COLUMBIA, S.C. -
South Carolina (24-3) returns to action vs. Appalachian State (8-16) on Tuesday with first pitch at 7 p.m. at Carolina Stadium. It can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station 107.5 FM, "The Game," with Andy Demetra and Tommy Moody on the call. Live gametracker stats are also available at GamecocksOnline with live video streaming on the All Access Channel.
South Carolina is ranked No. 1 by Collegiate Baseball, No. 2 by Baseball America as well as No. 3 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll and Perfect Game.
LIVE COVERAGE Radio: Gamecock IMG Radio Network; Flagship 107.5 FM The Game. Andy Demetra and Tommy Moody call the action.
Internet: Additional coverage on Twitter @GamecockBasebll and Facebook/Gamecocksonline
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUP
South Carolina - South Carolina Evan Beal (Jr. RHP) 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 4.0 IP, 1 BB, 3 SO
App State - Jeffrey Springs (LHP) 1-0, 3.38 ERA, 29.1 IP, 16 BB, 26 SO
A LOOK BACK
South Carolina won all five games this past week with non-conference wins vs. College of Charleston and Coastal Carolina and a three-game sweep of 20th ranked Tennessee. The Gamecocks are 24-3 and 6-3 in the SEC. The 6-3 record is tied for the best in the SEC with Alabama, Florida and Mississippi State through the first three weeks of the season.
LAST TIME VS. APPALACHIAN STATE
South Carolina rallied from a four-run deficit with Evan Marzilli factoring in with a three-run double in the seventh inning that put the Gamecocks ahead and a spectacular catch running into the fence in left-center on a deep fly by Daniel Kassouf to end the game as Carolina defeated Appalachian State 6-4.
Junior left-hander Tyler Webb worked 1.2 perfect innings with two strikeouts to pick up the win. Appalachian State reliever Chad Farmer allowed three runs, two earned, on two hits with a walk and a strikeout in 0.1 innings to suffer the loss. He is now 1-1 on the year. Evan Beal picked up his third save of the season for the Gamecocks as well.
The Mountaineers exploded for four runs in the first inning on the back of a pair of homers from Will Callaway and Tyler Tewell. ASU opened the game with a single from Hector Crespo followed by a base hit by Tyler Zupcic. That set the stage for Callaway, who launched a 1-0 pitch from South Carolina starter Jordan Montgomery over the wall in left-center to give ASU a three-run lead. With one out, Tewell added a solo blast that gave Appalachian State a 4-0 lead.
But that would be it for ASU, as the Gamecocks retired the next 23 batters in order on the way to a come from behind win. Carolina would get on the scoreboard with a run in the bottom of the second inning. LB Dantzler singled with one out and scored on Marzilli's double to the gap in right-center. Marzilli has reached base in all 16 games this year.
South Carolina crept closer with two more runs in the fourth inning to make it 4-3. The Gamecocks took advantage of a throwing error by Crespo at second base to score a run and Walker added a RBI base hit up the middle.
With the Gamecocks still trailing, they would load the bases in the bottom of the seventh on Farmer. Erik Payne reached base on a fielding error by Callaway at shortstop and Dantzler singled into the gap in left-center with one out and advanced to second as ASU tried to nab Payne at third but the throw didn't make it. An intentional walk to Tanner English set the stage for Marzilli, who roped the first pitch he saw from Farmer into the gap in right-center clearing the bases and giving the Gamecocks a two-run lead. Marzilli set a career-high with four RBIs in Wednesday's victory.
Drama would make its way into the picture one more time those as Zupcic led off with a base hit in the ninth inning, the first base runner for ASU since the first inning. With one out and Zupcic on second base, Kassouf would try to tie the game with a long blast to left-center. Marzilli ran a solid route though and was able to corral the ball on the warning track in left-center before banging into the fence and held on with the catch giving the Gamecocks a two-run victory.
Despite a rough first inning, Carolina had a gutsy effort from Montgomery on the mound. He would last 4.2 innings and struck out three batters. He retired 10 in a row before giving way to Hunter Privette, who hurled 1.1 perfect innings with three strikeouts.
Walker led the Gamecocks at the plate with a 3-for-4 day. Marzilli had two hits and Dantzler was 2-for-4 with three runs scored. Zupcic led the Mountaineers with a 2-for-4 day at the plate.
PANKAKE WARMING UP
Junior infielder Joey Pankake extended his hitting streak to 15 games as he hit safely in all five contests this past week. Pankake hit .462 (6-for-13) in the Tennessee series with five runs scored and three RBI. He is hitting a team-best .432 (16-for-37) in SEC contests with nine RBI a pair of homers and 11 runs scored. For the season, Pankake owns a .344 average (33-for-96) with 18 RBI and 30 runs scored. Pankake averages 1.20 runs per game. He owns a .421 on-base percentage and a .490 slugging mark. He went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBI in the 8-0 win over Tennessee as well as 2-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored in the 9-6 win and 2-for-6 with a run scored in the 3-2 win over the Volunteers. He is now tied for the team-lead with 11 multi-hit games.
BEAL BRINGS IT
Junior right-hander Evan Beal pitched four scoreless innings in his first appearance of the year in a 4-0 win vs. Coastal Carolina. He will be the scheduled starter on Tuesday vs. Appalachian State.
GREINER NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK
South Carolina junior catcher Grayson Greiner earned SEC Player of the Week honors as announced by the conference office on Monday afternoon. Greiner hit a walk-off grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning to lift South Carolina to a 9-6 win over Tennessee on Saturday. His play along with Jordan Gore's walk-off homer was No. 1 on ESPN's SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays of the Day.
SEDDON SEALS IT
Junior right-hander Joel Seddon has not allowed a run in 16.0 innings of relief in 12 appearances this season. Seddon has yielded just four hits and three walks while striking out 23 batters. Opponents are hitting 0.77 against him. Seddon pitched 2.1 scoreless in the 3-2 win over Tennessee. ents are hitting .045 against him. His seven saves are tied for the league lead.
Freshman right-hander Reed Scott has been effective in a middle relief role for the Gamecocks. Scott pitched six scoreless innings of relief to earn his first career win in a Gamecock uniform and kept the Gamecocks alive in a 9-6 come-from-behind victory. Scott has not allowed a run in six relief appearances. He has allowed just seven hits and three walks in 16.1 innings while striking out 14 batters. Opponents are hitting only .132 against him.
CROWE MAKES AN IMPACT
Freshman right-hander Wil Crowe improved to 6-0 with a win in Sunday's 8-0 victory. Crowe pitched 7.1 scoreless innings with just eight hits allowed, no walks and three strikeouts. Crowe has a 1.37 ERA in a team-high 46.0 innings with seven runs allowed on 34 hits. He has 28 strikeouts to six walks. Opponents are hitting .214 against him.
Crowe was honored twice by the Southeastern Conference in the first two weeks of the regular season. On February 24, he earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors after working 6.1 scoreless innings in a 6-0 win over Eastern Kentucky with just four hits allowed and one walk to pick up his second win of the season.
The first week, Crowe was SEC Pitcher of the Week. He had an impressive debut as he hurled 6.1 hitless innings in his first career start. Crowe walked just one and hit one batter while finishing with five strikeouts to earn his first career win in a Gamecock uniform. Bucknell had just one runner reach second base and none reach third base while Crowe was on the mound. Crowe retired 13 consecutive batters in a row before coming out of the game as he reached his pitch count total.
Junior catcher Grayson Greiner was named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List for the top catcher in college baseball.
Greiner's .356 average (32-for-90) is tied for the team lead. He leads the Gamecocks with a .544 slugging percentage and 29 RBI. His 29 RBI is tied for third-highest in the SEC and is just four behind the league leaders.
Greiner won the Tom Price award as the MVP for South Carolina in the weekend series vs. Clemson. Greiner hit .400 (4-for-10) for the weekend with four runs scored. His grand slam homer helped lift South Carolina to a 9-6 win. He had a team-high four walks on the weekend as well.
JACK OF ALL TRADES
Sophomore left-hander Jack Wynkoop made his first relief appearance in the resumption of Friday's halted game. Wynkoop pitched three scoreless innings on the way to the 3-2 win over the Volunteers. He is now 5-1 with a 2.66 ERA in 40.2 innings with 37 strikeouts to five walks.
Wynkoop pitched 7.1 scoreless innings and struck out a career-high 10 batters in a 2-0 win over Eastern Kentucky on February 22. He allowed just three hits and one walk.
Junior first baseman Kyle Martin has reached base in 15 straight games. Martin went 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored in the 9-6 win over Tennessee. He is hitting .340 (35-for-103) with 15 RBI and 22 runs scored. Martin has a .408 on-base percentage.
ELLIOTT LEADS IT OFF
Junior outfielder Elliott Caldwell hit .462 (6-for-13) in the Tennessee series and has raised his season average to .304 (24-for-79). Caldwell went 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and two RBI in the 8-0 win over the Volunteers.
MONTGOMERY GETS IT STARTED
Junior left-hander Jordan Montgomery had his best start in SEC play last week in a no-decision. Montgomery allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits in seven innings with two walks and six strikeouts. He is 3-2 with a 4.30 ERA in 37.2 innings with 38 strikeouts.
A JOLT FROM JORDAN
Freshman infielder Jordan Gore hit his first career homer and drove in his first career run with a walk-off solo homer in the 14th inning of South Carolina's 3-2 win over Tennessee.
MINCEY WITH AN APPEARANCE
Junior right-hander Cody Mincey leads the Gamecocks with 15 relief appearances. Mincey picked up his first save in the 4-2 win over College of Charleston. He followed that up with 1.2 scoreless in the 3-2 win over Tennessee and a 1.2 scoreless in the 8-0 victory. Mincey has allowed one run on nine hits in 20.1 innings this year with 29 strikeouts. Opponents own a .136 average.
A LITTLE BIT OF ENGLISH
Junior outfielder Tanner English was 2-for-3 with a run scored and two RBI in the 8-0 win over Tennessee. English is hitting .300 (27-for-90) with 13 runs scored and 17 RBI.
Junior left-hander Vince Fiori has not allowed an earned run this season. Fiori has made nine appearances with 11.2 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting .205 against him.
Sophomore infielder DC Arendas went 2-for-4 with two runs scored in the 8-0 win over Tennessee. Arendas has driven in 14 runs and scored 14 runs this year. He is hitting .256 (20-for-78).
A BRIGHT SPOT
Junior outfielder Connor Bright is the Gamecocks' leading hitter with a .356 average (37-for-104) with 10 doubles, 19 RBI and 22 runs scored. Bright has a .407 on-base percentage and a .452 slugging percentage. Bright went 2-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored in Sunday's 8-3 win over Kentucky. He has 10 multi-hit games.
WIDENER SHOWS VERSATILITY
Freshman right-hander Taylor Widener pitched 2.1 innings of relief with just one unearned run allowed on one hit with no walks and three strikeouts in Friday's loss. Widener also was the starting designated hitter in Sunday's 8-3 win and finished with a RBI. Widener is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in seven appearances. He has 11 strikeouts to three walks in 13.0 innings pitched.
MAX IT OUT
Sophomore infielder Max Schrock had a flair for the dramatic in the Ole Miss series. Despite a sprained ankle, Schrock came on in a pinch-hit role and without taking batting practice before the game, launched a two-out two-run homer to right field in the bottom of the 9th to help the Gamecocks rally to a 5-4 10-inning win over the Rebels. The previous day, Schrock tied a career-high with four hits including a homer as well as two RBI and two runs scored in the 6-4 loss.
IN A PINCH WITH BRISON
Senior Brison Celek is 4-for-6 (.667) in a pinch-hit role this year. Celek had a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted South Carolina to a 5-4 win over Ole Miss. Celek had big pinch-hit singles in a 5-3 win at Clemson with two outs in the ninth inning that kept the inning and game alive as well as a two-out pinch-hit single to keep the Gamecocks alive in a 9-6 win over Tennessee.
MOONEY IN THE MIDDLE
Sophomore infielder Marcus Mooney is hitting .278 (27-for-97) with 13 runs scored and 12 RBI. Nine of his 12 RBI this year have come with two outs.
Mooney was Carolina's top hitter vs. Stetson and Brown. Mooney hit .474 (9-for-19) vs. Stetson and Brown with a run scored and four RBI.
The Gamecocks are 22-1 on the year when allowing five runs or less in a game. Additionally, South Carolina is 12-0 when scoring six or more runs. South Carolina is 11-2 in games decided by three runs or less. The Gamecocks are 19-1 on the year when scoring first in a game and 22-2 when out-hitting the opponent.
AT THE PLATE & IN THE FIELD
South Carolina is hitting .301 (280-for-931) as a team with a .376 on-base percentage and a .420 slugging percentage. All three of those marks are among SEC leaders. The pitching staff leads the league with a 1.75 ERA. The Gamecocks have 230 strikeouts in 247.0 innings. Opponents are hitting .207 against the Gamecocks. South Carolina has fielded .977 as a team with only 23 errors.
SHUT THEM OUT
With two shutouts last week, the Gamecocks have raised the season total for shutouts to 11 on the year, just three shy of the school record 14 set in 1974.