Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Gamecocks Host #1 Vanderbilt This Weekend
COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) -- South Carolina (33-12, 13-8 SEC) is back in action at Carolina Stadium on Friday night beginning a three-game series with Vanderbilt (39-6, 19-2 SEC). First pitch for the opener is 7 p.m. ET. The game will be televised live on SportSouth. Game two of the series is at Noon and will also be televised on SportSouth.
Sunday's series finale is scheduled for 1 p.m. and will be televised on CSS. All three games can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station, 107.5 FM, "The Game."
South Carolina is ranked as high as No. 9 in the country this week with Vanderbilt ranked No. 1 by Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA and No. 2 in three other rankings.
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network affiliates/Flagship WNKT FM 107.5 "The Game" in Columbia. Derek Scott and Tommy Moody have the call on Friday. Andy Demetra and Tommy Moody have the call on Saturday and Sunday.
Television: Friday - SportSouth (Andy Demetra, Trey Dyson); Saturday - SportSouth (Dave Baker, Nick Belmonte) Sunday - CSS (Matt Stewart, Joe Beckwith)
Internet: Live Gametracker stats at GamecocksOnline.com. Additional coverage on Twitter @GamecockBasebll and Facebook/Gamecocksonline
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
South Carolina - Nolan Belcher (Sr. LHP) 6-4, 2.03 ERA, 79.2 IP, 9 BB, 65 SO
Vanderbilt - Kevin Ziomek (Jr. LHP) 8-2, 2.12 ERA, 80.2 IP, 29 BB, 84 SO
South Carolina - Jordan Montgomery (So. LHP) 3-0, 1.40 ERA, 38.2 IP, 10 BB, 32 SO
Vanderbilt - Tyler Beede (So. RHP) 11-0, 1.63 ERA, 71.2 IP, 40 BB, 74 SO
South Carolina - TBA
Vanderbilt T.J. Pecoraro (Jr. RHP) 2-1, 3.93 ERA, 18.1 IP, 10 BB, 10 SO
South Carolina leads the all-time series history vs. Vanderbilt, 49-23, including four consecutive three-game series victories vs. the Commodores. South Carolina won two of three games last year at Vanderbilt with the Commodores winning against the Gamecocks in Hoover at the SEC Tournament. Carolina also won two of three games in 2011 in Columbia, the last time the two schools met at Carolina Stadium.
A LOOK BACK
South Carolina went 2-2 last week including a series victory at No. 2 LSU in SEC play at Alex Box Stadium. The Gamecocks are 33-12 on the year with a 13-8 record in the SEC. South Carolina is in second place in the SEC Eastern Division and fourth place overall in the conference standings.
TIDBITS FROM SERIES VICTORY AT LSU
Carolina's series victory marked the first series win against LSU since the 2007 season. South Carolina snapped LSU's 20-game home winning streak on Saturday with a 4-2 win and followed that up with a 4-0 victory on Sunday afternoon. Saturday night's game at Alex Box Stadium was played in front of an actual attendance crowd of 10,246 fans, the largest actual attendances in Alex Box Stadium history.
All three games this past week at LSU were tight contests and decided by four runs or less. Similar to last week, the Gamecocks had a balanced approach on the offensive side. There were a lot of contributions as six different Gamecocks drove in at least one run this weekend with eight different players scoring at least one run as well.
The South Carolina pitching staff was tremendous against the second-best hitting and scoring team in the league. The Gamecock pitchers compiled a 2.08 ERA for the weekend and allowed LSU to score just seven runs, six earned, on 30 hits with only five walks allowed.
South Carolina is 28-2 this season when leading after six innings and 23-3 on the year when out-hitting the opponent. Carolina has allowed five runs or less in 36 of 44 games played this season (81.8 percent). The Gamecocks are 29-7 when allowing five runs or less. South Carolina is 18-9 in games decided by three runs or less.
AT THE PLATE, IN THE FIELD & ON THE MOUND
The Gamecock pitching staff currently owns a 3.05 ERA in 401.0 innings pitched. Carolina has allowed 169 runs, 136 earned, on 383 hits with 108 walks to 358 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .250 against the squad.
South Carolina is hitting .286 (430-for-1501) as a team, fourth best in the league. The Gamecocks lead the SEC with 40 homers. Carolina is fielding .973 with 46 errors for the season. South Carolina's slugging percentage of .430 is third best in the SEC with on-base percentage of .380 fourth best in the conference also.
WYNKOOP EARNS SECOND CONSECUTIVE SEC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK HONOR
For the second consecutive week, South Carolina freshman left-hander Jack Wynkoop has been named SEC Freshman of the Week. Wynkoop followed up a solid performance last week with seven scoreless innings in a 4-0 victory at No. 2 LSU in the rubber game of a three-game series at Alex Box Stadium on ESPN. It marked the first series loss by the Tigers this year. Wynkoop never reached a 3-ball count in the entire stint and limited the Tigers, the second ranked offense in the league, to just five hits with no walks. Wynkoop combined with two other Gamecocks for the six-hit shutout.
He is now 6-2 on the year with a 2.66 ERA in 47.1 innings. It marked the fifth time a Gamecock has been honored in the SEC weekly awards.
GAMECOCK HONOREES BY THE SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE Week 2 - LB Dantzler (SEC Player of the Week) Week 4 - Joey Pankake (SEC Player of the Week) Week 8 - Max Schrock (SEC Freshman of the Week) Week 10 - Jack Wynkoop (SEC Freshman of the Week) Week 11 - Jack Wynkoop (SEC Freshman of the Week)
DANTZLER NAMED FINALIST FOR SENIOR CLASS AWARD
South Carolina senior first baseman LB Dantzler is one of 10 NCAA baseball student-athletes selected as a finalist for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award ®. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website - seniorCLASSaward.com or on the Senior CLASS Award Facebook fan page through June 10. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches' votes to determine the winner, who will be announced during the 2013 College World Series in Omaha.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.
Dantzler was South Carolina's 2012-13 male nominee for the SEC's H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year. With a 3.641 GPA in sport and entertainment management, he has been on the SEC Academic Honor Roll and spent two semesters on the Dean's List. Dantzler has volunteered more than 50 hours at the Epworth Children's Home, working on various projects. He also helped organize a fundraising effort for the orphanage through an area restaurant, and has made speaking appearances for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. For more information on all the finalists, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.
Mark Appel, Stanford
Shane Basen, Charlotte
Chase Brookshire, Belmont
Boomer Collins, Dallas Baptist
LB Dantzler, South Carolina
Carlos Lopez, Cal State Fullerton
Alex Mendez, South Florida
Raph Rhymes, LSU
Chris Rowley, Army
Brandon Thomas, Georgia Tech
DANTZLER AT THE BAT
Senior first baseman LB Dantzler was Carolina's top hitter vs. the Tigers with a .364 average (4-for-11) for the weekend. Dantzler scored once and drove in a pair as well. He had a RBI in both Saturday and Sunday's wins. In the last two weeks, he has compiled a .448 average (13-for-29) with six runs and eight RBI in eight games played. He is the team's leading hitter with a .342 average (55-for-161) for the season with 12 homers and 44 RBI. Dantzler currently ranks third in the league in homers (12) and slugging percentage (.658), tied for third in doubles (13), fourth in total bases (106), tied for fourth in walks (28), fifth in runs batted in (44), seventh in on-base percentage (.447) and 12th in batting average (.342). He has an eight-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in 22 straight games. In those eight games, he has hit .448 (13-for-29) with six runs and eight RBI.
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.
Tyler Webb MAKES HIS MARK
Senior left-hander Tyler Webb continues to excel out of the bullpen with two more saves over the weekend vs. the Tigers to extend his season total to 14. Webb pitched a scoreless ninth inning in Saturday's 4-2 win and followed that up with 1.1 perfect innings in the 4-0 victory. Webb has a phenomenal 0.59 ERA in 21 appearances with a 2-1 record and 14 saves in 30.1 innings of work. He has 44 strikeouts to just seven walks, opponents hitting .170 against him. He has not allowed a run in 19 of 21 appearances this year. His 14 save total for this year is sixth best in school history, seven behind the school record of 21 set by Blake Taylor in 2002. He is up to 99 career appearances; three short of the school record 102 set by Matt Price (2009-10-11-12). His 14 saves leads the SEC with eight of those coming in conference play, also the highest mark in league play.
He has pitched in relief in 87 of those appearances, with 70 relief appearances without allowing a run (82.3 percent). In career relief appearances he is 10-2 with 17 saves.
RECORDS AT SOUTH CAROLINA
102 Matt Price 2009-10-11-12
97 Tyler Webb 2010-11-12-13
21 Blake Taylor 2002
20 Matt Price 2011
20 Chad Blackwell 2004
19 Lee Gronkiewicz 2001
15 Scott Barber 2000
14 Tyler Webb 2013
Grayson Greiner SELECTED TO USA BASEBALL COLLEGIATE NATIONAL TEAM
South Carolina sophomore catcher Grayson Greiner has been invited to the 2013 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, it was announced on April 24. Greiner was also invited to last year's squad but was unable to participate due to his recovery from a knee injury.
Training for the team will run from June 21-July 2 in Cary, N.C. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. Team USA will travel to Japan from July 6-11 and are also scheduled to play Cuba from July 18-23 in various cites in the U.S.
Greiner caught all 26.0 innings this weekend vs. LSU and did not allow a stolen base or an attempt by the Tigers running game. Greiner blocked well and added two hits as well including a triple and a run scored in Saturday's 4-2 win. Greiner is hitting .295 (41-for-139) with 20 runs and 28 RBI. His .310 average (22-for-71) in league games is best on the team.
SOUTH CAROLINA PLAYERS & USA BASEBALL COLLEGIATE NATIONAL TEAM
2013 - Grayson Greiner, C
2010 - Jackie Bradley Jr., OF
2007 - Justin Smoak, 1B
2003 - Matt Campbell, P
2002 - Landon Powell, C
1997 - Adam Everett, SS
1989 - Brian Williams, P/OF
1986 - Dave Hollins, 3B
Since 1978 USA Baseball has been the National Governing Body (NGB) for the sport of baseball. It represents the sport in the United States as a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and internationally as a member federation of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF).
GREINER ALSO A CANDIDATE FOR THE JOHNNY BENCH AWARD
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.
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.
A LITTLE BIT OF ENGLISH
Sophomore center fielder Tanner English provided a punch this weekend with outstanding defense coupled with two triples and two runs scored in the series. English's RBI triple on Saturday was the game-winning hit in the 4-2 win over LSU. He made 18 putouts and tallied an assist also in the weekend series vs. the Tigers. English is hitting .292 (31-for-106) with 19 runs scored and a team-high three triples. His .420 on-base percentage is second highest on the team. All three of his triples this year have come in the last eight games.
ON BASE WITH CHASE
Chase Vergason tied a school record held by many with two sacrifice flies in the 4-0 win at LSU on Sunday. Last player to accomplish the feat was Jake Williams on June 5, 2011 vs. Stetson. Vergason also scored two runs this week and tripled in the 4-0 victory. Vergason owns a .276 average (43-for-156) with 30 runs scored and 20 RBI. He owns a .383 on-base percentage. Vergason has reached base safely in 15 straight games.
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.
WELCOME BACK JORDAN
Despite a no-decision on Saturday night, sophomore left-hander Jordan Montgomery limited the damage as he allowed two runs on 10 hits in 7.0 innings of work. Montgomery is 3-0 with a 1.40 ERA in seven starts. He has 32 strikeouts in 38.2 innings, opponents hitting only .245 against him.
MAX IT OUT
Freshman second baseman Max Schrock was 2-for-3 with a RBI and a walk in Sunday's 4-0 win. Schrock is hitting .276 (43-for-156) with 31 runs scored and 31 RBI. He has 14 multi-hit games, second highest on the team.
Sophomore shortstop Joey Pankake belted his ninth home run of the season in Friday's 5-2 loss at LSU. Pankake is hitting .311 (52-for-167) with 28 runs scored and 31 RBI. He owns a .380 on-base percentage and a .503 slugging percentage. He has hit .441 (15-for-34) in his last eight games with five runs and six RBI.
WESTMORELAND EFFECTIVE IN RELIEF
Senior left-hander Adam Westmoreland had two scoreless outings in Saturday and Sunday's wins over LSU. Westmoreland picked up the win with one inning of relief in Saturday's 4-2 win. He is now 5-1 with a 1.75 ERA in 18 relief appearances with three saves as well. Westmoreland has 45 strikeouts in 46.1 innings with opponents hitting only .208 against him.
BELCHER BRINGS IT
Senior left-hander Nolan Belcher is among the conference leaders in several categories. Belcher is 6-4 with a 2.03 ERA in 79.2 innings with 65 strikeouts to just nine walks. He ranks fourth in innings pitched, sixth in strikeouts, eighth in earned run average, tied for eighth in victories and 11th in opposing batting average (.224).
Junior designated hitter Brison Celek has stepped in an been efficient in the designated hitter role. In 22 games with 17 starts, he is hitting .286 (18-for-63) with 10 runs scored and 12 RBI. His on-base percentage is .408 as well.
GAMECOCKS IN THE RANKINGS
South Carolina is ranked for the 10th consecutive week this season. The Gamecocks are No. 9 in the USA Today coaches' poll as well as No. 15 by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.
SAIKO LEADS IT OFF
Junior outfielder Graham Saiko had a career-high four hits including his first career homer, drove in two runs and added three runs scored in the 10-6 win over College of Charleston. Saiko owns a .261 average (37-for-142) with 25 runs scored. He has a .370 on-base percentage with 27 walks to 12 strikeouts.
A BRIGHT SPOT
Sophomore outfielder Connor Bright is one of the team's top hitters with a .316 average (42-for-133) with seven doubles, a triple, four homers and 15 RBI. Bright homered and doubled and tied a career-high with three RBI in the 10-6 win over College of Charleston.
Wind: 15 MPH
Humidity: 25 %