Baseball Begins Series At Florida On Thursday Night|
First Pitch: 7:30 p.m./7 p.m./Noon
Location: Gainesville, Fla.
Stadium: McKethan Stadium
Television/Video: ESPNU/SEC Network/ESPN2 (Karl Ravech, Kyle Peterson and Chris Burke)
Radio: 107.5 The Game & The Gamecock Radio Network (Derek Scott and Tommy Moody)
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina (23-13, 8-7 SEC) heads on the road for a three-game conference series at Florida (25-12, 8-7 SEC). Thursday’s first pitch is 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU with Friday’s game at 7 p.m. on the SEC Network and Saturday’s series finale at Noon on ESPN2. All three games will also be available on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”
South Carolina is ranked in all, but one of the major polls. The Gamecocks are ranked No. 18 in the USA Today coaches poll, No. 20 by Perfect Game, No. 21 by Collegiate Baseball, No. 23 by the NCBWA and No. 24 by D1Baseball. In addition, South Carolina is No. 22 in the RPI rankings released by the NCAA on Monday morning.
Florida is ranked No. 9 by Perfect Game, No. 10 in the USA Today coaches poll, No. 12 by D1Baseball, No. 13 by the NCBWA, No. 15 by Baseball America and No. 16 by Collegiate Baseball.
South Carolina is 23-13 and 8-7 in the SEC after going 1-3 last week. The Gamecocks are tied for second in the SEC Eastern Division and tied for sixth overall in the league.
South Carolina pitchers continue to be among the league leaders in the SEC. The Gamecocks own a 3.14 team ERA with 137 runs allowed, 115 earned, on 268 hits in 329.2 innings pitched. The Gamecocks have struck out 370 batters to 124 walks. Opponents are batting .221 against the Gamecocks. South Carolina ranks second in the SEC in opposing batting average and strikeouts as well as third in ERA.
South Carolina’s 2.77 ERA in SEC games leads the conference as well. The Gamecocks have 150 strikeouts in 139.2 innings during conference play.
AT THE PLATE AND ON THE FIELD
South Carolina is hitting .271 (332-for-1224) for the season with a .354 on-base percentage and a .406 slugging percentage. The Gamecocks have 31 homers on the year. South Carolina has equaled or out-hit its opponent in 26 of 36 games this year.
South Carolina is fielding .977 for the season with 16 games without an error. South Carolina is 13-3 when not committing an error. South Carolina ranks third in the SEC in fielding.
South Carolina is 17-5 on the year when scoring first in a game and 17-4 when entering the seventh inning with a lead and 22-3 when entering the ninth inning with the lead. The Gamecocks are 14-2 when scoring six or more runs and 22-7 when allowing five runs or less. South Carolina is 11-11 in games decided by three runs or less.
10 of South Carolina’s first 15 SEC games have been decided by three runs or less with the Gamecocks 3-7 in those contests. South Carolina is 10-1 in five-plus run games.
START WITH CLARKE
Junior right-hander Clarke Schmidt put together a quality start despite the loss in Friday’s 7-4 defeat to Mississippi State. Schmidt allowed five runs, two earned, on five hits in eight innings with one walk and 11 strikeouts. He retired 19 batters in a row at one point before coming out of the game before the ninth inning.
Schmidt is 4-1 with a 1.31 ERA in eight starts. He has 68 strikeouts to 15 walks in 55.0 innings pitched. Opponents are batting .190 against him. Schmidt ranks third in the SEC in ERA and opposing batting average as well as fourth in strikeouts. Schmidt has 37 strikeouts in 29.0 conference innings with conference opponents batting .182 against him as well. His 1.55 ERA in conference play is third-best in the league as well.
Schmidt is one of 40 players in the nation named to USA Baseball’s Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List, it was announced on Wednesday afternoon. Presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, the 40th Golden Spikes Award will be presented on June 29 in Los Angeles to the top amateur baseball player in the country.
CORTES IN A GROOVE
Freshman outfielder Carlos Cortes had the big bat for the Gamecocks this weekend vs. Mississippi State hitting .333 (4-for-12) with three homers, four runs scored and five RBIs. Cortes belted a pair of homers in Saturday’s 5-4 loss and drove in four runs and followed that up with a solo homer and two runs scored in the 6-1 win on Sunday.
Cortes has climbed to a .286 (22-for-77) batting average with four homers and 17 RBI on the year. 13 of his 17 RBI this season have come in SEC play. He is hitting .361 (13-for-36) against SEC teams. His four homers in conference play is tied for sixth-most in the SEC.
THE CROWE SHOW
Junior right-hander Wil Crowe also put together a quality start despite a loss in Saturday’s 5-4 defeat to Mississippi State. Crowe allowed five runs, four earned, on seven hits in eight-plus innings with three walks and four strikeouts. Crowe is 3-3 with a 3.49 ERA in nine starts. He has 56 strikeouts in 56.2 innings with opponents batting .239 against him. Crowe is tied for 11th in the SEC in strikeouts and tied for eighth in innings pitched.
Sophomore infielder LT Tolbert continues to lead the Gamecocks in hitting with a .325 average (40-for-123) on the year. He has 16 runs scored and a team-high 27 RBIs as well. Tolbert hit .333 (4-for-12) in the Mississippi State series with three runs batted in. He was 2-for-4 with two RBIs in the 6-1 win over Mississippi State. Tolbert is hitting at a .322 clip in conference play. He has driven in 15 runs in conference play as well. That is also the most RBIs among Gamecock players vs. SEC teams and ranks tied for fifth in the SEC.
HILL ON THE MOUND
Sophomore right-hander Adam Hill delivered South Carolina’s third quality start of the weekend in the 6-1 victory vs. Mississippi State. Hill allowed just one run on four hits in six innings with four walks to seven strikeouts. Hill is 2-3 with a 2.14 ERA in eight starts. He has struck out 55 in 46. 1innings with opponents batting .199 against him. Hill is seventh in the SEC in opposing batting average as well as ERA and tied for 13th in strikeouts. Hill sports a 2-1 record with a 2.48 ERA in conference play. He has 35 strikeouts in SEC play in 29.0 innings pitched. His 2.48 ERA in conference play is ninth best in the league.
CATCHING UP WITH CULLEN
Sophomore catcher Chris Cullen is third on the team in hitting with a .300 average (27-for-90) with a team-best .406 on-base percentage. Cullen’s .325 average (13-for-40) in SEC play is the best among the Gamecocks in conference action as well. He was 2-for-4 with a run in the 7-4 loss vs. Mississippi State. He hit .333 (4-for-12) in the weekend series vs. the Bulldogs.
REAGAN FROM THE LEFT
Senior left-hander Josh Reagan pitched two scoreless innings of relief with a strikeout to earn the win in the 6-1 victory vs. Mississippi State. Reagan is 4-1 on the year in 16 relief appearances with two saves. He has a 2.43 ERA. Reagan has struck out 31 to seven walks and has pitched 29.2 innings for the season. Three of Reagan’s four wins are in the SEC, that is tied for third-best among conference pitchers.
Junior outfielder Alex Destino had a season-high three-hit performance with a run scored in Friday’s 7-4 loss to Mississippi State. Destino is batting .261 (36-for-138) with 21 runs scored and 25 RBIs.
BOWERS BRINGS IT
Senior right-hander Colie Bowers won in relief in Tuesday’s contest vs. Davidson. He is 3-0 with three saves in 15 relief appearances with a 0.74 ERA. He has 28 strikeouts in 24.1 innings pitched with opponents batting .134 against him. He has allowed just four runs, two earned, on 11 hits with only one extra base hit allowed all season.
OLSON PROVIDES A SPARK
Sophomore outfielder Jacob Olson has reached base in 24 straight games. He hit .333 (4-for-12) in the Mississippi State series including a 2-for-4 game with two runs scored in Saturday’s 5-4 loss to the Bulldogs. For the season, Olson is batting .308 (40-for-130) with 20 RBIs and 28 runs scored. He has six doubles, a triple and five homers with a .375 on-base percentage and a .485 slugging percentage.
TJ LEADS IT OFF
Sophomore outfielder TJ Hopkins was 2-for-4 in Saturday’s 5-4 loss to Mississippi State and had a three-hit performance in Tuesday’s contest vs. North Carolina. Hopkins is batting .276 (32-for-116) with 14 RBIs and 25 runs scored.
THE VERSATILE LAWSON
Sophomore right-hander Graham Lawson pitched 1.1 scoreless innings of relief with three strikeouts in the 7-6 loss to the Commodores. Lawson has 14 strikeouts in 16.2 innings with opponents batting .226 against him. He is 2-0 on the year.
JONAH WITH A JOLT
Junior infielder Jonah Bride went 2-for-4 with a game-winning RBI double on Tuesday vs. Davidson. He also had a game-winning RBI sacrifice fly in Sunday’s 6-1 win over Mississippi State. Bride is hitting .291 (35-for-127) with 17 runs scored and 19 RBIs. He owns a .383 on-base percentage with 14 walks to 12 strikeouts at the plate.
Freshman right-hander Colby Lee pitched 3.1 scoreless innings of relief in the 6-1 win vs. Furman and followed that up with 0.2 scoreless in the 5-3 loss to Vanderbilt. Lee is 1-0 with a 2.30 ERA in eight appearances. He has 14 strikeouts in 15.2 innings with opponents batting .207 against him.
STOKES HEATS UP
Junior infielder Madison Stokes is starting to heat up. Stokes tied a career-high with three RBIs and added a RBI in the 6-1 win over the Bulldogs. Stokes is hitting .227 (27-for-119) for the season with 13 RBIs, 16 runs scored with six doubles and three homers.
Senior right-hander Reed Scott has made 15 relief appearances and has moved into ninth all-time in career appearances with the Gamecocks with 80 with the Garnet & Black. He is 1-2 with a 3.66 ERA and two saves. He has allowed 14 runs, 13 earned, on 29 hits in 32.0 innings with 12 walks and 29 strikeouts.
ON BASE WITH WILLIAMS
Junior first baseman Matt Williams owns a team-high 23 walks. Williams has played in all 36 games with 30 starts. He is hitting .262 (28-for-107) for the season.
JOHNSON BRINGS THE HEAT
Junior right-hander Tyler Johnson pitched a perfect inning of relief with two strikeouts in the 6-1 win over Mississippi State and followed that up with a scoreless inning of relief with three strikeouts for his fifth save of the year in the 3-2 win vs. Davidson. Johnson has struck out 18 in 9.2 innings pitched in eight relief appearances on the year.
THERE’S Hunter Taylor
Junior catcher Hunter Taylor is hitting .245 (13-for-53) with seven runs scored and three RBI as well as four doubles and a .339 on-base percentage.
Freshman first baseman Riley Hogan got the start at designated hitter and delivered for the Gamecocks in a 4-2 win vs. Alabama going 2-for-3 with a RBI double and reaching base in three of four plate appearances. Hogan is hitting .208 (5-for-24) with two runs scored and two RBI.
ROW WITH IT
Junior infielder Justin Row hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning as Carolina defeated Alabama 6-5. Row is hitting .250 (7-for-28) with four RBI and five runs scored.
THE MORRIS CODE
Freshman right-hander Cody Morris is 2-1 with a 3.43 ERA in six starts. He has 27 strikeouts to four walks in 21.0 innings with opponents batting .215 against him.
PARKE PROVIDES RELIEF
Junior left-hander John Parke has a win and a save in two his last four relief appearances. Parke has struck out nine in 7.2 innings.
Freshman right-hander Sawyer Bridges pitched a scoreless inning of relief with a strikeout in the 15-1 win over The Citadel. Bridges has 11 strikeouts in eight innings in seven appearances for the Gamecocks.
Sophomore outfielder Danny Blair was 1-for-2 with a RBI and a run scored in the 4-2 win over Alabama on Sunday. He has four stolen bases on the year and a .346 on-base percentage. Blair has played in 32 games with 19 starts.
SOUTH CAROLINA 2017 HONOR ROLL