FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. -
South Carolina (25-3, 6-3 SEC) continues conference play this week with a three-game series at Arkansas (18-11, 4-5 SEC). First pitch for the opener on Thursday is 8 p.m. ET with the game televised live on ESPNU. Game two of the series is Friday at 7:35 p.m. ET. Saturday's series finale will be televised on Cox Sports Television and is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. All three games can also be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, "The Game."
South Carolina is ranked No. 1 by Collegiate Baseball, No. 2 by Baseball America and the NCBWA 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.
Television: Thursday - ESPNU (Dave Neal, Kyle Peterson & Chris Burke); Saturday - Cox Sports Television
Internet: Additional coverage on Twitter @GamecockBasebll and Facebook/Gamecocksonline
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
South Carolina - Jordan Montgomery (Jr. LHP) 3-2, 4.30 ERA, 37.2 IP, 14 BB, 38 SO
Arkansas - Trey Killian (So. RHP) 1-4, 2.78 ERA, 32.1 IP, 4 BB, 17 SO
South Carolina - Jack Wynkoop (So. LHP) 5-1, 2.66 ERA, 40.2 IP, 5 BB, 37 SO
Arkansas - Jalen Beeks (Jr. LHP) 4-2, 1.27 ERA, 42.2 IP, 12 BB, 31 SO
South Carolina - Wil Crowe 6-0, 1.37 ERA, 46.0 IP, 6 BB, 28 SO
Arkansas - Chris Oliver (Jr. RHP) 2-3, 2.41 ERA, 37.1 IP, 9 BB, 25 SO
A LOOK BACK Grayson Greiner's one-out walk-off pinch-hit single in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted top-ranked South Carolina to a 2-1 victory over Appalachian State on Tuesday night.
Left-handed pitcher Vince Fiori worked 1.1 hitless innings of relief to pick up his first win of the season. He is 1-0 on the year. Appalachian State starter Taylor Thurber suffered the loss and is now 0-3 for the season. He allowed a run on three hits in 2.1 innings.
After three scoreless innings, the Gamecocks took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. With his second hit in as many at bats, Joey Pankake singled up the middle, stole second and scored on Connor Bright's RBI single.
South Carolina starter Evan Beal hurled 5.1 scoreless innings allowing just
two hits and striking out three batters.
The Mountaineers capitalized on a South Carolina error in the top of the sixth to even the score at 1-1. With two outs, Gamecock reliever Josh Reagan hit Preston Troutman with a pitch and then overthrew an attempted pickoff, which allowed Troutman to advance to third. Jaylin Davis followed with a base hit to left field to bring Troutman home.
It remained that way until the ninth inning when Connor Bright opened the frame with a single up the middle and advanced to second on pinch hitter Jordan Gore's sacrifice bunt. With a runner in scoring position, Greiner stepped up to the plate. After working the count full, he hammered a 3-2 pitch to left field allowing Bright to score and sealing the Gamecocks' victory.
Carolina's nine-hit evening included a 3-for-4 game for Bright. Pankake went 2-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to 16 games. Jaylin Davis led App State with two hits.
PANKAKE WARMING UP
Junior infielder Joey Pankake owns a 16-game hitting streak. 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 .354 average (35-for-99) with 18 RBI and 31 runs scored. Pankake averages 1.19 runs per game. He owns a .432 on-base percentage and a .495 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 12 multi-hit games.
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.
The Gamecocks have rallied three times this season from late deficits and are 4-3 when entering the seventh inning trailing.
South Carolina rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the top of the ninth with four runs in a 5-3 win at Clemson on March 2, 2014. Four consecutive two-out hits in the top of the ninth inning led to four runs. Trailing 3-1 entering the top of the ninth inning, the Gamecocks got things started with a base hit up the middle of the bat of Kyle Martin. With two outs and Martin still on first base, Grayson Greiner kept the inning alive with a single up the middle as well. Pinch hitter Brison Celek fought to a 2-2 count against Clemson reliever Clate Schmidt before knocking a base hit into left field to load the bases. That set the stage for sophomore shortstop Marcus Mooney, who jumped on the first pitch from Schmidt for a single into center field. Martin scored as did Greiner to tie the game. It was a tight play at the plate as center fielder Tyler Slaton's throw made it to home plate, but Clemson catcher Chris Okey was unable to hold on to the ball on a tag attempt as Greiner was sliding in for the tying run. With runners on second and third, Tanner English fought off a pair of two strike pitches and then belted a double to left field scoring both runners and giving the Gamecocks a two-run lead. Junior right-hander Cody Mincey retired all three Tiger batters he faced in the bottom of the ninth inning to secure the Carolina victory.
On March 15, 2014, the Gamecocks rallied from three runs down with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat Ole Miss 5-4 in 10 innings. A two-out RBI single by Connor Bright and a two-run homer by pinch hitter Max Schrock tied it in the ninth with pinch hitter Brison Celek winning it for the Gamecocks in the 10th frame with a RBI single.
Last week, Grayson Greiner's walk-off grand slam capped a six-run bottom of the ninth inning as South Carolina rallied from three runs down with two outs and no runners on base to defeat Tennessee 9-6 for a second consecutive walk-off win on the afternoon.
Trailing 6-3 and down to its final at-bat the Gamecocks made their final rally push as pinch hitter Brison Celek kept the inning alive with a base hit to center field. The rally then continued with Max Schrock as the sophomore drove a 1-1 pitch to right field from reliever Josh Peterson just fair of the foul pole in right field for a home run cutting the deficit to one run. After the Volunteers made a change to left-hander Drake Owenby, the Gamecocks stayed alive as a fly ball off the bat of Joey Pankake was mishandled by right fielder Scott Price putting the tying run on second base. Kyle Martin drew a walk and Connor Bright was hit on a 2-2 pitch from Owenby to load the bases and set the stage for Greiner. Tennessee would make one more change as right-hander Peter Lenstrom entered from the bullpen. On a 1-0 pitch, Greiner belted the game-winning homer to left field setting off a frenzy in Carolina Stadium. It was Greiner's fourth home run of the season.
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.
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 .363 average (33-for-91) is second best on the team. He leads the Gamecocks with a .549 slugging percentage and 30 RBI. His 30 RBI is among 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 had reached base in 15 straight games before going 0-for-4 on Tuesday night. Martin went 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored in the 9-6 win over Tennessee. He is hitting .327 (35-for-107) with 15 RBI and 22 runs scored. Martin has a .395 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 .305 (25-for-82). 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 .290 (27-for-93) with 13 runs scored and 17 RBI.
Junior left-hander Vince Fiori has not allowed an earned run this season. Fiori has made 10 appearances with 13.0 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting .188 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 .370 average (40-for-108) with 10 doubles, 20 RBI and 23 runs scored. Bright has a .418 on-base percentage and a .462 slugging percentage. Bright went 2-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored in Sunday's 8-3 win over Kentucky. He has 12 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 eight appearances. He has 12 strikeouts to four walks in 14.1 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.
REAGAN SUPPLIES RELIEF
Freshman left-hander Josh Reagan was effective in relief of Taylor Widener vs. College of Charleston. He is 3-0 on the year with a 0.55 ERA in seven appearances. Reagan has 16 strikeouts in 16.1 innings pitched.
MOONEY IN THE MIDDLE
Sophomore infielder Marcus Mooney is hitting .280 (28-for-100) 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 23-1 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 12-2 in games decided by three runs or less. The Gamecocks are 20-1 on the year when scoring first in a game and 23-2 when out-hitting the opponent.
AT THE PLATE & IN THE FIELD
South Carolina is hitting .301 (289-for-961) as a team with a .375 on-base percentage and a .416 slugging percentage. All three of those marks are among SEC leaders. The pitching staff leads the league with a 1.69 ERA. The Gamecocks have 238 strikeouts in 256.0 innings. Opponents are hitting .205 against the Gamecocks. South Carolina has fielded .977 as a team with only 24 errors.