Columbia, S.C. -
South Carolina (10-2) is back in action on Friday beginning a three-game home series vs. Rider (6-1). First pitch for the opener is 7 p.m. with Saturday's contest at 4 p.m. and Sunday's series finale scheduled for 1:30 p.m. All three games can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station 107.5 FM, "The Game." Live video broadcast is also available at GamecocksOnline on the All Access Channel.
LIVE COVERAGE Radio: Gamecock Radio Network affiliates/Flagship WNKT FM 107.5 "The Game" in Columbia. Derek Scott and Tommy Moody will call the action on Friday and Saturday. Andy Demetra and Tommy Moody will call the action on Sunday. Television: None Internet: Live Gametracker stats and Live video streaming at GamecocksOnline.com. Additional coverage on Twitter @GamecockBasebll and Facebook/Gamecocksonline
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
South Carolina Evan Beal (So. RHP) - 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3.2 IP, 0 BB, 5 SO
Rider - Tyler Smith (Sr. LHP) 2-0, 1.38 ERA, 13.0 IP, 2 BB, 13 SO
South Carolina - Colby Holmes (Sr. RHP) 1-1, 3.71 ERA, 17.0 IP, 4 BB, 10 SO
Rider - Kurt Sowa (So. RHP) 2-0, 1.29 ERA, 14.0 IP, 3 BB, 6 SO
South Carolina - Nolan Belcher (Sr. LHP) 2-1, 2.18 ERA, 20.2 IP, 1 BB, 23 SO
Rider - Mike Murphy (Jr. RHP) 1-1, 8.68 ERA, 9.1 IP, 2 BB, 6 SO
DID YOU KNOW?? Max Schrock tallied three stolen bases in Wednesday's 14-4 win over Ball State. That is the most stolen bases in a game by a Gamecock player since Davy Gregg stole three in an 8-3 win over Niagara on Feb. 25, 2005.
GAMECOCKS IN THE RANKINGS
South Carolina is ranked for the fourth straight week. The Gamecocks are No. 6 by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball and No. 7 in the USA Today coaches' poll.
A LOOK BACK
South Carolina won a pair of midweek games vs. Ball State. Carolina won 10-0 on Tuesday night and followed that up with a 14-4 victory on Wednesday afternoon.
Joey Pankake hit a pair of three-run homers in each victory. The Gamecocks were strong at the plate with 10 hits on Tuesday as well as 14 on Wednesday. Freshman left-hander Jack Wynkoop retired the first 16 batters he faced on the way to the 10-0 win on Tuesday. Wynkoop, Vince Fiori, Joel Seddon and Forrest Koumas combined for 11 strikeouts with no walks on the mound. Wednesday's win saw Carolina race out to a 6-2 lead in the first three innings with seven more runs scored in the bottom of the eighth.
LAST WEEK'S RECAP
South Carolina continued the 2013 season with a win over Furman in a midweek contest and a series victory vs. Clemson with two wins in three games over the weekend. South Carolina made a bookend of the weekend with a 6-0 shutout on Friday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium as well as an 8-0 shutout of the Tigers on Sunday at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks have now won 20 of the last 28 games played between the two schools from the 2007 season to the present.
Sunday's 8-0 win at Carolina Stadium vs. Clemson was played in front of a sellout crowd of 8,242 fans, the second sellout of the season for the Gamecocks. South Carolina owns a 22-6 record in 28 career sellouts at Carolina Stadium since its opening in 2009.
BELCHER BRINGS IT
Senior left-handed pitcher Nolan 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. Richey didn't walk a batter as well in his victory and struck out three batters. Richey went 7-2 that season with a 3.17 ERA for June Raines' squad. He would follow that up with a 10-2 season in 1987.
Belcher is now 2-1 on the year with a 2.18 ERA in a team-high 20.2 innings pitched. He has 23 strikeouts to just one walk. Opponents are hitting only .192 against him. This was Belcher's second career complete game. He pitched a complete game as a freshman on April 11, 2009 in an 8-1 win at Ole Miss.
DANTZLER WITH THE HOT BAT
Senior first baseman LB Dantzler continues to swing a solid bat for the Gamecocks. Dantzler is hitting .462 (18-for-39) with 12 runs scored, four homers and 15 RBI. Dantzler currently holds a nine-game hitting streak as well. Dantzler had a two-out RBI single in the 6-0 victory at Clemson. He added a solo home run in the 6-3 loss in Greenville and went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in the 8-0 win. Dantzler's on-base percentage is a team-best .600. He leads the SEC in slugging percentage, is second in on-base percentage and third in batting average.
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.
Sophomore shortstop Joey Pankake crushed a three-run homer in the 10-0 win over Ball State and followed that up the next day with another three-run homer in the 14-4 win over the Cardinals.
Pankake is hitting .314 (11-for-35) with eight runs scored and 11 RBI. He has a .409 on-base percentage to go along with a .543 slugging percentage.
MIX IT UP
Many Gamecocks were in the mix to help Carolina to a series victory vs. Clemson. Nine different Gamecock position players had at least one RBI over the weekend. Dantzler, Saiko, Schrock, Grayson Greiner, Chase Vergason and Connor Bright all had two RBI over the weekend with English, Joey Pankake and Erik Payne each driving in a run as well.
GREINER FINDS SUCCESS IN THE CLEMSON SERIES
Sophomore catcher Grayson Greiner was the team's leading hitter in the Clemson series hitting .364 (4-for-11) with a double, three runs scored and a pair of RBI. He also stole two bases and caught both the Friday and Sunday victories.
Greiner added a pair of hits and three RBI in the 14-4 win over Ball State. Greiner is hitting .278 (10-for-36) for the season with three doubles and eight RBI.
Tyler Webb MAKES HIS MARK
Senior left-hander Tyler Webb struck out the side to combine with Montgomery for the three-hit complete game shutout in the 6-0 win over Clemson. Webb has made a team-high six appearances and has three saves in 5.0 innings pitched. He has 10 strikeouts to just two walks with opponents hitting .133 against him. Webb's third save came in the 5-2 win over Furman with one scoreless inning of relief with two strikeouts.
Webb has 84 appearances in his Gamecock career, seventh all-time in school history. The record is 102 set last year by Matt Price (2009-12). He has pitched in relief in 72 of those appearances, with 57 relief appearances without allowing a run (79.1 percent). In career relief appearances he is 8-1 with six saves.
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 Jamie Poston 1997-98-99-00
84 Tyler Webb 2010-11-12-13
WESTMORELAND EFFECTIVE IN RELIEF
Senior left-hander Adam Westmoreland was effective in relief in Saturday's 6-3 loss. Westmoreland worked 4.1 innings and allowed just one run, unearned, on three hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. Westmoreland's seven strikeouts ties for second highest in his career and the most for him in a relief outing. Westmoreland has nine strikeouts in 7.2 innings of work this season.
Eight of nine Gamecock position starters had at least one hit in the 8-0 win vs. Clemson as the team finished with 11 hits for the afternoon. Greiner, Bright and Vergason all had two hits apiece to lead the Gamecocks at the plate. Bright went 2-for-3 with a two-run double with Greiner 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI and Vergason 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored.
A BIT OF ENGLISH
Sophomore center fielder Tanner English has reached base safely in 10 of 11 games this year. English is hitting .324 (11-for-34) with nine runs scored. He has a .500 on-base percentage.
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.
Sophomore right-hander Evan Beal had 2.2 perfect innings of relief in the 5-2 win over Furman with three strikeouts. He has five strikeouts in 3.2 innings pitched on the year with a 0.00 ERA.
AT THE PLATE & ON THE FIELD
Carolina has done a very good job getting on base in the first 12 games of the season. The team has 72 walks and 12 hit by pitches to just 71 strikeouts for the season. Carolina is hitting .294 (114-for-388) as a team with 88 runs scored. Carolina is fielding .980 for the year with just nine errors. Carolina and LSU rank at the top of the league in fielding.
ON THE MOUND
The Gamecock pitching staff has a 2.21 team ERA in 106.0 innings pitched. Carolina has 105 strikeouts to just 27 walks with 79 hits allowed. Opponents are hitting just .205 against the squad.
ON BASE WITH CHASE
Senior infielder Chase Vergason homered and had a pair of hits in the 8-0 win vs. Clemson. He also homered in the 14-1 win over Albany. Vergason finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI in the Albany game. The three runs batted in were a career-high with the three hits tying a career-high as well.
Vergason is hitting .314 (11-for-35) with 11 walks and a .478 on-base percentage.
SCHROCK DRIVES THEM IN
Freshman infielder Max Schrock has at least one RBI in eight of the 12 games played this year. Schrock went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI as well as three stolen bases in the 14-4 win over Ball State.
A BRIGHT SPOT
Sophomore outfielder Connor Bright was 1-for-2 with a run scored in the 10-0 win over Ball State and went 2-for-3 with a two-run double in the 8-0 win vs. Clemson. He has hit .385 (5-for-13) with two runs scored.
SAIKO LEADS IT OFF
Junior outfielder Graham Saiko is hitting .310 (13-for-42) for the season with a .439 on-base percentage and a team-high 12 walks. He has scored 11 runs as well.
Saiko went 3-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored in the 10-0 win over Ball State.