Friday, March 7, 2014
Gamecocks Begin Series On Thursday At Florida
COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) -- South Carolina (27-7, 8-4 SEC) heads back on the road for a three-game SEC series at Florida (16-18, 5-7 SEC). First pitch for the opener on Thursday is 7:30 p.m. with the game televised on ESPNU. as the SEC Game of the Week. Friday’s contest is also 7:30 p.m. on CSS with Saturday’s series finale at 3 p.m. on ESPN2. All three games can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”
South Carolina - Nolan Belcher, (Sr. LHP) 5-2, 1.70 ERA, 58.1 IP, 4 BB, 53 SO
Florida - Jonathon Crawford (Jr. RHP) 1-5, 4.37 ERA, 47.1 IP, 18 BB, 38 SO
South Carolina - Jordan Montgomery (So. LHP) 3-0, 0.95 ERA, 19.0 IP, 7 BB, 19 SO
Florida - Danny Young (Fr. LHP) 1-3, 3.38 ERA, 21.1 IP, 8 BB, 16 SO
South Carolina - TBA
Florida - Johnny Magliozzi (So. RHP) 3-1, 2.25 ERA, 36.0 IP, 3 BB, 27 SO
SOUTH CAROLINA-FLORIDA SERIES
South Carolina leads the all-time series 42-32 against the Gators. Both teams met five times last year with Carolina winning the last contest between the two teams, a 7-3 victory over Florida at the College World Series in Omaha. The Gators took two of three games from the Gamecocks in Columbia with a win also at the SEC Tournament. In South Carolina’s last visit to Gainesville, the Gamecocks defeated Florida in two of three games.
GAMECOCKS IN THE RANKINGS
South Carolina is ranked for the ninth consecutive week this season. The Gamecocks are No. 8 in the USA Today coaches’ poll, No. 11 by Baseball America and No. 12 by Collegiate Baseball.
This weekend’s series at Tennessee was the team’s best weekend at the plate as Carolina hit .375 (45-for-120) with 36 runs scored. The Gamecocks had 12 doubles, a triple and four homers as well. Carolina belted out a season-high 21 hits with 10 different Gamecocks recording at least one hit on the way to a 19-2 victory over Tennessee. The 19 runs on Sunday were the most in a game for Carolina since 24 vs. College of Charleston in 2011 and the most in a SEC game since scoring 20 in 2010 vs. Alabama.
SCHROCK NAMED SEC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Freshman second baseman Max Schrock was named SEC Freshman of the Week for his play the week of April 2-7. He hit .500 (11-for-22) with seven runs scored and eight RBI in five games. His game-winning RBI double in the top of the ninth inning lifted the Gamecocks to a 5-4 win over Tennessee. He followed that up with a double, a homer and two RBI in the 12-8 win over the Volunteers. In the series finale, he had a career-high four hits with a career-high four RBI as well as two runs scored in the 19-2 win over Tennessee. The four hits matched an individual high for a Gamecock player in a game this year. He was 7-for-12 (.583) in the Tennessee series with five runs scored and seven RBI against the Volunteers.
Schrock has raised his season average to .262 (32-for-122) with six doubles, two triples and two homers. He has 24 RBI as well, tied for second highest on the team. For the season, Schrock leads the Gamecocks with 10 multi-hit games.
WESTMORELAND EFFECTIVE IN RELIEF
Senior left-hander Adam Westmoreland factored in both Friday and Saturday’s victories at Tennessee. His performance on Saturday was key as he was tremendous in relief allowing just one run on five hits in a season-high six innings to improve to 4-0 on the year. Westmoreland struck out six and walked none in his six-inning stint.
He is 4-0 on the year with a 1.30 ERA and two saves in 12 relief appearances. He has 36 strikeouts to just four walks in 34.2 innings, opponents are hitting only .195 against him.
Junior first baseman/designated hitter Brison Celek found his way on base a lot in four starts last week. Celek hit .455 (5-for-11) with six walks and a hit by pitch in 18 plate appearances. His on-base percentage for the week was .667. He doubled, homered, drove in four runs and scored five times. His highlight came on Sunday as he went 2-for-4 with his first career homer, two RBI and three runs scored in the 19-2 win over the Volunteers.
Celek had a pinch-hit RBI single in the 6-5 win over The Citadel. Celek is now hitting .360 (9-for-25) for the year with six runs and eight RBI. He also has seven walks and a hit by pitch to just four strikeouts.
HOLMES WITH THE ANSWER
Senior right-hander Colby Holmes became the 21st pitcher in school history to record 20 or more wins with his victory at Tennessee on April 7, 2013.
He earned two wins this past week. In a predetermined split on Tuesday in the 9-5 win over Charleston Southern, he pitched 3.1 innings, allowing two runs on four hits with no walks and struck out two batters. He followed that up with five innings of relief allowing just two runs, one earned, on two hits with no walks and three strikeouts in the 19-2 win over Tennessee.
GREINER A CANDIDATE FOR THE JOHNNY BENCH AWARD
South Carolina sophomore catcher Grayson Greiner is one of 48 catchers to be named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List as announced by the Greater Wichita Sports Commission and presented by BaseballSavings.com.
Greiner went 6-for-9 (.667) in two starts at Tennessee. He homered, tallied a career-high four hits and drove in a career-high four runs in the 19-2 win on Sunday. Greiner is up to .289 (28-for-97) in batting average with three homers and 24 RBI. He has also been stellar behind the plate with just six stolen bases allowed in 22 starts behind the plate. Greiner is Carolina’s leading hitter in SEC games with a .333 average (12-for-36) in 10 starts.
The watch list will be narrowed down to the semifinalists, whom will be announced May 16, 2013. Ballots will be sent to the national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine the three finalists. The finalists will be announced June 4, 2013. A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series. All finalists will be brought to Wichita and the winner will be announced at the 15th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 27, 2013.
WELCOME BACK JORDAN
Sophomore left-hander Jordan Montgomery made his first appearance in over the month and returned to the form he was in before being shut down with a stress reaction in his left arm. Montgomery hurled four scoreless innings with just four hits allowed, no walks and two strikeouts in the 19-2 win over Tennessee. For the season, Montgomery is 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA in 23.0 innings pitched.
ON BASE WITH CHASE
Senior third baseman Chase Vergason hit .400 (6-for-15) in the Tennessee series with four runs scored, a triple and a home run as well as four RBI. He went 2-for-5 with his first career triple, two runs and two RBI in the 19-2 win as well as 3-for-6 with a homer, a RBI and two runs in the 12-8 victory. Vergason is hitting .279 (31-for-111) with a .404 on-base percentage.
A BIT OF ENGLISH
Sophomore outfielder Tanner English scored three runs and drove in four as well in the Tennessee series over the weekend. English is the team’s third best hitter with a .311 average (23-for-74) with 15 runs scored and 10 RBI. English leads the Gamecocks as well with a .453 on-base percentage.
TYLER WEBB MAKES HIS MARK
Senior left-hander Tyler Webb is 1-1 with a 0.75 ERA and 11 saves in 24 relief innings. He has 36 strikeouts to seven walks. Webb earned the win in Friday’s 5-4 win with four strikeouts in 1.2 innings. He followed that up with one scoreless inning of relief in Saturday’s 12-8 win. Webb’s two relief appearances this weekend increased his career total to 95 and surpassed Michael Roth (94 from 2009-12) for second in all-time history at South Carolina. Webb is seven behind Matt Price (102 from 2009-12) for the school record.
He has pitched in relief in 83 of those appearances, with 66 relief appearances without allowing a run (79.5 percent). In career relief appearances he is 9-2 with 14 saves.
102 Matt Price 2009-10-11-12
95 Tyler Webb 2010-11-12-13
BELCHER BRINGS IT
Despite a no-decision on Friday, senior left-hander Nolan Belcher was effective in the 5-4 win over Tennessee. He allowed two runs on four hits in 6.2 innings with three walks and two strikeouts. For the season, Belcher is 5-2 with a 1.70 ERA in a team-high 58.1 innings. He has a phenomenal 53 strikeouts to just four walks and is second in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio. Opponents are hitting just .215 against him.
Belcher pitched the first complete game shutout of his career in the 8-0 victory vs. Clemson. Belcher allowed just three hits and no walks while striking out seven batters in the win. Only one base runner reached third base the entire game for the Tigers. It is the first complete game shutout by a Gamecock pitcher since Sam Dyson on May 15, 2010 in a 5-0 win at Arkansas. Belcher’s complete game shutout was also the first by a Gamecock pitcher in the Clemson series since May 4, 1986 when Rodney Richey hurled a four-hit complete game shutout in a 5-0 victory vs. the Tigers at Sarge Frye Field.
DANTZLER AT THE BAT
Senior first baseman LB Dantzler tallied five hits and five walks and scored seven runs in 26 plate appearances this past week. Dantzler hit his team-best 10th homer in the 9-5 win over Charleston Southern. His top game in the Tennessee series was on Sunday when he went 3-for-5 with a RBI and two runs scored in the 19-2 win.
Dantzler is the Gamecocks’ leading hitter with a .331 average (40-for-121) with 10 homers and 34 RBI. He has a .443 on-base percentage and a .661 slugging percentage.
Dantzler was named SEC Player of the Week after the Albany series when he went 9-for-13 (.692) at the plate with two doubles, two homers, six runs scored and 10 RBI. He had 17 total bases for the weekend with a .733 on-base percentage as well as a 1.308 slugging percentage. In an 8-3 win, Dantzler tallied a career-high four hits and career-high five RBI with a home run. He followed that up with a 2-for-4 game with three runs and four RBI in the 14-1 win and closed out the weekend 3-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI in the 6-4 victory.
Dantzler is the University of South Carolina’s male nominee for the 2012-13 SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
A BRIGHT SPOT
Sophomore outfielder Connor Bright has bumped his batting average up to .312 (29-for-93), second best on the team. He went 3-for-4 in the 6-5 win over The Citadel. He was 2-for-4 in the 9-5 win over Charleston Southern as well as 3-for-5 with two runs scored in the 12-8 win over Tennessee.
DANTE ADDS TO PLATE DEPTH
Senior catcher Dante Rosenberg had two hits including his first career homer in the 6-5 win over The Citadel. Last week he went 2-for-5 with two doubles and a career-high three RBI in the 12-8 win over Tennessee. Rosenberg is hitting .319 (15-for-47) in 12 starts for the Gamecocks.
AT THE PLATE & ON THE FIELD
South Carolina is hitting .284 (319-for-1122) as a team with a .384 on-base percentage. Carolina ranks second in the SEC with 30 home runs. The Gamecocks have a .975 fielding percentage with just 31 errors for the season.
ON THE MOUND
The Gamecock pitching staff boasts a 2.93 ERA in 304.0 innings with 295 strikeouts to 91 walks. Opponents batting average is .236 against the Gamecocks. The Gamecocks have 15 saves. In 12 SEC games, the Gamecocks have a 3.55 ERA with 109 strikeouts.
South Carolina is 23-0 this season when leading after six innings and 19-1 on the year when out-hitting the opponent. Carolina has allowed five runs or less in 29 of 34 games played this season. The Gamecocks are 25-4 when allowing five runs or less. South Carolina is 14-5 in games decided by three runs or less.
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