The kid has an edge to him, without question. It's obvious every time he opens his mouth. But it's an edge that's both consistent and genuine -- and rooted in fierce loyalty.
"You see that he wants to win," Merrifield said. "I know it's college ball, but if there was ever a benches-clearing fight, he'd be the first one out there to have your back.
"He's definitely the kind of guy you want on your team. He reminds me a lot of coach Tanner, just the desire to win at all costs. He's the kind of guy you need to have on your team if you want to go far."
That comparison, to Tanner, is an interesting one. Merrifield isn't the only one that offers it.
In fact, minutes before Merrifield did so, unprovoked, Morales had sort of similarly dissected it.
"I'm straight-forward with him. He's honest with me," Morales said. "He'll say, 'Look, you need to step it up.' And I'll take that to heart. I'm my biggest critic. I know if I need to step it up. I did this past weekend."
Bullpen having fun, piling up outs - Neil White, The State
Just beyond the right-center field fence in Carolina Stadium is the cozy enclosed area of the USC bullpen.
Sitting in that bullpen are the guys who can claim much of the credit for the Gamecocks' deepest postseason run in three seasons.
While frontline starters Blake Cooper and Sam Dyson have grabbed the headlines, the talented relief corps led by Matt Price, Michael Roth and Jose Mata has ensured USC's participation against Coastal Carolina in a Super Regional this weekend.