Columbia, S.C. -
South Carolina (31-10) heads to Shelby, N.C. on Tuesday night for a non-conference tilt vs. Gardner-Webb (20-19-1). First pitch at Keeter Stadium is set for 6 p.m. The game can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station, 107.5 FM, "The Game." Live audio broadcast is available on the GamecocksOnline All Access Channel as well.
LIVE COVERAGE Radio: Gamecock Radio Network affiliates/Flagship WNKT FM 107.5 "The Game" in Columbia. Andy Demetra and Tommy Moody will call the action. Television: None Internet: Additional coverage on Twitter @GamecockBasebll
South Carolina - Colby Holmes (Sr. RHP) 4-2, 4.61 ERA, 41.0 IP, 15 BB, 33 SO
GWU - Hunter Smith (Fr. RHP) 1-0, 2.35 ERA, 15.1 IP, 4 BB, 8 SO
South Carolina is 2-0 vs. Gardner-Webb on the baseball diamond. Carolina won 6-3 in 1973 as well as 11-1 in 2003. Head coach Chad Holbrook has ties to Gardner-Webb. Coach Holbrook's father Eddie was the head coach of the men's basketball team for the Runnin' Bulldogs in the 1960's and 1970's.
A LOOK BACK
South Carolina won all four games this past week with a non-conference win vs. the College of Charleston and a weekend sweep of Kentucky. The Gamecocks are 31-10 on the year with an 11-7 record in the SEC. South Carolina is in second place in the SEC Eastern Division and tied for third place overall in the conference standings.
Jack Wynkoop NAMED SEC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
South Carolina freshman left-hander Jack Wynkoop was named SEC Freshman of the Week as announced by the conference office on Monday afternoon. Wynkoop hurled a career-high eight innings to pick up his fifth win of the season in the 3-1 win over Kentucky on Sunday.
In only his third start vs. a SEC team, Wynkoop scattered nine hits and allowed just one run, unearned, while not walking a batter and striking out three. Wynkoop is 5-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 12 appearances.
He is the fourth Gamecock to be honored by the SEC.
Gamecock Honorees in 2013 by the Southeastern Conference
Week 2 - LB Dantzler (SEC Player of the Week)
Week 4 - Joey Pankake (SEC Player of the Week)
Week 8 - Max Schrock (SEC Freshman of the Week)
Week 10 - Jack Wynkoop (SEC Freshman of the Week)
Tyler Webb MAKES HIS MARK
Senior left-hander Tyler Webb returned to the mound after resting last week with a tender arm. Webb factored in two of the wins over Kentucky as he picked up the victory in the 7-6 win and followed that up with a save in the 3-1 series finale. Webb worked three scoreless innings with just one hit allowed and four strikeouts in the 7-6 win. He followed that up with a shutout inning on Sunday. Webb is 2-1 on the year with a 0.64 ERA as well as 12 saves in 19 relief appearances. He has 42 strikeouts to just seven walks in 28.0 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting just .165 against him. Webb is up to 97 career appearances and is five short of the school record of 102 set by Matt Price (2009-12).
He has pitched in relief in 85 of those appearances, with 68 relief appearances without allowing a run (80.0 percent). In career relief appearances he is 10-2 with 15 saves.
The Gamecocks had a balanced attack on the offensive side in the Kentucky series with seven different Gamecock players driving in at least one run as well as seven different players scoring at least one run. South Carolina hit .318 (35-for-110) for the weekend with a .372 on-base percentage. On the mound, the Gamecocks were solid as well with a 2.17 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 29 innings pitched.
DANTZLER AT THE BAT
Senior first baseman LB Dantzler homered in both the 5-2 and 3-1 victories against Kentucky. He is the team's leading hitter with a .331 average (48-for-145) with 12 homers and 42 RBI. Dantzler ranks among the league leaders in the SEC in many categories including third in home runs (12), third in slugging percentage (.669), fourth in walks (28), fourth in total bases (97), tied for fourth in runs batted in (42), tied for fifth in doubles (11), and ninth in on-base percentage (.444).
Dantzler was named SEC Player of the Week after the Albany series when he went 9-for-13 (.692) at the plate with two doubles, two homers, six runs scored and 10 RBI. He had 17 total bases for the weekend with a .733 on-base percentage as well as a 1.308 slugging percentage. In an 8-3 win, Dantzler tallied a career-high four hits and career-high five RBI with a home run. He followed that up with a 2-for-4 game with three runs and four RBI in the 14-1 win and closed out the weekend 3-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI in the 6-4 victory.
Dantzler is the University of South Carolina's male nominee for the 2012-13 SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
DOUBLE PLAY COMBO EXCELS
Sophomore shortstop Joey Pankake hit .500 (7-for-14) against Kentucky with a homer, a pair of RBI and three runs scored. He went 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored in the 3-1 win in the series finale. The day before he had three hits in the 7-6 win and opened the series with a homer and two hits in the 5-2 win over the Wildcats. He also went 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBI in the 10-6 win over College of Charleston. Pankake is up to a .311 average (47-for-151) for the season eight homers and 30 RBI as well.
Pankake and freshman second baseman Max Schrock are tied for the team lead with 13 multi-hit games. Schrock also hit .500 for the weekend (5-for-10) with three runs scored and a pair of RBI. Schrock went 2-for-5 with a homer and two runs scored in the 7-6 win over the Wildcats. Schrock is hitting .277 (39-for-141) with 30 runs scored and 30 RBI. He has seven doubles, two triples and four homers and leads the team with 12 stolen bases.
BELCHER BRINGS IT
Senior left-hander Nolan Belcher improved to 6-3 with a win in the 5-2 victory over Kentucky. Belcher allowed two runs on six hits in 7.2 innings with no walks and six strikeouts.
He has a 1.70 ERA in 74.0 innings with 61 strikeouts and just five walks. Opponents are hitting only .218 against him. Belcher is second in the league in innings pitched (74.0), fifth in earned run average (1.70), sixth in strikeouts (61), tied for eighth in wins (6) and 11th in opposing batting average (.218).
Belcher pitched the first complete game shutout of his career in the 8-0 victory vs. Clemson. Belcher allowed just three hits and no walks while striking out seven batters in the win. Only one base runner reached third base the entire game for the Tigers. It is the first complete game shutout by a Gamecock pitcher since Sam Dyson on May 15, 2010 in a 5-0 win at Arkansas. Belcher's complete game shutout was also the first by a Gamecock pitcher in the Clemson series since May 4, 1986 when Rodney Richey hurled a four-hit complete game shutout in a 5-0 victory vs. the Tigers at Sarge Frye Field.
WESTMORELAND EFFECTIVE IN RELIEF
Senior left-hander Adam Westmoreland tallied his third save of the year with 1.1 scoreless innings in the 5-2 win over UK. Westmoreland yielded just one hit and struck out two batters. He is 4-1 with a 1.81 ERA in 44.2 innings with 44 strikeouts to six walks. Opponents are hitting .200 against him.
GREINER A CANDIDATE FOR THE JOHNNY BENCH AWARD
South Carolina sophomore catcher Grayson Greiner is one of 48 catchers to be named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List as announced by the Greater Wichita Sports Commission and presented by BaseballSavings.com.
Greiner caught all 29 innings this past weekend and was instrumental in all three victories with his top play behind the plate. Greiner was 2-for-5 with two runs scored and a RBI in the 7-6 win. He is hitting .301 (37-for-123) with 18 runs scored and 26 RBI. Greiner leads the Gamecocks in SEC play with a .339 average (20-for-59)
The watch list will be narrowed down to the semifinalists, whom will be announced May 16, 2013. Ballots will be sent to the national voting panel at the end of May for a vote to determine the three finalists. The finalists will be announced June 4, 2013. A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series. All finalists will be brought to Wichita and the winner will be announced at the 15th Annual Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 27, 2013.
Junior designated hitter Brison Celek is riding a nine-game hitting streak, the longest of his career. Celek had the game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning in the 7-6 win over the Wildcats.
He is hitting .308 (16-for-52) with nine runs scored and 11 RBI. His on-base percentage is .446 as well.
GAMECOCKS IN THE RANKINGS
South Carolina is ranked for the ninth consecutive week this season. The Gamecocks are No. 10 in the USA Today coaches' poll, No. 15 by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.
WELCOME BACK JORDAN
Sophomore left-hander Jordan Montgomery made his first start at Carolina Stadium in the 7-6 win over Kentucky in almost two months. His last start at home previously was February 22 vs. Albany. Montgomery allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits in 5.2 innings with seven strikeouts in a no-decision vs. the Wildcats. Montgomery is 3-0 with a 1.14 ERA in 31.2 innings. He has 30 strikeouts.
SAIKO LEADS IT OFF
Junior outfielder Graham Saiko had a career-high four hits including his first career homer, drove in two runs and added three runs scored in the 10-6 win over College of Charleston. Saiko owns a .280 average (35-for-125) with 24 runs scored. He has a .394 on-base percentage with 26 walks to 11 strikeouts.
A BRIGHT SPOT
Sophomore outfielder Connor Bright is one of the team's top hitters with a .325 average (39-for-120) with five doubles, a triple, four homers and 13 RBI. Bright homered and doubled and tied a career-high with three RBI in the 10-6 win over College of Charleston.
ON BASE WITH CHASE
Senior third baseman Chase Vergason continues to be steady in the lineup with a .282 average (40-for-142) with 28 runs scored and a .391 on-base percentage. Vergason had at least one hit in all three games vs. Kentucky. He also leads the team with 10 hit by pitches.
Vergason hit .400 (6-for-15) in the Tennessee series with four runs scored, a triple and a home run as well as four RBI. He went 2-for-5 with his first career triple, two runs and two RBI in the 19-2 win as well as 3-for-6 with a homer, a RBI and two runs in the 12-8 victory.
A BIT OF ENGLISH
Another steady performer is sophomore outfielder Tanner English, who is hitting .299 (29-for-97) with a .430 on-base percentage. English doubled and tripled in the 7-6 win over Kentucky.
South Carolina is 27-1 this season when leading after six innings and 22-3 on the year when out-hitting the opponent. Carolina has allowed five runs or less in 33 of 40 games played this season. The Gamecocks are 27-6 when allowing five runs or less. South Carolina is 17-7 in games decided by three runs or less.
AT THE PLATE, IN THE FIELD & ON THE MOUND
The Gamecock pitching staff currently owns a 3.12 ERA in 366.0 innings pitched. Carolina has allowed 155 runs, 127 earned, on 338 hits with 101 walks to 342 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .243 against the squad.
South Carolina is hitting .290 (396-for-1366) as a team, fourth best in the league. The Gamecocks lead the SEC with 39 homers. Carolina is fielding .974 with 40 errors for the season. South Carolina's slugging percentage of .436 is third best in the SEC with on-base percentage of .386 fourth best in the conference also.
HOLMES WITH THE ANSWER
Senior right-hander Colby Holmes became the 21st pitcher in school history to record 20 or more wins with his victory at Tennessee on April 7, 2013.
Holmes is 4-2 with a 4.61 ERA in 12 games. He has pitched 41 innings and compiled 33 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting just .230 against him.