The South Carolina Gamecocks are set to return to the diamond this weekend as they begin preparations of defending their back-to-back national championships.

South Carolina opens its 2012 season this weekend against VMI and today there were several announcements on who will line up in the field and what the starting rotation will be.

Here's a look at the weekend's starting pitchers:

  • Friday - Michael Roth
  • Saturday - Matt Price
  • Sunday - Colby Holmes

As you can see, this is quite the pitching staff. Michael Roth returns from a stellar 2011 season to bolster this pitching staff on Friday yet again. Price moves over from the closer role and already has locked up the Saturday starting role. He's got four pitches that will suit him as a starting pitcher. The final starter of the weekend is Colby Holmes who wasn't too shabby in 2011 either. He finished 7-3 in 18 starts with a 3.69 ERA.

I think it's easy to see why this pitching staff could be the strength of this team again in 2012.

Now let's get to this weekend's outfield starters:

  • Left Field - Tanner English
  • Center Field - Evan Marzilli
  • Right Field - Adam Matthews

Marzilli and Matthews provide veteran leadership in the outfield and should be expected to have strong seasons in 2012. Marzilli struggled at times last season and Matthews battled injury off and on. English is the star freshman with high potential. He has unlimited speed and could be a real threat on the basepaths this year for the Gamecocks.

There's a big reason this team won back-to-back national championships. The names you see mentioned in this article are reasons why. South Carolina has plenty of talent and are expected to make another run at a national championship.

Anything is possible.