March 5, 2018
South Carolina vs. Appalachian State, N.C. A&T
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The University of South Carolina baseball team faces its final double midweek schedule of the season this week. The Gamecocks hit the road for BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, N.C., home of the Charlotte Knights, to face Appalachian State on Tuesday night (March 6) at 6 p.m. South Carolina then returns home to host North Carolina A&T on Wednesday night (March 7) with a 7 p.m. first pitch. Both games will be on the IMG Gamecock Radio Network.
Tuesday's game will be streamed by Appalachian State for free.
Carolina won a dramatic 3-2 game against Clemson on Friday night (March 2), with TJ Hopkins bringing in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. The Gamecocks then lost 5-1 to the Tigers on Saturday. On Sunday, Carolina battled back from a 6-0 deficit to eventually tie the game at seven in the ninth, but fell 8-7 on a walk-off triple.
SCOUTING APPALACHIAN STATE
> The Mountaineers won the series opener on Saturday against Marshall, but fell to the Thundering Herd in both ends of a doubleheader on Sunday. Alex Leshock leads Appalachian State with a .346 batting average, while Jason Avers has a team-best nine RBI. Connor Leonard has two home runs and a .438 slugging percentage. The Mountaineers will start Travis Holden on Tuesday. The senior is 2-0 with a 1.64 earned-run average and eight strikeouts in 11 innings pitched.
SCOUTING NORTH CAROLINA A&T
> The Aggies won the series finale, 7-6, over Bucknell on March 4 as Zach McLean went 3-for-4 and AJ Hunt homered and drove in a pair. McLean is hitting .355 with a .452 slugging percentage while Dawnoven Smith has three home runs and eight RBI. On the mound, Josh Bottenfield sports a 0.77 ERA and Marcello Betances has 17 strikeouts in 17 innings pitched.
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
HILL EARNS NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONOR
> South Carolina junior pitcher Adam Hill has been named a National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball, the publication announced this afternoon (Monday, March 5). Hill earns a national award after being named SEC Pitcher of the Week last Monday.
Hill, a righty from Anderson, S.C., was magnificent for a second straight week, helping South Carolina to a 3-2 win over Clemson on Friday night. Hill struck out 14 batters in a no-decision, giving up two runs and two hits with two walks. It was Hill's second straight 14-strikeout performance, which ties his career-high and also tied his Founders Park record. Hill struck out seven consecutive batters from the first through third innings. That tied a school record which he shares with Alex Farotto (3/25/2007 vs. Mississippi State) and George Beam (3/4/1972 vs. N.C. State). Hill earned the Tom Price Award after Sunday's game against Clemson. The award is given to South Carolina's Most Valuable Player in the series.
On the season, Hill is tied for second in the nation with 34 strikeouts and is fifth in the country in strikeouts per nine innings (1.89).
HOPKINS, WILLIAMS STEP UP IN CLEMSON THRILLER
> A pair of upperclassmen gave Carolina the offense it needed in a 3-2 win over Clemson on Friday night (March 2) at Founders Park. With the Gamecocks trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, fifth-year senior Matt Williams stepped up in a pinch-hitting role and belted his fourth career home run in the South Carolina bullpen, tying the game at two. Then in the ninth, Jonah Bride walked and moved to third on a failed pickoff attempt. Hopkins brought pinch runner Danny Blair home with a sacrifice fly for the walk-off win, South Carolina's first since last March 25 against Alabama.
HOME RUN LIST IS LONG
> TJ Hopkins belted a three-run home run at Clemson on March 4, the 21st home run of the season for the Gamecocks. Eleven different players have hit home run on the season, including four apiece from Jacob Olson and Madison Stokes. South Carolina is second in the SEC in home runs, just two behind Kentucky, and is fifth in the country in long balls.
SC IN THE SEC LEADERS
> Adam Hill leads the SEC with 34 strikeouts, seven more than the next closest pitcher. Hill also is third on opponent's batting average (.115) while Ridge Chapman is fifth in that category (.132). Jacob Olson and Madison Stokes each have four home runs on the season, which is tied for fourth in the league. TJ Hopkins is tied for fourth in stolen bases with six while Noah Campbell has two triples, good for a tied for third in the league. As a team, South Carolina is third in the conference with a .979 fielding percentage.
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