Friday, March 7, 2014
Gamecock Baseball Notes
COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) --
South Carolina Baseball Notebook
This Week: 4-0
3/26/13 – at College of Charleston (W, 3-1)
3/28/13 – vs. Texas A&M (W, 3-2)
3/29/13 – vs. Texas A&M (W, 6-4)
3/30/13 – vs. Texas A&M (W, 6-3)
South Carolina reached the halfway point of the 2013 regular season after this past week’s games. The Gamecocks went 4-0 last week with a 3-1 win at College of Charleston and a weekend sweep of Texas A&M. The Gamecocks are now 22-6 on the year with a 5-4 record in the SEC. South Carolina host Charleston Southern on Tuesday night, travels to Greenville to face Furman at Fluor Field on Wednesday with a weekend series set at Tennessee for the weekend.
Four former South Carolina Gamecocks are active for the 2013 MLB season. Jackie Bradley Jr. (2009-11) is set to make his debut on Monday afternoon for the Boston Red Sox vs. the New York Yankees. Justin Smoak (2006-08) begins his fourth season in the big leagues with the Seattle Mariners at Oakland on Monday night. Both Brian Roberts (1999) and Steve Pearce (2004-05) will don the Baltimore Orioles jersey. Their first game is Tuesday at Tampa Bay. In addition, a pair of Gamecocks are on 40-man rosters for their respective teams. James Darnell (2006-08) is currently on the 15-day disabled list with the San Diego Padres and is on the 40-man roster. Sam Dyson (2008-10) is also on the 40-man roster for the Miami Marlins.
Senior first baseman LB Dantzler was the Gamecocks’ leading hitter in the series vs. Texas A&M with a .455 average (5-for-11) with a pair of homers, three runs scored and five RBI. Dantzler had his second two-homer game of the season in the 6-3 win vs. the Aggies. He had a key two-run double that helped spark a rally in the 3-2 win in the series opener vs. Texas A&M. In the 3-1 win at College of Charleston he had a pair of doubles and a RBI. For the season, Dantzler leads Carolina with a .357 average (35-for-98) with nine homers and 32 RBI as well as a .454 on-base percentage and .724 slugging percentage. Dantzler ranks tied for second in the SEC in homers as well as third in slugging percentage and sixth in runs batted in. He leads the Gamecocks with eight multi-hit games as well as seven multi-RBI games.
Senior left-hander Tyler Webb tallied a save in all three victories this weekend vs. Texas A&M. Webb leads the SEC with 11 saves on the year in 15 appearances and a 0.84 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 21.1 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting .164 against him. Webb has not allowed a run in 14 of 15 relief appearances this year. Webb ranks third all-time in appearances in school history with 93 and is one short of Michael Roth (2009-12) for second all-time at 94. The record is 102 set by Matt Price (2009-12). Webb has 0.2 perfect innings in the 6-3 win in the series finale as well as 0.2 scoreless in the 6-4 win the day before and two scoreless innings with just one hit allowed in the 3-2 win in the opener.
Sophomore infielder Joey Pankake has reached base safely in 20 consecutive games. Pankake is the team’s second best hitter with a .323 average (30-for-93) with 20 runs scored, three doubles, five homers and 21 RBI.
Senior left-hander Adam Westmoreland had a productive week with two victories and a save out of the bullpen. Westmoreland pitched a perfect ninth inning with a strikeout in the 3-1 win at College of Charleston to earn a save. He followed that up with 3.2 scoreless innings of relief with just three walks allowed and struck out seven batters to earn the win in a 3-2 victory over Texas A&M. His seven strikeouts tied a season-high. He would also earn the victory in the series finale with 4.2 innings of relief allowing just one run on three hits in the 6-3 win. For the season, Westmoreland is 3-0 with a 0.96 ERA in 28.0 innings. He has 29 strikeouts to just three walks. Opponents are hitting .194 against him. Westmoreland is currently tied for first in SEC rankings for ERA.
Sophomore outfielder Connor Bright hit .364 (4-for-11) with a homer, four runs scored and a pair of RBI in the Texas A&M series. Bright hit his second home run of the season, doubled and scored two runs in the 6-3 win over the Aggies. Bright has reached base safely in 10 straight games. His average has raised to .275 (19-for-69) with 13 runs scored.
Senior left-hander Nolan Belcher improved his record to 5-2 with a win the 6-4 victory over Texas A&M. Belcher went 8.1 innings and allowed four runs, two earned, on seven hits with no walks and nine strikeouts. Belcher has gone a span of 47.0 innings without allowing a walk. He leads the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio with 51 strikeouts to just one walk. He is 5-2 with a 1.57 ERA in 51.2 innings pitched. Belcher ranks second in innings pitched, third in strikeouts, tied for fourth in victories and sixth in earned run average in the SEC.
Sophomore outfielder Tanner English went 4-for-9 (.444) in the Texas A&M series. English is hitting .305 (18-for-59) with six RBI and 11 runs scored. English leads the Gamecocks in SEC contests with a .286 batting average (6-for-21) in league games. He went 3-for-4 with a double and a pair of RBI in the 6-4 win over Texas A&M. His three hits tied a career-high.
Senior right-hander Colby Holmes worked 7.1 innings and allowed just one run on four hits with a season-high eight strikeouts in the 3-1 win over College of Charleston. Holmes was in control from the opening pitch as he scattered just four hits throughout his outing. His eight strikeouts are the most since he tallied a career-high nine last year in the NCAA Regional vs. Manhattan. Holmes earned the win and is now 2-2 on the year.
Senior infielder Chase Vergason went 3-for-4 with a run scored in the 6-4 win over Texas A&M. He was also hit twice and scored a pair of runs in the 6-3 win over the Aggies. Vergason is hitting .256 (23-for-90) with a .398 on-base percentage. Vergason has driven in 12 runs with 19 runs scored as well.
Sophomore catcher Grayson Greiner did not allow a stolen base in a pair of starts vs. Texas A&M this weekend, despite the Aggies coming into the weekend with 46 team stolen bases. Greiner has been phenomenal behind the plate with just six stolen bases allowed on 11 attempts in 19 starts behind the plate.
Senior catcher Dante Rosenberg tallied a sac fly in the 3-1 win over College of Charleston and had a double with two RBI in the 6-3 victory over Texas A&M. In nine starts, Rosenberg has hit .294 (10-for-34) with seven runs scored and seven RBI.
Junior outfielder Graham Saiko returned to the lineup in the Texas A&M series. The Gamecocks are 19-2 with Saiko starting in left field. He had the game-winning RBI in the 3-2 win vs. the Aggies. He is hitting .271 (19-for-70) with 15 runs scored.
South Carolina registered 17 strikeouts in the 3-2 win vs. Texas A&M on Thursday. That is the most strikeouts for the Gamecocks in a game this year and was one short of the single game record. Evan Beal had six strikeouts in 3.1 innings with Westmoreland striking out seven and Webb striking out four in the game.
South Carolina is 20-0 this season when leading after six innings and 15-0 on the year when out-hitting the opponent. Carolina has allowed five runs or less in 25 of 28 games played this season. The Gamecocks are 21-4 when allowing five runs or less. South Carolina is 12-4 in games decided by three runs or less.
The Gamecock pitching staff boasts a 2.62 ERA in 251.0 innings with 258 strikeouts to 72 walks. Opponents batting average is .227 against the Gamecocks. The Gamecocks lead the league with 15 saves. The 258 strikeouts is second best in the SEC. In nine SEC games, the Gamecocks have 90 strikeouts, that is best among the 14 SEC schools.
South Carolina is hitting .266 (239-for-898) as a team with a .370 on-base percentage. Carolina ranks second in the SEC with 22 home runs. The Gamecocks have a .977 fielding percentage with just 24 errors for the season.
4/2/13 – vs. Charleston Southern (7 p.m.) (SportSouth)
4/3/13 – at Furman (at Fluor Field) (7 pm.)
4/5/13 – at Tennessee (6 p.m.)
4/6/13 – at Tennessee (12:30 p.m.) (SportSouth)
4/7/13 – at Tennessee (2 p.m.)
All times are Eastern
Wind: 6 MPH
Humidity: 82 %