Gamecocks ranked as high as No. 5 in the nation
Columbia, SC March 11, 2013 – South Carolina (13-2) is back in action on Tuesday night hosting USC Upstate (10-4). First pitch at Carolina Stadium is set for 7 p.m. Live video broadcast is available on the All Access Channel at GamecocksOnline.com. The game can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network affiliates/Flagship WNKT FM 107.5 “The Game” in Columbia. Derek Scott and Tommy Moody will call the action.
Internet: Live Gametracker stats and Live video streaming at GamecocksOnline.com. Additional coverage on Twitter @GamecockBasebll and Facebook/Gamecocksonline
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
South Carolina – Forrest Koumas (Jr. RHP) 0-0, 2.45 ERA, 3.2 IP, 4 BB, 3 SO
USC Upstate – Chris Cox (Sr. LHP) 1-1, 2.70 ERA, 13.1 IP, 7 BB, 6 SO
DID YOU KNOW??
South Carolina has put together five shutouts in the last eight games. That is the most shutouts in a span of eight games by the Gamecocks since February of the 2004 season
GAMECOCKS IN THE RANKINGS
South Carolina is ranked for the fifth straight week. The Gamecocks are No. 5 by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball and No. 6 in the USA Today coaches’ poll.
A LOOK BACK
South Carolina continued the 2013 season with five wins last week with a pair of victories vs. Ball State as well as a weekend sweep of Rider. Three of the five victories this week were shutouts. The Gamecocks are now 13-2 on the year. South Carolina hosts USC Upstate on Tuesday as well as Davidson on Wednesday before traveling this weekend to Missouri for a three-game SEC series to open league play.
PANKAKE RECEIVES NATIONAL & SEC PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
Sophomore shortstop Joey Pankake has been named “Louisville Slugger’s” National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball and was also named SEC Player of the Week. Pankake belted four homers, scored seven runs and knocked in nine runs for the Gamecocks last week over five games as he hit .438 (7-for-16).
For the season, Pankake is hitting .326 (15-for-46) with four homers, 14 RBI and 11 runs scored. He is currently on a seven-game hitting streak.
Pankake is the second Gamecock player this year to earn SEC Player of the Week honors. LB Dantzler was an honoree by the conference on Feb. 25.
GREINER NAMED TO JOHNNY BENCH AWARD WATCH LIST
South Carolina sophomore catcher Grayson Greiner is one of 48 catchers in the nation to be named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List as announced by the Greater Wichita Sports Commission and presented by BaseballSavings.com.
Greiner has started 10 games behind the dish and has put together 95 putouts with six assists. He has worked with the pitching staff that currently owns a 1.96 ERA. Greiner has been tremendous with the pitchers in keeping the run game in check as he has allowed just three stolen bases on the year.
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.
BELCHER BRINGS IT
Senior left-handed pitcher Nolan Belcher has pitched 18 consecutive scoreless innings on the mound for the Gamecocks. Belcher worked seven-plus innings and did not allow a run on eight hits with no walks and seven strikeouts in the 1-0 victory over Rider on Sunday. He is 3-1 on the year with a 1.63 ERA in four starts with 30 strikeouts to just one walks in 27.2 innings pitched. Opponents are batting 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.
Sophomore right-hander Evan Beal was effective in his first start of the year and only his second career start as a Gamecock. Beal worked six scoreless innings in the 2-0 win on Friday over Rider with just one hit and two walks allowed while striking out six batters. At one point in the contest, he retired 14 consecutive batters. The six strikeouts and six innings were both career highs. He is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 9.2 innings with two walks and 11 strikeouts.
ON BASE WITH CHASE
Senior third baseman Chase Vergason has reached base safely in 14 consecutive games for the Gamecocks. Vergason is the team’s second best hitter on the year with a .340 average (16-for-47) with nine RBI and 11 runs scored. His on-base percentage of .475 is among the team’s leaders.
Tyler Webb MAKES HIS MARK
Senior left-hander Tyler Webb continues to be dominant out of the bullpen. Webb had three scoreless appearances over the week and earned a pair of saves as well. Webb combined for shutouts in both Friday and Sunday’s victories. He has pitched 9.1 scoreless innings in eight relief appearances with fives saves this season. Webb has 15 strikeouts to three walks, opponents are hitting .167 against him.
Webb has 86 appearances in his Gamecock career, tied for sixth all-time in school history. The record is 102 set last year by Matt Price (2009-12). He has pitched in relief in 74 of those appearances, with 59 relief appearances without allowing a run (79.7 percent). In career relief appearances he is 8-1 with eight saves.
Appearances 102 Matt Price 2009-10-11-12 94 Michael Roth 2009-10-11-12 88 Rob Mosser 1990-91-92-93 87 Aaron Rawl 2002-03-04-05 87 Jason Pomar 1996-97-98-99 86 Tyler Webb 2010-11-12-13 86 Jamie Poston 1997-98-99-00
SCHROCK DRIVES THEM IN
Freshman infielder Max Schrock hit .353 (6-for-17) in the five games last week with three runs scored and three RBI. He also stole three bases. Schrock and Vergason lead the team with five multi-hit games with Schrock and LB Dantzler leading the team with three multi-RBI games apiece. Schrock is hitting .246 (14-for-57) with nine runs scored and 12 RBI on the year and has stole six bases in seven attempts as well.
JACK OF ALL TRADES
Freshman left-hander Jack Wynkoop retired the first 16 batters in the 10-0 win over Ball State. Wynkoop allowed just two hits in six innings of work with no walks and struck out five batters to earn the win.
The 5-2 win over Furman featured the first career start and victory for Wynkoop. Wynkoop hurled 5.1 scoreless innings, scattered five hits with no walks while striking out a pair of batters.
Wynkoop is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 11.1 innings pitched with a walk and seven strikeouts.
DANTZLER AT THE BAT
Senior first baseman LB Dantzler saw his 11-game hitting streak snapped in Sunday’s victory. Dantzler still leads the team in batting average at a .400 clip (20-for-50) with 12 runs scored, four homers and 15 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.
WESTMORELAND EFFECTIVE IN RELIEF
Senior left-hander Adam Westmoreland earned his first career save in the 9-5 win over Ball State. Westmoreland worked 3.2 scoreless innings without allowing a hit and walking just one while striking out three batters. He is 1-0 with one save in four relief appearances with a 0.82 ERA. He has 12 strikeouts in 11 innings. Opponents batting average against him is .171.
A BRIGHT SPOT
Sophomore outfielder Connor Bright made four starts in right field this past week. He went 4-for-13 (.308) at the plate with a pair of RBI and three runs scored. Bright hit a solo home run in the 9-5 win over Rider. He is hitting .333 (8-for-24) with four runs scored and five RBI for the season.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
Three Gamecock freshmen earned first career starts this past week. Shon Carson had three starts and went 3-for-10 (.300) at the plate this past weekend with a run scored and a RBI. George Iskenderian was the starting designated hitter in three games and hit .333 (4-for-12) with three runs scored and a RBI. Curt Britt was the starting designated hitter in Saturday’s 9-5 victory and he tallied a single and a run scored also.
AT THE PLATE & ON THE FIELD
South Carolina is hitting .290 as a team (139-for-479) with 100 runs scored and a .401 on-base percentage. The Gamecocks have 82 walks and 14 hit by pitches to just 86 strikeouts. The team has also stolen 21 bases in 29 attempts. Carolina has a .978 fielding percentage.
ON THE MOUND
On the mound, the Gamecocks have dropped the team ERA to 1.96 on the year in 133.0 innings pitched. The staff has 132 strikeouts to just 37 walks. Opponents are hitting .201 against the squad.
WALK THIS WAY
South Carolina set single game highs in both victories over Ball State with 10 walks in each game. The Gamecocks also tied a single game high for runs scored in the 14-4 victory on Wednesday.