March 11, 2013
Columbia, S.C. - 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.
This Week: 5-0
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
2013 season (8-game span)
2004 season (8-game span)
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.
Sophomore shortstop Joey Pankake had a productive week at the plate as he hit .438 (7-for-16) in the five games with four homers, seven runs scored and nine RBI. Pankake hit a pair of three-run homers in each of the wins over Ball State. He then homered in both Saturday and Sunday's victories over Rider. 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Freshman left-hander Jack Wynkoop retired the first 16 batters he faced in the 10-0 win over Ball State. He allowed just two hits in six innings of work with no walks and five strikeouts. Wynkoop is now 2-0 in two starts with 11.1 innings pitched. He has seven strikeouts and just one walk.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.