South Carolina Baseball Notebook
May 7, 2012
Columbia, S.C. - South Carolina defeated Davidson last Wednesday and won two of three games at Arkansas to win the series vs. the Razorbacks. The Gamecocks are now 36-11 and 16-8 in the SEC. South Carolina is currently tied for first place in the Southeastern Conference with LSU and one game ahead of Kentucky in the Eastern Division with six league games remaining. The Gamecocks have won six consecutive weekend series in the league as well as 13 of the last 14 conference games. South Carolina is also 18-5 in the last 23 games played.
Last Week: 3-1
Freshman catcher Grayson Greiner caught all 28 innings in the Gamecocks' weekend series victory at 13th ranked Arkansas, only the second time in school history that South Carolina has a won a series at Arkansas. Greiner was phenomenal behind the plate as he threw out five runners over the course of the weekend trying to steal. His two-run homer on Friday night was the first homer allowed all season by Arkansas starter Ryne Stanek, a key two-run blast that helped the Gamecocks rally from six runs down to defeat the Razorbacks on the road on Friday night. Greiner also had a sacrifice fly in the contest and tallied a RBI single in the 10th inning of the 8-6 victory. In Sunday's 10-7 win, Greiner drove in two runs with a single in a six-run eighth inning with the bases loaded and one out against Arkansas closer Barrett Astin. In 24 SEC games, Greiner is hitting .301 (22-for-73) with 14 runs scored, eight doubles, three homers and 18 RBI as well as a .418 on-base percentage. Greiner has raised his season average to .261 (36-for-168) with six homers and 31 RBI on the year.
Sophomore right-hander Forrest Koumas made only his second start of the year and was key in the 10-7 win over Arkansas on Sunday. Koumas matched Arkansas starter DJ Baxendale inning after inning and did not allow a run in 5.1 innings with two walks and four strikeouts as well as five hits allowed. He also picked up a win with one scoreless inning in the 2-1 win over Davidson.
Junior first baseman Christian Walker continues to be productive for the Gamecocks. Walker reached base nine times in the Arkansas series as he went 5-for-12 (.417) with four walks, four runs scored, a homer and two RBI. His on-base percentage for the weekend was .563. For the season Walker leads the team with a .347 average (59-for-170) with nine homers and 45 RBI. Walker currently is among the SEC's best as he ranks second in on-base percentage (.477), second in walks (36), third in runs batted in (45), sixth in slugging percentage (.571), sixth in homers (9), eighth in runs scored (39), ninth in batting average (.347) and ninth in total bases (97). In SEC games, Walker is also among the best as he ranks first in walks (26), runs scored (26), second in on-base percentage (.491), second in runs batted in (21), second in home runs (6), third in slugging percentage (.607) and tied for sixth in total bases (51). Walker is up to 230 career hits for the Garnet & Black, 15 hits shy of Hank Small (1972-75) for 10th on the All-Time hits list at South Carolina.
Despite a no-decision on Friday night, senior left-hander Michael Roth kept the game in check, with scoreless frames in the middle innings after giving up six runs in the first three innings to the Razorbacks. Roth is 4-0 on the year with a 2.82 ERA in 79.2 innings pitched with 22 walks to 60 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting just .200 against him. His opponents batting average is fourth best in the SEC as is his innings pitched with his ERA eighth best in the conference.
Junior second baseman Chase Vergason hit .500 (5-for-10) in the Arkansas series with a .545 on-base percentage and a 1.000 slugging percentage with a homer, two doubles, three runs scored and three RBI. Vergason hit his first homer of the year in the 7-6 loss to Arkansas on Saturday. He followed that up with a 3-for-4 day at the plate in Sunday's 10-7 win with two runs scored and two RBI. Vergason's three hits and two RBI were both a season-high in Sunday's victory. Vergason is hitting .293 in SEC games (12-for-41), third best average on the team with a .444 on-base percentage in the league as well.
Junior right-hander Matt Price had two saves and one victory this past week. Price worked 1.1 scoreless innings of relief without a hit allowed and two strikeouts in the 2-1 win over Davidson for a save. He followed that up with a perfect 10th inning in the 8-6 win over Arkansas on Friday night. Price pitched the final 3.2 innings in Sunday's 10-7 victory as well to earn his fourth win of the season. Price is 4-3 on the year with a 3.72 ERA and seven saves. He has 60 strikeouts and opponents are hitting only .190 against him. The .190 opponents batting average is the best mark by a pitcher in the SEC. Six of Price's seven saves this year have come in the SEC as he is tied for the highest mark in league games. Price is the all-time leader in saves at South Carolina with 37 as well as appearances with 92 for the Garnet & Black.
Freshman outfielder Tanner English went 2-for-3 with a career-high three RBI in the 10-7 win over Arkansas on Sunday afternoon. English is hitting .306 (53-for-173) for the season with 34 runs scored, 16 RBI and eight stolen bases. English's average is second best on the team only to Walker. English leads the Gamecocks with 18 multi-hit games. He is hitting .286 (24-for-84) with 18 runs in league play as well as 5-for-5 in stolen bases.
Junior left-hander Tyler Webb made two appearances this past week and he leads the team with 26 for the season. Webb is 4-0 with a 1.82 ERA and two saves in 34.2 innings with eight walks to 35 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .206 against him. 13 of Webb's 26 appearances have come in the SEC.
Senior outfielder Adam Matthews was stellar in the outfield this weekend with two key assists in Sunday's 10-7 victory over the Razorbacks. Matthews threw out a runner attempting to score on a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning and threw out a runner trying to score off a base hit from second base in the seventh inning. He also drove in the first run of the game for the Gamecocks with a two-out RBI single on Sunday in the seventh inning in the Gamecock victory. Matthews has four assists from the outfield this year.
Freshman right-hander Evan Beal pitched two scoreless innings in the 2-1 win over Davidson and followed that up with three scoreless innings of relief in the 8-6 win over Arkansas to earn the win. Beal is 3-3 on the year with a 3.44 ERA in 21 appearances with 42 strikeouts in 36.2 innings and opponents batting .187 against him.
Freshman shortstop Joey Pankake has reached base in eight straight games. Pankake hit safely in all three games at Arkansas (4-for-11, .364) and had an additional three walks for a .500 on-base percentage. Pankake is hitting .289 (46-for-159) for the season, third best average on the team. He has a team-high 12 doubles and has 19 runs batted in.
Freshman right-hander Joel Seddon made only his second start of the year in the 2-1 win over Davidson. Seddon allowed one run on three hits in four innings of work with a season-high four strikeouts.
Junior outfielder Evan Marzilli continues to show why he is one of the best defensive outfielders in the country with several key catches and diving grabs over the weekend in the Arkansas series. He also has four assists on the year from the outfield. Marzilli is tied for the league lead with seven sacrifice flies, including a sac fly in the 2-1 win over Davidson. Marzilli is one short of the school's single-season record of eight held by Jim Curl (1981) and Jim Pankovits (1974).
South Carolina hit .302 (32-for-106) for the weekend with six doubles and three homers. For the season, South Carolina is batting .276 (442-for-1601) as a team with 273 runs scored, 83 doubles, 11 triples and 36 homers. The Gamecocks lead the SEC in walks (205) and are third best in home runs (36). The Gamecocks also lead the conference in walks in league play with 106, have 20 homers in league play, tied for second best in the conference and a .367 on-base percentage, second best in the conference games.
South Carolina's .978 fielding percentage is second best in the SEC as the Gamecocks have made just 39 errors on the year. The pitching staff owns a 3.25 ERA with opponents batting only .222, that is the best mark in the conference.
South Carolina is 11-9 on the year in one-run games as well as 22-10 in games decided by three runs or less.