(18) USC Travels to The Citadel Tuesday
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina (19-9) heads back on the road with a Tuesday night tilt against The Citadel (14-12) at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park. First pitch is at 7 p.m. The game can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.” A live video stream is also available at citadelsports.com. LIVE COVERAGE Radio: Gamecock Radio Network/flagship 107.5 FM “The Game”(Andy Demetra & Tommy Moody) Broadcast: Live stream available at CitadelSports.com Internet: Live stats at CitadelSports.com. Additional coverage on Twitter @GamecockBasebll PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION Tuesday South Carolina – TBA The Citadel – Thomas Byelick (Fr. RHP) 0-0, 8.44 ERA, 10.2 IP, 2 BB, 14 SO SERIES HISTORY South Carolina leads 126-48-1 DID YOU KNOW?? South Carolina has played some close games as of late with 10 consecutive games decided by three runs or less with a 4-6 mark in those contests. It is the most since 13 straight games decided by three runs or less in 2000. RANKINGS South Carolina is ranked in every publication. The Gamecocks are No. 13 in USA Today Coaches Poll, No. 15 by Perfect Game, No. 18 by Baseball America, No. 21 by D1Baseball and No. 22 by Collegiate Baseball. LOOK BACK South Carolina went 1-3 last week with a win vs. Georgia to close out the weekend series. The Gamecocks are 19-9 with a 5-4 conference mark. The Gamecocks are tied for third overall in the SEC and in the SEC Eastern Division. THE CITADEL SERIES South Carolina and The Citadel split two games last year with the Gamecocks earning a 10-1 win over the Bulldogs in Columbia with The Citadel winning 10-8 in Charleston. Last year’s 10-1 victory saw Reed Scott pitch seven innings allowing one run, unearned, on four hits with no walks and seven strikeouts to pick up the win. Kyle Martin was 3-for-5 with three RBI to lead the Gamecocks at the plate. The starting lineup combined for 10 hits and nine walks en route to the victory. K-MART Senior first baseman Kyle Martin continues to perform at a high level. Martin was 5-for-10 in the Georgia series with a pair of homers, five RBI and three runs scored for the Gamecocks. He had two RBI in the first game, went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and first career triple on Saturday and was 2-for-3 with a homer in Sunday’s 8-5 victory. Martin leads the Gamecocks with a .392 average (40-for-102) with 26 runs scored, seven doubles, a triple, six homers and 29 RBI. He owns a .472 on-base percentage and a .657 slugging percentage. Martin also leads the Gamecocks with six stolen bases. Martin owns a team-high 15-game hitting streak and has reached base 18 consecutive games. Martin’s 67 total bases are second best in the SEC. Martin’s batting average and slugging percentage ranks fourth best in the SEC with his on-base percentage fifth-best in the league. He is also fourth in RBI and tied for fourth in home runs. Martin is hitting .429 in SEC games with an .800 slugging percentage that ranks third-best in the league through nine conference contests. MURRAY IN RELIEF Freshman right-hander Brandon Murray improved to 3-0 with a win in Sunday’s 8-5 victory. Murray worked 1.1 scoreless innings of relief with just a hit batter on Sunday. He also had a perfect inning of relief on Friday vs. Georgia. Murray is 3-0 with a save and a 1.20 ERA in 15.0 innings. Opponents are hitting just .176 against him. Murray stepped up in a key relief outing in the 7-5 victory over Missouri. Murray allowed just one run on one hit with a pair of walks and two strikeouts to earn a win. At one point vs. Missouri, Murray had retired 13 consecutive batters to help the Gamecocks in the rally. CONE LEADS IT OFF Sophomore outfielder Gene Cone hit .615 (8-for-13) in the Georgia series with four runs scored and a RBI. Cone raised his batting average to .317 (32-for-101) for the year with a .448 on-base percentage. Cone tied a career-high in hits with three in the 4-3 loss to Georgia and three more in Sunday’s 8-5 victory over the Bulldogs. Cone is the only Gamecock player to have started all 28 games with 28 starts in center field. Cone has a .465 on-base percentage in SEC games, 12th best in league play. Cone tied a school record for putouts by an outfielder in a game with nine on March 24 at Coastal Carolina. IN THE CROWE’S NEST Sophomore right-hander Wil Crowe had a quality start in a no-decision on Friday vs. Georgia. Crowe allowed three runs on six hits in six innings with a pair of walks and seven strikeouts. Crowe is 3-2 with a 2.84 ERA in 44.1 innings. He is third in the SEC with 54 strikeouts to just 14 walks. Opponents are hitting .226 against him. Crowe earned SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week honors as announced by the league office on March 16 after a win vs. Kentucky. Crowe was phenomenal allowing just one run, unearned, on one hit with three walks and 10 strikeouts in seven innings of work in the 10-1 victory vs. Kentucky. His 10 strikeouts tied a career-high. Crowe allowed just a single in the first inning to the Wildcats, who came into Columbia this weekend riding an 11-game winning streak and hitting .312 at the plate. Crowe is the first Gamecock this season to earn a conference weekly honor. The league office twice recognized him in 2014, once as SEC Pitcher of the Week and once as SEC Freshman of the Week. TAYLOR WITH CAREER DAY Freshman catcher Hunter Taylor hit his first career homer and added a sacrifice fly to tie a career-high with two RBI in Sunday’s 8-5 win over Georgia. Taylor was 3-for-6 (.500) in the Georgia series with a run scored as well. He is hitting .270 (10-for-37) with four runs scored and five RBI in 12 starts. JACK OF ALL TRADES Junior left-hander Jack Wynkoop came on in relief twice for the Gamecocks this weekend. With Friday’s game halted, Wynkoop pitched three innings of relief on Saturday and followed that up with 2.1 innings to earn his first career save in Sunday’s 8-5 win. Wynkoop struck out eight batters in his two relief stints in a combined 5.1 innings pitched. For the season, Wynkoop is 4-2 with a 2.30 ERA in 47.0 innings with just six walks to 41 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .224 against him. Wynkoop ranks third in the SEC in innings pitched and tied for 10th in strikeouts. Wynkoop earned the Tom Price Award as Gamecock MVP of the Clemson series. Wynkoop worked six-plus innings and allowed just one run in the 4-1 victory vs. the Tigers. Wynkoop is in the weekend rotation for a third straight year. He has made 32 starts in his career, that is second-highest among all returning SEC pitchers. GORE IN A GROOVE Sophomore infielder Jordan Gore hit .455 (5-for-11) in the Georgia series with three runs scored and a RBI. Gore was 3-for-5 with two runs in the 6-5 loss and 2-for-3 with a run scored in the 4-3 loss. He had a RBI in the 8-5 victory. Gore is up to .295 (28-for-95) with 18 runs scored and 13 RBI on the year. GREAT SCOTT Sophomore right-hander Reed Scott tied a career-high with seven innings pitched in Saturday’s 4-3 loss. The start was only Scott’s third of the season. He allowed four runs, two earned, on seven hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Scott is 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 26.2 innings with 11 walks to 17 strikeouts. MAX IT OUT Junior infielder Max Schrock had a two-run single in the 6-5 loss to Georgia and added a sacrifice fly in the 8-5 win vs. the Bulldogs. Schrock is hitting .247 (24-fo-97) with a .382 on-base percentage. Schrock leads the Gamecocks with 23 walks to 10 strikeouts. Schrock has driven in 11 runs in conference play, that is tied for second-highest in the SEC. ON THE MOUND For the season, South Carolina pitchers own a team ERA of 2.80. The Gamecocks have allowed 100 runs, 80 earned, on 214 hits in 257.0 innings with 98 walks to 249 strikeouts. Opponents are batting .227 against the Gamecocks. South Carolina’s ERA ranks third-best in the SEC with batters struck out third-highest and opposing batting average fifth-best as well. South Carolina’s 3.01 ERA in SEC games is also third-best in the conference. AT THE PLATE & ON THE FIELD South Carolina is hitting .261 (239-for-917) as a team with 165 runs scored, a .361 on-base percentage and a .375 slugging mark. The Gamecocks are fielding .970 for the year. SUPERLATIVES South Carolina is 19-3 on the year when allowing five runs or less. South Carolina is 17-3 on the year with a lead entering the seventh innings. The Gamecocks are 16-3 when allowing less than 10 hits, 8-2 when recording double-digit hits and 12-1 when out-hitting its opponent. South Carolina is 10-7 in games decided by three runs or less. PRESTON WITH PRECISION Junior right-hander Preston Johnson recorded a strikeout for all six outs he tallied in Saturday’s loss to Georgia. Johnson is 2-0 with a 2.16 ERA and 13 strikeouts to just one walk in 8.1 innings of work. Opponents are hitting .167 against him. Johnson retired all 11 batters he faced for 3.2 perfect innings with five strikeouts and earned his first career win in his first career appearance in the 11-3 victory over High Point. He followed that up with 2.1 innings of work to earn his second win of the year in a 13-3 victory over Penn State. STOKES HAS SUCCESS Freshman infielder Madison Stokes started at third base in Sunday’s 8-5 win and belted a two-run double in the victory, tying a career-high two RBI that he set on February 14 vs. College of Charleston. SCHMIDT CONTRIBUTES Freshman right-hander Clarke Schmidt set down 10 consecutive batters at one point and struck out a career-high eight batters in five-plus innings of work in Sunday’s 8-5 win over Georgia. Schmidt is 2-0 with a 3.14 ERA in nine appearances with four starts. He has 30 strikeouts in 28.2 innings. Schmidt has a pair of wins in relief. Schmidt worked 4.2 scoreless innings with just three hits allowed, no walks and four strikeouts in the 5-2 win over Furman. He followed that up with 2.1 innings of work in a 6-4 win over Northeastern allowing one run on five hits with no walks and three strikeouts. SCOLAMIERO MAKES FIRST START Freshman outfielder Clark Scolamiero made his first career start in Sunday’s 8-5 win over Georgia. Scolamiero had a sacrifice fly and RBI in the victory. VINNY Junior left-hander Vince Fiori made two appearances vs. Georgia and leads the Gamecocks with 15 on the year. Fiori is 2-0 with a 1.83 ERA and two saves in 19.2 innings. He has 21 strikeouts. Opponents are batting .182 against him. CALDWELL A HIT Senior outfielder Elliott Caldwell is among leaders on the team in hitting with a .359 average (33-for-92) including a pair of homers and 17 RBI to go along with a .455 on-base percentage and a .489 slugging mark. Caldwell has 10 multi-hit games this year. Caldwell hit .357 (5-for-14) in the Missouri series with a pair of RBI. He was 2-for-5 with a RBI on Saturday and on Sunday vs. the Tigers. Caldwell also made ESPN’s SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays on Saturday with the No. 8 play of the day with a diving catch in left field. Caldwell hit .636 (7-for-11) in the Kentucky series with four runs scored, a triple, two homers and four RBI. Caldwell went 2-for-4 in the 10-1 win, followed that up going 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a two-run homer in the 4-3 victory over the Wildcats and went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI including a game-tying homer in the bottom of the ninth inning in Sunday’s 6-4 10-inning win. Caldwell’s homer on Saturday was the first of his career in a Gamecock uniform. A CLOSER LOOK AT WIDENER Sophomore right-hander Taylor Widener is tied for third in the SEC with six saves on the year. Widener worked a season-high 2.1 innings in Saturday’s loss to Missouri. For the season, Widener is 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA in 14.2 innings with 22 strikeouts to nine walks. MINCEY MAKES HIS MARK Senior right-hander Cody Mincey made his first three relief appearances of the year last week. Mincey picked up a save in the 3-0 win over Penn State with one scoreless inning of relief. He added two scoreless innings of relief with no hits allowed and three strikeouts in the 10-1 win over Kentucky and worked one inning in Sunday’s 6-4 win over Kentucky. Mincey has not allowed a run in 29 of 34 career relief appearances. He owns a 2.06 career ERA with 49 strikeouts in 40.2 career innings pitched.