USC Baseball Slips Slightly In Rankings


By Sports Department

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- After finishing the regular season 39-16, Gamecock baseball slipped three spots in the last regular season Baseball America poll to #17 in the country. The Gamecocks are ranked 12th in the new USA TODAY/Coaches Poll and 15th in Collegiate Baseball.

South Carolina Baseball Notebook (USC SID)
Record: 39-16
SEC: 17-12
Home: 28-6
Away: 11-8
Neutral: 0-2

This Week: 2-2
5/14/13 – vs. Presbyterian (W, 4-3)
5/16/13 – at Mississippi State (L, 5-4)
5/17/13 – at Mississippi State (W, 5-3, 10 inn.)
5/18/13 – at Mississippi State (L, 7-2)

South Carolina finishes the regular season 39-16 and 17-12 in the SEC. The Gamecocks finished second in the SEC Eastern Division and fourth overall. The Gamecocks are the No. 4 seed at the SEC Tournament and earned a first round bye into Day 2 of the tournament. The Gamecocks will play the winner of No. 5 Mississippi State and No. 12 Missouri. It will be the final game on Wednesday night, time still to be determined. The game will be televised live on CSS and can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”

South Carolina has reached the SEC Tournament for the 17th consecutive season. Carolina’s 17 straight appearances is the longest current streak among the 14 SEC schools. Among the team’s best finishes at the tournament, Carolina won the SEC Tournament in 2004 defeating Vanderbilt in the championship game and finished second in 2002 to Alabama.

South Carolina went 9-5 in the second half of the SEC season to finish 17-12 in league play. The Gamecocks’ second place finish in the SEC East marks the fifth straight year that Carolina has finished second or better in the division.

South Carolina owns more conference wins than any SEC team since 2000. The Gamecocks own a 257-160 record in conference games (does not include SEC Tournament or NCAA postseason games) in that span.

South Carolina is hitting .282 as a team (515-for-1824), fourth best in the league. The Gamecocks lead the SEC with 46 home runs, rank third in slugging percentage (.421) and fourth in on-base percentage (.373). On the mound, the Gamecocks 3.03 ERA is fifth best in the league. South Carolina has 427 strikeouts to 128 walks in 490. 0 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting .253 against the staff. South Carolina is fielding .972 as a team.

South Carolina is 33-3 when leading after six innings and 34-0 when leading after eight innings. The Gamecocks own a 28-4 record when out-hitting its opponent and 25-6 when scoring first in the contest. Carolina has allowed five runs or less in 45 of 55 games played this season (81.8 percent). The Gamecocks are 35-10 when allowing five runs or less. South Carolina is 20-12 in games decided by three runs or less.

Senior first baseman LB Dantzler continues to lead Carolina in hitting with a .333 average (62-for-186) with 14 homers and 47 RBI. He ranks tied for second in the SEC in homers (14), third in slugging percentage (.645), fourth in total bases (120), tied for fifth in walks (35), tied for sixth in RBI (47), eighth in on-base percentage (.445) and tied for ninth in doubles (14). Dantzler homered twice in Saturday’s 7-2 loss vs. Mississippi State. He was also 1-for-3 and scored a run in the 5-3 win vs. the Bulldogs on Friday night.

Senior left-hander Tyler Webb made three relief appearances this past week and posted saves in Tuesday’s 4-3 win over Presbyterian and Friday’s 5-3 win over Mississippi State. Webb now owns the South Carolina career record for appearances with 104, surpassing the previous mark of 102 set by Matt Price (2009-12). Webb leads the SEC with 16 saves including nine saves in conference contests. He has not allowed a run in 22 of 26 relief appearances this year. Webb is 2-2 with a 1.27 ERA in 35.1 innings. He has 51 strikeouts to just nine walks, opponents batting .194 against him.

Sophomore catcher Grayson Greiner hit a game-winning two-run homer in the 10th inning of South Carolina’s 5-3 win over Mississippi State on Friday night. Greiner was Carolina’s top hitter in SEC games with a .310 average (31-for-100) in 27 starts with three homers and 14 RBI. HE is hitting .297 (52-for-175) for the season with four homers and 34 RBI. He has 10 doubles, second highest on the team, and has scored 26 runs.

Senior left-hander Adam Westmoreland earned a win in Friday’s 5-3 win at Mississippi State. He is tied with Nolan Belcher and Jack Wynkoop for the team lead in victories with seven on the year. He pitched two scoreless innings with just one hit allowed and one walk while striking out a pair of batters. For the season, Westmoreland is 7-1 with a 1.66 ERA in 54.1 innings with 55 strikeouts to just 10 walks in 23 relief appearances.

Senior infielder Chase Veragson owns a six-game hitting streak heading into the SEC Tournament. Vergason has a hit in each game of the Mississippi State series including a run scored in the 5-4 loss on Thursday. He was also 1-for-3 with a run scored, a double and two RBI in the 4-3 win over Presbyterian. Vergason is batting .268 for the season (53-for-198) with 36 runs and 25 RBI. He also owns a .359 on-base percentage.

Senior left-handed pitcher Nolan Belcher had a quality start in a no-decision in Thursday’s 5-4 loss vs. Mississippi State. Belcher allowed just one run on nine hits in 6.1 innings with four strikeouts and three walks. Belcher is third in the SEC with 99.1 innings pitched as well as fifth in strikeouts (83) and 11th in both earned run average (2.17) and opposing batting average (.233). Belcher is 7-5 on the year.

Sophomore shortstop Joey Pankake is among the team’s leading hitters with a .314 average (64-for-204) with 33 runs scored and 38 RBI. Pankake ranks sixth in the SEC in home runs with 10, ranks 12th with a .505 slugging percentage and tied for 14th in RBI. He is tied for the team lead in multi-hit games with 18 on the year.

Sophomore left-hander Jordan Montgomery was effective in a no-decision in the 5-3 win for the Gamecocks at Mississippi State. Montgomery allowed three runs on nine hits in seven innings with a walk and four strikeouts. For the season, he is 4-1 with a 2.11 ERA in 55.1 innings. Montgomery’s 2.11 ERA ranks 10th best in the SEC.

Freshman second baseman Max Schrock had five hits in the four games last week. Schrock was 2-for-3 with a walk in the 4-3 win over Presbyterian. He had a base hit and a run scored in the 5-3 win over Mississippi State and added two more hits in Saturday’s 7-2 loss against the Bulldogs. Schrock is tied with Pankake for the team lead with 18 multi-hit games. He is hitting .283 (54-for-191) for the year with 35 runs and 35 RBI.

Freshman left-hander Jack Wynkoop pitched well despite the loss on Saturday at Mississippi State. Wynkoop allowed four runs, two earned, on seven hits in in 5.1 innings with a pair of walks and three strikeouts. He is 7-3 on the year with a 2.81 ERA in 57.2 innings with 10 walks and 33 strikeouts.

Junior outfielder Graham Saiko had a streak of scoring at least one run snapped at six games in Saturday’s 7-2 loss at Mississippi State. Saiko was 1-for-3 with a run scored and a RBI in both the 4-3 win over Presbyterian and 5-4 loss vs. the Bulldogs. He went 1-for-3 with a run scored in the 5-3 win at MSU. Saiko is hitting .256 (44-for-172) with 32 runs and 23 RBI. He has 35 walks to 18 strikeouts at the plate.

Senior right-hander Patrick Sullivan was the winning pitcher in Tuesday’s 4-3 win vs. Presbyterian. Sullivan allowed one run on one hit in 1.2 innings of relief with no walks and three strikeouts. He is now 2-0 on the year with a 2.92 ERA in 24.2 innings pitched.

Junior designated hitter Brison Celek went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored in the 5-4 loss at Mississippi State. Celek is hitting .291 (23-for-79) in 22 starts with 11 runs scored and 14 RBI. His double at MSU was his first double since April 12 at Florida.
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