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Baseball Opens Series At Mississippi State On Thursday
Nolan Belcher

May 15, 2013

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Columbia, S.C. - South Carolina (38-14, 16-10 SEC) is back on the road for a three-game SEC series with Mississippi State (38-15, 14-13 SEC) in the final weekend of the regular season. First pitch for the opener on Thursday is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. Friday's contest is also scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and the series finale on Sunday will begin at 3 p.m. All three games can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station 107.5 FM, "The Game."

South Carolina is in second place in the SEC Eastern Division and fourth place overall in the conference standings. This is the final regular season series before next week's SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala.

Radio: Gamecock Radio Network affiliates/Flagship WNKT FM 107.5 "The Game" in Columbia. Andy Demetra and Tommy Moody have the call.

Television: None

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

Live Stats

Thursday Live Stats

Friday Live Stats

Saturday Live Stats


Nolan Belcher (Sr. LHP) 7-5, 2.23 ERA, 93.0 IP, 10 BB, 79 SO

Jordan Montgomery (So. LHP) 4-1, 1.86 ERA, 48.1 IP, 14 BB, 34 SO


South Carolina is 32-2 when leading after six innings and 34-0 when leading after eight innings. The Gamecocks own a 28-4 record when out-hitting its opponent and 24-4 when scoring first in the contest. Carolina has allowed five runs or less in 43 of 52 games played this season (82.6 percent). The Gamecocks are 34-9 when allowing five runs or less. South Carolina is 19-11 in games decided by three runs or less.

South Carolina is hitting .286 as a team (492-for-1720), fourth best in the league. The Gamecocks lead the SEC with 43 home runs, rank third in slugging percentage (.426) and fourth in on-base percentage (.377).

On the mound, the Gamecocks 2.95 ERA is sixth best in the league. South Carolina has 410 strikeouts to 118 walks in 464. 0 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting .249 against the staff.

South Carolina is fielding .973 as a team.

South Carolina is 35-26 in all-time series history against Mississippi State with three consecutive series wins over the Bulldogs dating back to the 2010 season.

South Carolina won all three games last year in Columbia. Carolina opened with a 7-6 come-from-behind victory on Friday night that featured a key pinch-hit triple by Sean Sullivan, who eventually scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth. Carolina followed that up with wins of 5-3 and 6-4 to sweep the series.

South Carolina senior first baseman LB Dantzler is one of 60 players in the nation named to the 2013 Golden Spikes Award Watch List, as announced by USA Baseball on May 2, 2013.

Dantzler continues to lead Carolina in hitting with a .337 average (59-for-175) with 12 homers and 45 RBI. He ranks third in the SEC in slugging percentage (.634), tied for third in homers, fourth in walks (33), fourth in total bases (33) sixth in on-base percentage (.449) and tied for sixth in doubles (14). He was 1-for-3 with a RBI and two runs in the 7-2 win on Friday vs. Georgia. He has reached base safely in 27 consecutive games.

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 - 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, who 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

Dantzler has been named to the Capital One Academic All-District First Team for District Four as announced by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) on May 1. Dantzler, South Carolina's male nominee for the SEC Boyd McWhorter Award, has compiled a 3.64 cumulative GPA in Sport & Entertainment Management.

First-team Academic All-District® honorees advance to the Capital One Academic All-America® Team ballot, where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be selected later this month.

The Academic All-District® teams (listed above) are divided into eight geographic districts across the United States and Canada. This is the second year of the expanded Academic All-America® program as CoSIDA moved from recognizing a University Division (Division I) and a College Division (all non Division I) and has doubled the number of scholar-athletes honored.

The expanded teams include NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III participants, while the College Division team combines NAIA, Canadian and two-year schools.

The Capital One Division II and III Academic All-America® program is being financially supported by the NCAA Division II and III national governance structures, to assist CoSIDA with handling the awards fulfillment aspects for the 2012-13 DII and DIII Academic All-America® teams program.

Senior left-hander Tyler Webb tied the all-time appearance record at South Carolina with a save on Tuesday in the 4-3 win over Presbyterian. Webb worked a scoreless ninth inning with two strikeouts to pick up his 15th save of the year and tie Matt Price's career record with 102 career appearances.

Webb has a phenomenal 0.54 ERA in 24 appearances with a 2-1 record and 15 saves in 33.1 innings of work. He has 50 strikeouts to just seven walks, opponents hitting .176 against him. He has not allowed a run in 21 of 24 appearances this year. His 15 save total for this year is tied for fifth best in school history, six behind the school record of 21 set by Blake Taylor in 2002.

His 15 saves leads the SEC with eight of those coming in conference play, also the highest mark in league play.

He has pitched in relief in 90 career appearances, with 71 relief appearances without allowing a run (78.8 percent). In career relief appearances he is 10-2 with 18 saves.

For two straight weeks in the end of April, South Carolina freshman left-hander Jack Wynkoop was named SEC Freshman of the Week. Wynkoop worked seven scoreless innings in a 4-0 victory at No. 2 LSU in the rubber game of a three-game series at Alex Box Stadium on ESPN. It marked the first series loss by the Tigers this year. Wynkoop never reached a 3-ball count in the entire stint and limited the Tigers, the second ranked offense in the league, to just five hits with no walks. Wynkoop combined with two other Gamecocks for the six-hit shutout.

Wynkoop earned the victory in the 8-3 win over Georgia. He worked five-plus innings and allowed two runs on five hits with one walk and three strikeouts. Wynkoop has won three consecutive starts and is now 7-2 with a 2.75 ERA in 52.1 innings pitched.

South Carolina sophomore catcher Grayson Greiner has been invited to the 2013 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, it was announced on April 24. 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 was stellar in the four victories last week as he hit .615 (8-for-13) including five extra base hits (four doubles, one triple), four runs scored and four RBI. His on-base percentage for the week was .600 with a 1.077 slugging percentage. He was 3-for-4 with a double and a triple, a RBI and two runs in the 7-2 win over Georgia. He followed that up with a 2-for-4 game with a run and a RBI in the 8-3 win on Sunday over the Bulldogs.

Greiner is Carolina's leading hitter in SEC games with a .315 average (28-for-89). He is fourth on the team in hitting for the season with a .299 average (49-for-164) with 32 RBI. His 10 doubles is also second highest on the squad.

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).

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

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.

Sophomore center fielder Tanner English provided a punch at LSU with outstanding defense coupled with two triples and two runs scored in the series. English's RBI triple on Saturday was the game-winning hit in the 4-2 win over LSU. He made 18 putouts and tallied an assist also in the weekend series vs. the Tigers.

English went 2-for-4 with a RBI double and two runs scored in the 8-3 win over Georgia. English is hitting .278 (35-for-126) with 17 RBI and 22 runs scored.

Saturday's 7-1 win over Georgia was played in front of a sellout crowd of 8,242 fans at Carolina Stadium. It marked the fourth sellout of the season and 30th in Carolina Stadium history. South Carolina is 24-6 (.800) in sellout contests at Carolina Stadium.

Senior left-hander Nolan Belcher earned the victory in the 7-2 win over Georgia and is now 7-5 on the year. Belcher allowed two runs on five hits in 7.1 innings with no walks and eight strikeouts. For the season, Belcher owns a 2.23 ERA in 93.0 innings with 79 strikeouts to 10 walks. Opponents are batting only .224 against him. Belcher ranks fourth in the SEC in innings pitched, tied for fifth in strikeouts, tied for eighth in victories, 11th in opposing batting average and 12th in earned run average.

Sophomore shortstop Joey Pankake hit .500 (7-for-14) last week with a triple, a homer, four runs scored and four RBI. Pankake had a game-winning two-run homer that sparked a six-run seventh inning in the Gamecocks 9-3 victory over Wofford. His top game vs. Georgia was Sunday when he went 3-for-3 in the 8-3 victory.

Pankake is second on the team in hitting with a .325 average (62-for-191) with 10 homers and 36 RBI. He ranks tied for fifth in home runs in the SEC and is also ninth in slugging percentage (.524). Pankake leads Carolina with 18 multi-hit games.

Sophomore left-hander Jordan Montgomery improved to 4-1 with a victory in Saturday's 7-1 win over Georgia. Montgomery carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning and allowed just one run on two hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Along with a 4-1 record, he has a 1.86 ERA in 48.1 innings pitched. Opponents are batting .246 against him.

Freshman second baseman Max Schrock led off with a solo home run in the bottom of the first in the 9-3 win vs. Wofford. Schrock led off for Carolina for the first time since March 16 at Missouri. He finished with two hits and two runs scored. He followed that with two hits and a RBI in the 7-2 win over Georgia.

Schrock had four hits this past week with three runs and three RBI. Schrock is hitting .283 (51-for-180) with 34 runs scored and 35 RBI. He has 33 walks to 19 strikeouts and leads the team with 14 stolen bases.

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 pitched three scoreless innings of relief with a strikeout in the 3-2 loss vs. Vanderbilt. He had three more innings of relief with just one run allowed, unearned in the 9-3 win over Wofford. He added two scoreless innings with two strikeouts in the 7-1 win over Georgia. Holmes lowered his ERA to 3.96 in 52.1 innings with 39 strikeouts.

Senior left-hander Adam Westmoreland pitched three scoreless outings this past week. He picked up a win in the 9-3 victory over Wofford with 1.2 scoreless innings with two strikeouts. He had 0.2 scoreless innings of work in the 7-2 win over Georgia and worked three scoreless innings with four strikeouts in the 8-3 victory over the Bulldogs.

Westmoreland is 6-1 on the year with a 1.57 ERA as well as three saves. In 21 relief appearances, he has pitched 51.2 innings and he has struck out 52 batters. His ERA ranks third best in the SEC with his opposing batting average of .212 the seventh best in the SEC.

Chase Vergason tied a school record held by many with two sacrifice flies in the 4-0 win at LSU. Last player to accomplish the feat was Jake Williams on June 5, 2011 vs. Stetson. Vergason also scored two runs this week and tripled in the 4-0 victory.

Vergason owns a .270 average (50-for-185) with 35 runs scored and 25 RBI. He owns a .366 on-base percentage. Vergason tied a career-high with three hits, scored a run and drove in one run also in the 9-3 win over Wofford on Wednesday night.

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.

Two senior leaders on the South Carolina team are a pair of brothers, senior outfielder Sean Sullivan and senior right-handed pitcher Patrick Sullivan.

Patrick picked up the win for South Carolina in the 4-3 victory over Presbyterian with 1.2 innings of relief allowing one run on one hit with no walks and three strikeouts. He is now 2-0 with a 2.92 ERA in 17 appearances with a save. Patrick has 22 strikeouts in 24.2 innings pitched.

Sean has seen action in 20 games and is hitting .333 (7-for-21) with seven runs and six RBI. Sean led off with a walk when the game was tied 2-2 vs. Presbyterian and eventually scored the winning run in the 4-3 victory.

Junior outfielder Graham Saiko has an incredible 31 walks to just 14 strikeouts, mostly from the leadoff position this year. Saiko has a .369 on-base percentage and is second on the team with 11 stolen bases. He has scored 30 runs and added 22 RBI as well.

Saiko was 1-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored in the 4-3 win over Presbyterian.



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