COLUMBIA, S.C. -
South Carolina (31-11, 11-7 SEC) begins a three-game series at LSU (38-4, 15-3 SEC) on Friday night. First pitch for the opener is at 8 p.m. ET. Game two of the series is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. The first two games will be televised on Cox Sports Television (please note, no affiliates in SC). First pitch for Sunday's series finale is 3 p.m. ET with the game televised live on ESPN. All three games are available on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station, 107.5 FM, "The Game."
LIVE COVERAGE Radio: Gamecock Radio Network affiliates/Flagship WNKT FM 107.5 "The Game" in Columbia. Andy Demetra & Tommy Moody have the call.
Television: Friday & Saturday - Cox Sports Television (Lyn Rollins, Ben McDonald, Ronnie Rantz); Sunday - ESPN (Clay Matvick, Kyle Peterson)
Internet: Live Gametracker stats at GamecocksOnline.com. Additional coverage on Twitter @GamecockBasebll and Facebook/Gamecocksonline
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
South Carolina - Nolan Belcher (Sr. LHP) 6-3, 1.70 ERA, 74.0 IP, 5 BB, 61 SO
LSU - Aaron Nola (So. RHP) 7-0, 2.15 ERA, 71.0 IP, 12 BB, 82 SO
South Carolina - Jordan Montgomery (So. LHP) 3-0, 1.14 ERA, 31.2 IP, 10 BB, 30 SO
LSU - Ryan Eades (Jr. RHP) 7-1, 2.56 ERA, 63.1 IP, 16 BB, 59 SO
South Carolina - TBA
LSU - TBA
This is South Carolina's first visit to the new Alex Box Stadium that opened in 2009. The last visit for Carolina to Baton Rouge on the baseball diamond was in 2008. LSU leads the all-time series 31-22-1. The Gamecocks last won a series vs. LSU in 2007 when the Gamecocks defeated the Tigers in two of three games. LSU won two of three games in last year's series.
A LOOK BACK
The Gamecocks own 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.
Grayson Greiner SELECTED TO USA BASEBALL COLLEGIATE NATIONAL TEAM
South Carolina sophomore catcher Grayson Greiner has been invited to the 2013 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, it was announced on Wednesday afternoon. Greiner was also invited to last year's squad but was unable to participate due to his recovery from a knee injury.
Training for the team will run from June 21-July 2 in Cary, N.C. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. Team USA will travel to Japan from July 6-11 and are also scheduled to play Cuba from July 18-23 in various cites in the U.S.
Greiner has played in 36 games with 35 starts and is hitting .307 (39-for-127) with 19 runs scored, six doubles, three homers and 28 RBI. He has been phenomenal behind the plate allowing only 13 stolen bases against 20 attempts and has helped with a pitching staff that owns a 3.12 ERA. In addition, Greiner leads the Gamecocks in SEC play with a .339 average (20-for-59)
SOUTH CAROLINA PLAYERS & USA BASEBALL COLLEGIATE NATIONAL TEAM
2013 - Grayson Greiner, C
2010 - Jackie Bradley Jr., OF
2007 - Justin Smoak, 1B
2003 - Matt Campbell, P
2002 - Landon Powell, C
1997 - Adam Everett, SS
1989 - Brian Williams, P/OF
1986 - Dave Hollins, 3B
Since 1978 USA Baseball has been the National Governing Body (NGB) for the sport of baseball. It represents the sport in the United States as a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and internationally as a member federation of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF).
DANTZLER NAMED FINALIST FOR SENIOR CLASS AWARD
South Carolina senior first baseman LB Dantzler is one of 10 NCAA baseball student-athletes selected as a finalist for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award ®. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website - seniorCLASSaward.com or on the Senior CLASS Award Facebook fan page through June 10. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches' votes to determine the winner. The winner will be announced during the 2013 College World Series in Omaha.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.
Dantzler was South Carolina's 2012-13 male nominee for the SEC's H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year. With a 3.641 GPA in sport and entertainment management, he has been on the SEC Academic Honor Roll and spent two semesters on the Dean's List. Dantzler has volunteered more than 50 hours at the Epworth Children's Home, working on various projects. He also helped organize a fundraising effort for the orphanage through an area restaurant, and has made speaking appearances for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. For more information on all the finalists, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.
Mark Appel, Stanford
Shane Basen, Charlotte
Chase Brookshire, Belmont
Boomer Collins, Dallas Baptist LB Dantzler, South Carolina
Carlos Lopez, Cal State Fullerton
Alex Mendez, South Florida
Raph Rhymes, LSU
Chris Rowley, Army
Brandon Thomas, Georgia Tech
DANTZLER AT THE BAT
Dantzler had three hits in the Tuesday loss at Gardner-Webb. He homered in both the 5-2 and 3-1 victories against Kentucky. He is the team's leading hitter with a .340 average (51-for-150) with 12 homers and 42 RBI. Dantzler ranks among the league leaders in the SEC in many categories.
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.
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.
South Carolina is 27-2 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 42 games played this season. The Gamecocks are 27-6 when allowing five runs or less. South Carolina is 17-8 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 375.0 innings pitched. Carolina has allowed 162 runs, 130 earned, on 338 hits with 103 walks to 347 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .247 against the squad.
South Carolina is hitting .291 (409-for-1405) as a team, fourth best in the league. The Gamecocks lead the SEC with 39 homers. Carolina is fielding .972 with 44 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.
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)
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.
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 .314 average (49-for-156) for the season eight homers and 30 RBI as well.
Pankake leads Carolina with 14 multi-hit games with freshman second baseman Max Schrock right behind him 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 .276 (40-for-145) with 31 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).
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.
Junior designated hitter Brison Celek is riding a 10-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 .304 (17-for-56) with 10 runs scored and 11 RBI. His on-base percentage is .435 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 .269 average (35-for-130) with 24 runs scored. He has a .381 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 .331 average (41-for-124) with six doubles, a triple, four homers and 15 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 .276 average (40-for-145) 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.