SEC Eastern Division Leaders Meet As Baseball Hosts Florida This Weekend

April 10, 2014



South Carolina-Florida Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader


GAMECOCK BASEBALL
Joey Pankake
Grayson Greiner

COLUMBIA, S.C. - SEC Eastern Division leaders meet this weekend at Carolina Stadium as South Carolina (27-5, 7-5 SEC) hosts Florida (21-12, 7-5 SEC) for a three-game series. First pitch for the opener on Friday is 7 p.m. with Saturday's contest at 4 p.m. and Sunday's series finale scheduled for 1:30 p.m. All three games 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.

Saturday's game is sold out with limited standing room only tickets available for Friday and Sunday.

South Carolina is ranked No. 4 by Collegiate Baseball the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll and the NCBWA as well as No. 5 by Baseball America and Perfect Game. Florida is ranked No. 13 by Collegiate Baseball, No. 15 by Baseball America, No. 24 by the NCBWA and No. 25 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll.

LIVE COVERAGE
Radio: Gamecock IMG Radio Network; Flagship 107.5 FM The Game. Andy Demetra and Tommy Moody call the action.

Streaming Video: Live Video

Internet: Additional coverage on Twitter @GamecockBasebll and Facebook/Gamecocksonline

Twitter LogoFollow @GamecockBasebll on Twitter

Live Stats

Friday Gametracker

Saturday Gametracker

Sunday Gametracker

PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
Friday

South Carolina - Jordan Montgomery (Jr. LHP) 4-2, 3.83 ERA, 44.2 IP, 17 BB, 47 SO
Florida - Logan Shore (Fr. RHP) 3-1, 1.15 ERA, 47.0 IP, 10 BB, 31 SO

Saturday
South Carolina - Jack Wynkoop (So. LHP) 5-2, 2.49 ERA, 47.0 IP, 7 BB, 41 SO
Florida - Aaron Rhodes (So. RHP) 3-2, 2.48 ERA, 32.2 IP, 10 BB, 35 SO

Sunday
South Carolina - Wil Crowe (Jr. RHP) 6-1, 2.08 ERA, 47.2 IP, 9 BB, 29 SO
Florida - TBA

GAMECOCKS & GATORS
The South Carolina-Florida series has provided many exciting moments throughout the years. The Gamecocks lead the overall series history 42-35 heading into the weekend. Florida won all three games in Gainesville with a pair of one-run victories. The Gators took two of three in the 2012 series in Columbia with the Gamecocks also getting a win in Omaha at the 2012 College World Series. Carolina won two of three games in Gainesville in 2011 and won both games at the 2011 College World Series on the way to a second national championship.

A LOOK BACK
South Carolina belted out 14 hits including a three-run homer by Kyle Martin on the way to a 9-2 victory vs. Furman on Tuesday evening in non-conference action at Fluor Field.

Freshman right-hander Taylor Widener earned the win in relief for Carolina and is 2-0 on the year. He pitched 4.2 scoreless innings with just one hit allowed and one walk while striking out four batters. Both the strikeout total and innings pitched were career-highs. Furman starter Ryan Dittmar suffered the loss and is now 0-2 on the year. He allowed seven runs, six earned on nine hits in three innings.

South Carolina broke ahead 3-0 in the first inning. Joey Pankake led off with an infield single and after a sacrifice bunt from Marcus Mooney would score on Max Schrock's one-out RBI base hit up the middle. A failed pickoff, wild pitch and a walk to Grayson Greiner would give the Gamecocks runners on the corners. Kyle Martin would drive in Schrock with a base hit to left field and Carolina took an advantage of a fielding error by Furman shortstop Hunter Burton to score Greiner for the third run of the inning. The three-run first inning marked the most runs by the Gamecocks in the first inning in a game this year.

Furman cut the Gamecocks' lead to a run in the bottom of the second inning. Jake Jones led off with a single and Jordan Simpson walked to give the Paladins a pair of runners. After a sacrifice moved both into scoring position, Andrew MacLatchie drove a two-run single into left field.

Carolina answered with four more runs in the third to increase the lead to 7-2. Martin's homer would highlight the frame. A one-out double by Schrock followed by a base hit by Greiner set the stage for Martin. On a 0-1 pitch, Martin crushed his fourth homer of the year into right-center. The Gamecocks scored one more in the frame as Elliott Caldwell knocked in Connor Bright with a two-out single.

The Gamecocks made it 9-2 in the seventh inning. Marcus Mooney reached with a leadoff base hit and scored on a fielding error by Burton at shortstop. Bright added a two-out RBI single as well.

All nine Gamecock starters reached base with eight of the nine tallying at least one hit. Martin was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBI, tying a career-high he set last year vs. Liberty in the NCAA Regional. Mooney was 3-for-4 as well with a run scored. The three hits were a career-high as well. Bright and Schrock went 2-for-4 as well. The Gamecocks were solid defensively as well recording a season-high four double plays in the field.

PANKAKE WARMING UP
Junior infielder Joey Pankake's season-high hitting streak ended at 16 games at Arkansas. Despite it being snapped, Pankake is hitting .325 (37-for-114) with a team-high 33 runs scored, three homers and 18 RBI. Pankake has a .407 on-base percentage and a .447 slugging percentage. He has 13 walks to 113 strikeouts. Pankake's .362 average (17-for-47) in SEC games leads the team. Pankake led off on Tuesday vs. Furman for the first time this year.

CARDIAC GAMECOCKS
The Gamecocks have won five games this season when trailing entering the seventh inning including three wins when trailing entering the ninth inning.

Most recently the Gamecocks rallied for two runs in the top of the eighth inning to pick up a 2-1 comeback victory at Arkansas on April 4, 2014. Trailing 1-0 entering the top of the eighth inning, the Gamecocks broke through as DC Arendas got things started with a one-out double to the gap in right-center. He would score in the next at bat as Tanner English knocked a RBI double down the left field line. With two outs and English still on second base, Marcus Mooney hit a RBI single into right field giving the Gamecocks the lead.

South Carolina is outscoring opponents 62-8 from the seventh inning through extra innings on the year. From the sixth inning to the end, South Carolina is also outscoring opponents 92-19.

NINTH INNING RALLY
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.

On March 29, 2014, 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.

MONTGOMERY GETS IT STARTED
Junior left-hander Jordan Montgomery improved to 4-2 with a victory in Friday's 2-1 win over Arkansas. He pitched seven-plus innings and allowed one run on four hits with three walks and nine strikeouts. His nine strikeouts tied a season high he set vs. Clemson on February 28. Montgomery has 47 strikeouts in 44.2 innings pitched, a team-high. Opponents are hitting .249 against him. He owns a 3.83 ERA on the year.

SEDDON SEALS IT
Junior right-hander Joel Seddon is now 8-for-8 in save opportunities this year after a perfect ninth inning in the 2-1 victory. Seddon has not allowed a run in 13 relief appearances with just four hits and three walks in 17.0 innings pitched. He has 25 strikeouts with opponents hitting .073 against him.

MINCEY WITH AN APPEARANCE
Junior right-hander Cody Mincey had a scoreless inning of relief in the 2-1 win over Arkansas. Mincey is 2-0 with a 0.42 ERA in 21.1 innings with a team-high 16 relief appearances. He has 31 strikeouts with opponents batting .132 against him. He has allowed just one run on nine hits this year.

K-MART
Junior first baseman Kyle Martin had a three-run homer and tied a career-high with four RBI in the 9-2 win at Furman on Tuesday. He is hitting .333 (40-for-120) with 24 runs scored, five doubles, four homers and 19 RBI. He has a team-high 15 walks. He has played a strong first base with one throwing error and a .996 fielding percentage.

GREINER SHINES
Junior catcher Grayson Greiner was named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List for the top catcher in college baseball.

Greiner was named SEC Player of the Week on March 31 after his play in the Tennessee series. 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.

Greiner is hitting .327 (34-for-104) for the season with 23 runs scored, five doubles, four homers and 30 RBI. He has a .405 on-base percentage and a .490 slugging mark.

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 has been very effective in nine appearances with eight starts this year. Wynkoop is 5-2 with a 2.49 ERA in 47.0 innings. He has 41 strikeouts and just seven walks. Wynkoop also leads the Gamecocks with four pickoffs, that mark is tied for the league lead.

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.

CROWE MAKES AN IMPACT
Freshman right-hander Wil Crowe is among league leaders with a 6-1 record and a 2.08 ERA in 47.2 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting only .231 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.

A BRIGHT SPOT
Junior outfielder Connor Bright is the Gamecocks' leading hitter with a .355 average (44-for-124) with 10 doubles, 23 RBI and 24 runs scored. Bright has a .3969 on-base percentage and a .435 slugging percentage. He owns a team-best 13 multi-hit games

GREAT SCOTT
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 vs. Tennessee.

Scott is 1-0 with a 0.95 ERA on the year. He has allowed just two runs on 10 hits in 19.0 innings, opponents hitting .161 against him.

MOONEY IN THE MIDDLE
Sophomore infielder Marcus Mooney recorded a game-winning two-out RBI single in the top of the eighth inning of the 2-1 victory vs. Arkansas. He added a career-high three hits in Tuesday's 9-2 win over Furman. Mooney now has 10 of his 13 RBI with two outs this year.

Mooney is hitting .296 (34-for-115) this season with 14 runs scored, six doubles and a triple. He has 14 walks as well.

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.

A LITTLE BIT OF ENGLISH
Junior outfielder Tanner English was 2-for-3 with a run scored and a RBI double in the 2-1 win at Arkansas. English is batting .292 (31-for-106) with 14 runs scored and 18 RBI. English's six stolen bases lead the team.

VINNY
Junior left-hander Vince Fiori earned the win on Tuesday vs. Appalachian State with 1.1 scoreless innings of relief. Fiori is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 14.1 innings with 14 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .189 against him.

DYNAMIC DC
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 15 runs this year. He is hitting .247 (21-for-85).

CALDWELL
Junior outfielder Elliott Caldwell has played 30 games with 27 starts and is hitting .281 (27-for-96).

His top weekend was vs. Tennessee as he hit .462 (6-for-13) in the series. Caldwell went 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and two RBI in the 8-0 win over the Volunteers.

WIDENER SHOWS VERSATILITY
Freshman right-hander Taylor Widener improved to 2-0 with the win vs. Furman on Tuesday.

Widener is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 10 appearances. He has 17 strikeouts to five walks in 20.2 innings pitched. Widener has also seen action in seven games at the plate with three starts as designated hitter.

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.

Schrock has a team-high five homers and 14 RBI.

STARTERS

Three Gamecock players have started all 32 games this year, junior right fielder Connor Bright, junior first baseman Kyle Martin and junior center fielder Tanner English.

SOME SUPERLATIVES
The Gamecocks are 25-2 on the year when allowing five runs or less in a game. Additionally, South Carolina is 13-0 when scoring six or more runs. South Carolina is 13-3 in games decided by three runs or less. The Gamecocks are 21-1 on the year when scoring first in a game and 25-2 when out-hitting the opponent.

AT THE PLATE, ON THE MOUND & IN THE FIELD
South Carolina's pitching staff owns a 1.80 ERA in 290.0 innings pitched. The Gamecocks have allowed 74 runs, 58 earned, on 214 hits with 270 strikeouts to 82 walks. Opponents own a .206 batting average. The Gamecocks are hitting .292 (319-for-1094) with a .363 on-base percentage and a .399 slugging mark. South Carolina is fielding .975 for the season.

SHUT THEM OUT
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.

HOME SWEET HOME
South Carolina has three sellouts this year and 33 in school history at Carolina Stadium. South Carolina has totaled 170,389 in attendance in the first 23 home games for an average of 7,408 per contest.

South Carolina is 177-33 in all-time games at Carolina Stadium, a winning percentage of .843. That is the best winning percentage of all 14 SEC schools since opening the facility.