Head Coach Chad Holbrook Opening Statement... This is obviously a very important weekend for us, a critical road series against a Tennessee team that lost three games against Vanderbilt last weekend, but they had a chance to win them all. I think Vanderbilt has separated themselves a little bit, in regards to them and LSU, maybe being two of the more elite teams in our league. We know we're going to have our hands full playing at their place. It's a heck of challenge for us, and coming off the loss last night our kids our anxious to get back on the field. We know we are going to have to play well to win the series and hopefully we will.
The Last Meeting
April 8, 2012
Gamecocks Take Series With 6-1 Win Over Tennessee
South Carolina junior right-hander Colby Holmes allowed just one run on four hits in a season-high seven innings and the 10th ranked Gamecocks batted around for four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning on the way to a 6-1 victory over Tennessee to clinch a weekend series at Carolina Stadium. South Carolina is now 23-9 on the year with a 5-7 record in the SEC. The loss drops Tennessee to 20-12 and 6-6 in league play.
On Pitching Rotation... (Nolan) Belcher will throw Friday, (Evan) Beal will throw Saturday, and we're going to go play catch when we get up there, but if Jordan (Montgomery) feels good we'll give him the ball, if not then we'll look at who we didn't use on Friday and Saturday, but (Jack) Wynkoop, (Colby) Holmes, (Adam) Westmoreland, those guys.
On Tennessee's Potential Threat... Well I think our kids know how important this weekend is, that doesn't guarantee us that we're going to win. They (Tennessee) got swept by Vanderbilt, and we think we're a pretty good team and we got swept. So it does happen, especially in this league. They're a team, that if we don't play well playing on the road then we're not going to win and we have to play with an incredible sense of urgency, and heighted awareness all weekend. It's very, very important this weekend to our team and to the rest of our season. I hate to put an emphasis and say `hey, we're at a cross roads', I don't think it's to that point, but we need to play well. We need to have a heighted sense of urgency playing this weekend and play extremely hard, and extremely well for 27 innings.
On Tennessee's Pitching Staff... Well it looks like they have changed up their rotation a little bit. The guy they had throwing for them Friday night we are very familiar with. He pitched at Spartanburg Methodist, Zack Godley, he's sucked up a lot of innings for them and thrown a lot of pitches, and just done well. His numbers are very, very good. Looks like he is going to throw on Sunday. I don't know much about the other guys, other than what I've seen on tape, and what I've seen on a stat sheet. Pitchability guys, I know this, if you're a pitcher and you pitch for Dave Serrano you've been taught well. And you're going to throw strikes, and hold runners, and be able to throw your off-speed pitches for strikes. I mean, he isn't going to put somebody out there that can't do those things. The Williams kid that will throw against us Saturday has a great arm. He's pitched well against us here in the past, here at Carolina Stadium. So, it's an SEC team, and it's a team that's got some really good players. Their leadoff hitter is a special player. They've got a number of guys that we tried to recruit too. So, we're very familiar with their players, and they're very familiar with our guys and it comes down to who pitches, who plays defense and get timely hits. Hopefully we will excel in those three areas this weekend, we'll need to.
On Tanner English and TJ Costen... Costen will not make the trip, Tanner will start in center field for us tomorrow.
On TJ Costen's Shoulder... Very good news, as far as the rest of his season is concerned. He had a sublex last night, the shoulder it popped out of joint. Sometimes those can be 3-5 weeks type deals, but it popped back in so quickly. His strength test, all his tests they put him through this morning were very encouraging. It might be a 3-5 day deal with him. We'll see he'll have to swing the bat some Monday and Tuesday if he's able, if he can tolerate the soreness. We're hopeful he won't be out but this weekend.