Gamecocks open SEC Tournament in Hoover Tuesday
Date: Tuesday May 23
First Pitch: 10:30 a.m. ET
Location: Columbia, S.C.
Stadium: Hoover Metropolitan Stadium
Television/Video: SEC Network (Dave Neal, Gabe Gross and Kris Budden)
Radio: 107.5 The Game & The Gamecock Radio Network (Derek Scott and Tommy Moody)
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina (32-23) is the No. 11 seed at the 2017 SEC Tournament and will face the No. 6 seed Vanderbilt (33-21-1). First pitch is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. ET. The game will be televised on the SEC Network and is available on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship 107.5 “The Game.” Carolina won one of three games vs. Vanderbilt this season in a three-game series at Founders Park.
South Carolina is 25-44 (.362) in all-time SEC Tournament history dating back to its first appearance in the 1992 season, also South Carolina’s first official year in the Southeastern Conference. The Gamecocks have twice played for the SEC Tournament Championship, winning in 2004 and finishing second in 2002. The Gamecocks went 4-0 in 2004 on the way to the tournament championship including a 3-2 victory over Vanderbilt in the title game.
South Carolina is 32-23 and went 13-17 in the SEC. The Gamecocks have played 22 of 55 games this year vs. RPI Top 50 teamwith seven Top 50 RPI wins and own 19 Top 100 RPI victories as well.
South Carolina is 24-10 on the year when scoring first in a game and 25-6 when entering the seventh inning with a lead and 31-3 when entering the ninth inning with the lead.
The Gamecocks are 18-3 when scoring six or more runs and 30-12 when allowing five runs or less. South Carolina is 17-19 in games decided by three runs or less. South Carolina is 11-3 in five-plus run games.
The South Carolina pitching staff ranks seventh in the SEC in earned run average. The Gamecocks own a 3.65 team ERA with 232 runs allowed, 201 earned, on 432 hits in 496.0 innings pitched. The Gamecocks have struck out 522 batters to 200 walks. Opponents are batting .235 against the Gamecocks. Carolina leads the SEC in strikeouts as a staff and rank fourth in opposing batting average. South Carolina’s 3.85 ERA in SEC games is third in the conference as well. The Gamecocks have 225 strikeouts in 243.0 innings during conference play.
AT THE PLATE & ON THE FIELD
South Carolina is hitting .264 (490-for-1856) for the season with a .347 on-base percentage and a .402 slugging percentage. The Gamecocks have 50 homers on the year. South Carolina has equaled or out-hit its opponent in 37 of 55 games this year.
South Carolina is fielding .977 for the season with 24 games without an error. South Carolina is 17-7 when not committing an error. South Carolina ranks fifth in the SEC in fielding.
CORTES IN A GROOVE
Freshman outfielder Carlos Cortes hit .500 (6-for-12) in the Georgia series with three multi-hit games, three runs scored, three doubles and a RBI. Cortes also tied a career-high in hits going 3-for-4 with a homer and a pair of RBIs in the 6-3 win vs. USC Upstate. Cortes is batting .292 (45-for-154) for the season with 22 runs scored, nine doubles, a triple, nine homers and 33 RBIs.
Seven of his nine homers have come in SEC play this year. Cortes was South Carolina’s top hitter in conference play with a .327 average (32-for-98) in SEC contests with seven homers and 23 RBIs. In SEC play, he is seventh in the league with a .622 slugging percentage, ranks tied for ninth in homers, 13th in RBIs and 14th in RBIs.
THE CROWE SHOW
Junior right-hander Wil Crowe earned his fifth win of the season 4-3 victory at Missouri. Crowe allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings of work with two walks and nine strikeouts. His nine strikeouts vs. the Tigers tied a season-high. He also tied that career-high last week vs. Georgia.
Crowe is 5-5 on the year with a 3.54 ERA in 14 starts. He has allowed 44 runs, 34 earned, on 85 hits in 86.1 innings with 28 walks to 81 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .251 against him. Crowe ranks 10th in innings pitched in the SEC as well as tied for 12th in the league in strikeouts.
Crowe was named to the 2017 SEC Baseball Community Service Team. This past year, Crowe participated in an event with Special Olympics at Founders Park that included baserunning, throwing, hitting, autographs and a tour of the facility with the athletes. Crowe visited with kids of Epworth Children’s Home and also participated in a baseball game with the City of Columbia Youth Program. In addition, Crowe attended Arden Elementary School and participated in “Reading Is Fun Day,” activities. Crowe also assisted in coach a little league team with the Lexington County Youth Baseball league.
OLSON PROVIDES A SPARK
Sophomore outfielder Jacob Olson is South Carolina’s leading hitter with a .308 average (65-for-211) with 35 runs scored, 10 doubles, a triple, six homers and 27 RBIs. Olson is hitting .350 (14-for-40) in the last 10 games with six runs scored, and four RBIs. He leads the team in multi-hit games as well with 20 on the year.
HILL ON THE MOUND
Sophomore right-hander Adam Hill has given South Carolina quality starts throughout the 2017 season. For the season, Hill is 3-6 with a 3.30 ERA in 13 starts. He has struck out 81 batters to 36 walks in 71.0 innings pitched with opponents batting .209 against him.
Hill ranks 10th in the SEC in opposing batting average and tied for 12th in strikeouts.
Sophomore infielder LT Tolbert is second on the team in hitting with a .305 average (57-for-187)with 24 runs scored, six doubles, a triple, three homers and 32 RBIs. Tolbert has 18 multi-hit games on the year and is second on the team with nine multi-RBI games.
Tolbert is also South Carolina’s second-best hitter in conference play with a .287 average (31-for-108) in league play with 12 runs scored and 19 RBIs in league contests.
South Carolina has had a tough slew of injuries in the recent weeks. South Carolina junior right-hander Clarke Schmidt is out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery after the Florida series to repair torn ulnar collateral ligament to his right elbow. Freshman right-hander Sawyer Bridges has a torn rotator cuff and will miss the rest of the season. On May 16 it was announced that sophomore catcher Chris Cullen will miss the remainder of the year after undergoing surgery on his left knee to remove torn cartilage. In addition, junior infielder Madison Stokes is expected to make a full recovery in six to eight weeks after breaking his right wrist on a hit by a pitch on May 13 at Missouri.
BOWERS BRINGS IT
Senior right-hander Colie Bowers is 5-1 on the year with four saves and a 1.73 ERA in 22 relief appearances. He has 42 strikeouts in 36.1 innings with opponents batting .139 against him.
Bowers won in relief in the 10-0 win vs. Georgia as he tossed 2.2 scoreless innings of relief with a pair of strikeouts and just one hit allowed. Prior to that, he pitched three scoreless innings of relief with just one hit allowed, no walks and four strikeouts for a save in the 6-3 win vs. USC Upstate.
JONAH WITH A JOLT
Junior infielder Jonah Bride is the only Gamecock to have started all 55 games this year. Bride is fourth on the team in hitting with a .286 average (56-for-196) with 31 runs scored, 11 doubles, a pair of triples and three homers. He also has 29 RBIs and owns a team-best .378 on-base percentage.
Bride hit .286 (4-for-14) with three runs scored and a pair of RBI in the Georgia series.
REAGAN FROM THE LEFT
Senior left-hander Josh Reagan leads South Carolina in appearances this season with 25 on the year. He is tied for fifth in the SEC this season in appearances by a pitcher. He is 5-2 with a 2.81 ERA and a pair of saves. Reagan has allowed 20 runs, 16 earned, on 44 hits in 51.1 innings with 18 walks to 49 strikeouts and opponents batting .235 against him. Reagan is now eighth in all-time appearances at Carolina with 83 in his career. Reagan won a team-high four games in SEC play.
Senior right-hander Reed Scott is now tied for fifth on the all-time list for career appearances at South Carolina. Scott has 87 appearances, tied with Aaron Rawl (2002-05) and Jason Pomar (1996-99). Scott pitched 1.1 perfect innings of relief with a pair of strikeouts in the 5-4 loss to Georgia.
Scott is 1-2 with a 3.67 ERA in 22 appearances with three saves. He has started two games as well. He has 43 strikeouts in 49.0 innings pitched.
Top 10 Career Appearances in South Carolina History
110 Tyler Webb 2010-12
102 Matt Price 2009-12
94 Michael Roth 2009-12
88 Rob Mosser 1990-93
87 Reed Scott 2014-17
87 Aaron Rawl 2002-05
87 Jason Pomar 1996-99
86 Jamie Poston 1997-00
83 Josh Reagan 2014-17
81 Kip Bouknight 1998-01
JOHNSON BRINGS THE HEAT
Junior right-hander Tyler Johnson earned his ninth save of the year going 1.1 scoreless with a pair of strikeouts to earn a save in a 4-3 win at Missouri. For the season, Johnson is 0-2 with a 2.95 ERA and nine saves in 21.1 innings pitched with 31 strikeouts. He now has 18 career saves, tied for ninth most in school history.
Top 10 Career Saves in South Carolina History
43 Matt Price 2009-12
30 Rob Mosser 1990-93
28 Brian Beatson 1987-90
22 Blake Taylor 2001-02
22 Lee Gronkiewicz 1999-01
20 Tyler Webb 2010-13
20 Chad Blackwell 2004
19 Jason Pomar 1996-99
18 Tyler Johnson 2015-Present
18 Scott Barber 1998-00
Junior outfielder/designated hitter Alex Destino set a school record with five walks and also scored a pair of runs in 10-7 win vs. Liberty. He tied a season-high in hits going 3-for-4 with a solo homer in a 4-3 win over Presbyterian. He was South Carolina’s top hitter in the LSU series hitting .500 (3-for-6) with a pair of runs scored, a three-run homer in Sunday’s 7-6 loss and four RBIs.
He is batting .253 (47-for-186) for the season with nine homers and a team-high 37 RBIs. Destino owns a team-high 12 multi-RBI games as well.
TJ LEADS IT OFF
Sophomore outfielder TJ Hopkins is fifth on the team in hitting with a .264 average (46-for-174) with 34 runs scored, 11 doubles, two triples, four homers and 17 RBIs.
Hopkins won the Tom Price Award as MVP for the Gamecocks in the Clemson series. His top game of the series was game three when he went 3-for-5 with his second triple of the season and a pair of runs scored. He also had a key diving catch to record the final out in a 2-0 win at Clemson.
ROW WITH IT
Junior infielder Justin Row has given the Gamecocks a boost since the injury to Madison Stokes. Playing both second base and shortstop, Row is hitting (13-for-50) with 12 runs scored, three doubles, a triple, a homer and seven RBIs.
He had a career day in the 6-3 win over USC Upstate going 3-for-4 with his first career homer in the Gamecock victory. He followed that up with a .538 on-base percentage vs. Georgia in which he doubled twice, was hit by a pitch, walked four times, drove in a pair of runs and scored five times against the Bulldogs.
Freshman first baseman Riley Hogan hit a three-run homer and drove in a career-high four runs in the 10-7 win over Liberty and had a pair of doubles in the 5-3 win at Missouri. Most recently, Hogan hit .286 (2-for-7) with three runs scored and a RBI in a pair of starts vs. Georgia.
Hogan is batting .254 (16-for-63) with six doubles, two homers and nine RBIs on the year.
THERE’S Hunter Taylor
Junior catcher Hunter Taylor had a key two-run double in the 4-3 win at Missouri. Taylor has played in 32 games with 22 starts and is hitting .221 (19-for-86) with eight runs scored and six doubles.
ROSS IS THE BOSS
Senior first baseman Ross Grosvenor made his first two career starts in the Kentucky series and came through at the plate going 3-for-8 (.375) with his first career homer as well as three RBIs. Grosvenor drove in a run in all three games with a RBI double on Friday, a RBI single in the 5-1 win and the homer in Sunday’s game. Grosvenor then followed that up with a solo homer in a 9-5 win vs. Wofford.
Freshman right-hander Colby Lee earned the win in relief in the 9-5 victory vs. Wofford. He also made his second career start, vs. against a SEC team, in a 10-0 win vs. Georgia. Lee pitched 3.2 scoreless innings and allowed just one hit and two walks while striking out three batters.
He is 2-0 with a 4.78 ERA in 12 appearances. He has 22 strikeouts in 26.1 innings with opponents batting .219 against him.
SCHMIDT TO MISS REMAINDER OF 2017 SEASON WITH RIGHT ELBOW INJURY
South Carolina junior right-handed pitcher Clarke Schmidt will miss the remainder of the 2017 season after an MRI revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament to his right elbow. Surgery date has yet to be determined.
“This is obviously tough news for Clarke and everyone associated with our baseball program,” said South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook. “Clarke is a special kid with a bright future in front of him and our program will be with him every step of the way. He has been an incredible representative of our university and baseball program and I’m sure he will make a full recovery. I have no doubt he will achieve his goal and dream of pitching in the Major Leagues.”
Schmidt went 4-1 with a 1.34 ERA in nine starts. He struck out 70 batters to 18 walks in 60.1 innings with opponents batting only .1984 against him. In SEC games he was 1-2 with a 1.57 ERA in five starts with 39 strikeouts in 34.1 innings and opponents batting .191 against him.
Schmidt was one of 40 players in the nation named to USA Baseball’s Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List. Presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, the 40th Golden Spikes Award will be presented on June 29 in Los Angeles to the top amateur baseball player in the country.
THE MORRIS CODE
Freshman right-hander Cody Morris is 3-1 with a 3.53 ERA in nine starts. He has 45 strikeouts to seven walks in 35.2 innings with opponents batting .241 against him. Morris tied a career-high with eight strikeouts and allowed just two runs on one hit in four innings in the 9-5 win over Wofford. He followed that up going a season-high six innings allowing three runs on eight hits with no walks and seven strikeouts in the 6-3 win over USC Upstate.
PARKE PROVIDES RELIEF
Junior left-hander John Parke earned the win in relief in the 4-3 victory vs. Presbyterian. Parke worked a career-high 4.1 innings and allowed just one run on two hits with no walks and four strikeouts. He is 2-1 with a save and a 5.96 ERA in 12 appearances. He has struck out 19 batters in 22.2 innings.
Sophomore outfielder Danny Blair hit his first career homer and drove in a career-high three runs in the 10-7 win vs. Liberty. Most recently he was 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored in the 10-0 win vs. Georgia. Blair has played in 43 games with 22 starts and is hitting .241 (21-for-87).