25 1 4 21 .248
Cody Mincey 1.04 5-0 1 34.2 20 4 17 44 .171
Wil Crowe 2.75 8-3 0 91.2 76 28 19 59 .228