Columbia, S.C. -
South Carolina (15-2) begins SEC play this weekend traveling to Columbia, Mo. for a three-game series vs. Missouri (5-7). First pitch for the opener is Friday at 7 p.m. ET. Saturday's game is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET with Sunday's contest at 2 p.m. ET. All three games can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station, 107.5 FM, "The Game."
This is the first meeting on the baseball diamond between South Carolina and Missouri.
LIVE COVERAGE Radio: Gamecock Radio Network affiliates/Flagship WNKT FM 107.5 "The Game" in Columbia. Andy Demetra and Tommy Moody will call the action. Television: None Internet: Live Gametracker stats at GamecocksOnline.com. Additional coverage on Twitter @GamecockBasebll and Facebook/Gamecocksonline
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
South Carolina Evan Beal (So. RHP) 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 9.2 IP, 2 BB, 11 SO
Missouri Rob Zastryzny (Jr. LHP) 1-2, 4.58 ERA, 19.2 IP, 6 BB, 17 SO
South Carolina Nolan Belcher (Sr. LHP) 3-1, 1.63 ERA, 27.2 IP, 1 BB, 30 SO
Missouri Brett Graves (So. RHP) 0-1, 3.24 ERA, 16.2 IP, 6 BB, 10 SO
South Carolina Colby Holmes (Sr. RHP) 1-1, 4.22 ERA, 21.1 IP, 8 BB, 14 SO
DID YOU KNOW??
South Carolina had a single game high five doubles and two triples in Tuesday's 12-3 win over USC Upstate
GAMECOCKS IN THE RANKINGS
South Carolina is ranked No. 5 this week in the Baseball America Top 25 and Collegiate Baseball Top 30.
A LOOK BACK LB Dantzler homered twice for the first time in his career and drove in a career-high six runs as fifth ranked South Carolina defeated Davidson 12-4 on Wednesday evening at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks improve to 15-2 with Davidson dropping to 6-8 for the season.
Dantzler crushed a two-run homer in the first inning and added a three-run blast in the sixth inning. He has a team-leading six homers on the year and also leads the squad with 23 RBI. He went 3-for-3 at the plate. Max Schrock and Kyle Martin each had two hits as well. Schrock, Dantzler, Martin and Joey Pankake all scored two runs apiece. The Gamecocks had 13 hits in the contest.
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 .373 (19-for-51) with four homers, 16 RBI and 14 runs scored. He is currently on a nine-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 11 games behind the dish and has put together 106 putouts with six assists. He has worked with the pitching staff that currently owns a 2.15 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.
The 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 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 almost every game for the Gamecocks. Vergason is the team's third best hitter on the year with a .327 average (17-for-52) with nine RBI and 12 runs scored. His on-base percentage of .462 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.
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 leads the team with seven multi-hit games.
Schrock is hitting .286 (18-for-63) with 13 runs scored and 16 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 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA in 14.0 innings pitched with eight strikeouts and two walks.
DANTZLER AT THE BAT
Senior first baseman LB Dantzler still leads the team in batting average at a .429 clip (24-for-56) with 15 runs scored, six homers and 23 RBI. He has a .547 on-base percentage and a .839 slugging percentage.
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.
MONTGOMERY WITH A CONVINCING START
Equally impressive on the mound is sophomore left-hander Jordan Montgomery, who opened the Clemson series with eight scoreless innings of work in the 6-0 win over the Tigers. Montgomery did not allow a runner to reach third base as he limited the Tigers to three hits and two walks in the victory. Montgomery tied a career-high with eight innings pitched for the third time in his career and struck out a career-high nine batters in the victory.
Montgomery was named the Tom Price Award winner at the conclusion of the series, the award given to the Gamecocks' MVP for the season series against the Tigers. Montgomery is only the third Gamecock pitcher to earn the award that has been given since 2001. Also earning the award was right-handers Aaron Rawl (2003) and Nick Godwin (2008).
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.
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 has nine starts this year. He went 4-for-13 (.308) at the plate with a pair of RBI and three runs scored last week. Bright hit a solo home run in the 9-5 win over Rider. He is hitting .281 (9-for-32) with five runs scored and five RBI for the season.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
Three Gamecock freshmen earned first career starts last 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 .305 as a team (166-for-544) with 124 runs scored and a .415 on-base percentage. The Gamecocks have 97 walks and 16 hit by pitches to just 94 strikeouts. The team has also stolen 22 bases in 32 attempts. Carolina has a .978 fielding percentage.
ON THE MOUND
On the mound, the Gamecocks have dropped the team ERA to 2.15 on the year in 151.0 innings pitched. The staff has 149 strikeouts to just 46 walks. Opponents are hitting .209 against the squad.
WALK THIS WAY
South Carolina leads the SEC at the plate with 97 walks. Carolina set single game highs in both victories over Ball State with 10 walks in each game.
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.
SAIKO LEADS IT OFF
Junior outfielder Graham Saiko is hitting .304 (17-for-56) for the season with a .419 on-base percentage and a team-high 14 walks. He has scored 13 runs as well.
Saiko went 3-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored in the 10-0 win over Ball State.