South Carolina Baseball Hosts Furman On Tuesday Night
From USC Sports Information
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina returns to action on Tuesday hosting Furman at Carolina Stadium. Fans are encouraged to arrive early at 6:50 p.m. as the Gamecocks will honor USC student Martha Childress before the contest in a pregame ceremony. First pitch is 7 p.m. Live video broadcast is available at GamecocksOnline. The first hour of the game will be on 1320 AM with the game being joined in progress at 8 p.m. on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station 107.5 FM, "The Game."
South Carolina is ranked No. 1 by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll as well as No. 3 by Perfect Game.
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
South Carolina - Taylor Widener (Fr. RHP) 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 4.0 IP, 0 BB, 6 SO
Furman - Billy Greenfield (Fr. LHP) 1-0, 5.40 ERA, 10.0 IP, 5 BB, 6 SO
A LOOK BACK
South Carolina won a pair of games vs. Stetson in midweek competition and followed that up with a three-game sweep of Brown to improve to 15-0 on the year. The 15-game winning streak is the best start for South Carolina since the 2004 season when the Gamecocks opened with an 18-0 record.
South Carolina did not allow a run in the entire Brown series with three shutouts to extend the team's total to eight on the year. South Carolina outscored Brown 24-0 with victories of 13-0, 8-0 and 1-0.
South Carolina's pitching staff has put together a 1.20 ERA in the first 15 games with 140 strikeouts to 30 walks in 135.0 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting .198 against Carolina. The Gamecocks have allowed only 20 runs this season in 15 games. South Carolina's bullpen has a streak of 42.0 consecutive innings not allowing a run dating back to the season-opening game vs. Bucknell. The Gamecocks have allowed double-digit hits just once.
Furman enters with a 6-9 record after being swept in a three-game series vs. Gardner-Webb. Head coach Ron Smith is in his 21st season at the helm of the Paladins.
Furman returns six position starters from last year's team. Their top hitter currently, Greg Harrison, spent one season with the Gamecock program for the 2010 season. He did not see any action. Harrison leads Furman with a .350 average (21-for-60) with nine runs scored, seven doubles, a homer and 10 RBI.
Another Gamecock tie to the Paladins is volunteer assistant Landon Powell. Powell lettered from South Carolina 2001-04 and was a member of three CWS squads and a All-American before being a MLB first round selection by the Oakland A's. Powell spent three seasons in the big leagues with the A's (2009-11) and caught a perfect game in 2010 by A's pitcher Dallas Braden.
LAST TIME VS. FURMAN
Furman defeated South Carolina 6-5 in the last meeting between the two schools at Fluor Field on April 3, 2013. After trailing by three runs 11th ranked South Carolina stormed back to take a one-run lead in the top of the seventh inning but Furman answered with a homer in the bottom half of the seventh and an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth to defeat the Gamecocks.
Down 4-1 entering the top of the sixth, South Carolina mounted a rally with a single run in that frame and three more runs in the seventh to go ahead 5-4. Dante Rosenberg had a two-out single in the sixth to cut the deficit to two runs. In the seventh inning, the momentum continued. George Iskenderian led off with a base hit to center. A walk to LB Dantzler and a single off the top of the green monster in left by pinch hitter Connor Bright loaded the bases. Max Schrock would drive in Iskenderian with a single to left field. Schrock knocked a 2-1 pitch right through the left side for a run. Brison Celek then came up with a big bat as he drilled a 3-1 pitch just off the top of the wall in left-center to score two more runs and give the Gamecocks a one-run cushion.
Furman responded in the bottom half of the seventh though with the second homer of the game, a solo shot by Taylor Johnson to left field to tie it at 5-5, his third hit of the game. The bottom of the eighth, the Paladins caught a break as Alex Abrams reached base to open the inning on a fielding error by Dantzler at first base. With one out, Abrams would score as pinch hitter Griffin Davis' RBI double to the gap in right-center put Furman back in front by a run. The Gamecocks looked to rally one more time in the ninth as Celek drew a two-out walk followed by a walk to Rosenberg. Pinch hitter Grayson Greiner grounded into a fielder's choice to the shortstop for the final out of the game preserving Furman's win.
South Carolina lost despite having 10 hits to Furman's nine in the game. Brison Celek reached base in all five plate appearances with a pair of hits. Johnson went 3-for-3 with three RBI with Chris Ohmstede 3-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored to lead Furman at the plate.
South Carolina's 13-0 victory over Brown featured a team-high 18 hits. The 18-hit total is third highest by the Gamecocks in a game in the Chad Holbrook era. South Carolina has reached double-digit hit totals in 10 of 15 games this year.
AT THE HIT & IN THE FIELD
South Carolina is batting .320 (162-for-507) as a team with a .409 on-base percentage and a .450 slugging mark. The team is fielding .980 with only 11 errors. The Gamecocks have seven errorless games this year.
WIDENER TO MAKE FIRST START
South Carolina freshman right-hander Taylor Widener will make his first career start on Tuesday vs. Furman. Widener has three scorless apperances in relief vs. Buknell, Stetson and Brown. He has six strikeouts in four innins pitched with four hits allowed.
MOONEY LEADS IT OFF
Sophomore infielder Marcus Mooney was Carolina's top hitter this past week. Mooney hit .474 (9-for-19) vs. Stetson with a run scored and four RBI. He raised his season average to .340 (18-for-53) and is up to a .444 on-base percentage. Mooney owns a nine-game hitting streak and is tied for the team lead with seven multi-hit games. Nine of Mooney's 10 RBI this year have come with two outs.
MONTGOMERY GETS IT STARTED
Junior left-hander Jordan Montgomery is now 3-0 on the year after a win vs. Brown in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday. Montgomery allowed no runs on four hits in 5.1 innings with no walks and eight strikeouts. Montgomery is 3-0 with a 1.99 ERA in 22.2 innings with a team-high 25 strikeouts to eight walks.
A BRIGHT SPOT
Junior outfielder Connor Bright went 3-for-4 with two doubles in the 13-0 win over Brown. Bright leads the team with a .418 average (23-for-55) with 14 runs scored and 15 RBI. He has a team-high eight doubles as well as a team-best .477 on-base percentage. Bright hit safely in the first 13 games this year.
JACK OF ALL TRADES
Sophomore left-hander Jack Wynkoop is 4-0 on the year after earning a win vs. Brown on Saturday. Wynkoop pitched eight scoreless innings allowing just four hits and no walks with five strikeouts. His eight innings pitched tied a career-high he set as a freshman vs. Kentucky. Wynkoop has a 1.37 ERA in 26.1 innings with 24 strikeouts to three walks.
Wynkoop pitched 7.1 scoreless innings and struck out a career-high 10 batters in a 2-0 win over Eastern Kentucky on February 22. He allowed just three hits and one walk.
Junior first baseman Kyle Martin is among the team's leaders in hitting with a .377 average (20-for-53) on the year. Martin has driven in 11 runs and scored 16 as well. He went 2-for-4 in both the 9-6 and 10-2 wins vs. Clemson. Martin has seven multi-hit games.
SEDDON SEALS IT
Junior right-hander Joel Seddon worked a pair of perfect innings to record two saves last week. He worked a perfect ninth with two strikeouts in the 4-2 win over Stetson and a perfect ninth in the 1-0 win over Brown.
Seddon has not allowed a run or a hit in 9.2 innings and owns five saves in eight appearances. He has 13 strikeouts on the year.
Junior catcher Grayson Greiner was named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List for the top catcher in college baseball last week. Greiner followed that up with a .455 (5-for-11) average in the Brown series with six runs scored and a RBI. With five hits and a walk, Greiner scored all six times he reached base in the Brown series. Greiner is hitting .373 (19-for-51) with 18 runs scored and 19 RBI. His .608 slugging percentage is the best mark on the team.
Greiner won the Tom Price award as the MVP for South Carolina in the weekend series vs. the Tigers. Greiner hit .400 (4-for-10) for the weekend with four runs scored. His grand slam homer helped lift South Carolina to a 9-6 win. He had a team-high four walks on the weekend as well.
Sophomore infielder DC Arendas had a career day in the doubleheader vs. Brown. He went 3-for-6 with a career-high five RBI in the 13-0 win and followed that up with a solo homer and two runs scored in the 8-0 win in the nightcap. Arendas is hitting .279 (12-for-43) with seven runs scored and 12 RBI.
CROWE MAKES AN IMPACT
Freshman right-hander Wil Crowe improved to 3-0 on the year with eight scoreless innings in the 1-0 victory on Sunday. Crowe limited Brown to just four hits and one walk while striking out nine batters. He has a 0.99 ERA in a team-high 27.1 innings with 21 strikeouts to only three walks, opponents are hitting just .176 against him.
Crowe was honored twice by the Southeastern Conference in the first two weeks of the regular season. On February 24, he earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors after working 6.1 scoreless innings in a 6-0 win over Eastern Kentucky with just four hits allowed and one walk to pick up his second win of the season.
The previous week, Crowe was SEC Pitcher of the Week. He had an impressive debut as he hurled 6.1 hitless innings in his first career start. Crowe walked just one and hit one batter while finishing with five strikeouts to earn his first career win in a Gamecock uniform. Bucknell had just one runner reach second base and none reach third base while Crowe was on the mound. Crowe retired 13 consecutive batters in a row before coming out of the game as he reached his pitch count total.
A LITTLE BIT OF ENGLISH
Junior outfielder Tanner English is hitting .300 (15-for-50) with seven runs scored and 12 RBI. He has recorded a team-high 10 RBI with two outs. English hit .333 (4-for-12) with four runs scored in the Stetson and Brown series.
He played well in the Clemson series as he went 2-for-3 with the game-winning double in Sunday's 5-3 win against Clemson. English also had a solo homer in the Friday night 9-6 win over the Tigers.
Three Gamecock players have started all 15 games this year, Connor Bright, junior first baseman Kyle Martin and junior center fielder Tanner English.
MINCEY MAKES AN APPEARANCE
Junior right-hander Cody Mincey picked up a pair of wins in relief vs. Clemson. Mincey hurled 2.2 scoreless innings with just one hit allowed and four strikeouts in the 9-6 win on Friday. He had two scoreless innings with three strikeouts and two hits allowed in Sunday's 5-3 win.
Mincey has not allowed a run in a team-high eight relief appearances with just four hits allowed. He has 17 strikeouts in 10 innings pitched.
IN A PINCH WITH BRISON
Senior Brison Celek came up with a big pinch-hit single in a 5-3 win vs. the Tigers. Celek is hitting .267 (8-for-30) in 11 games played with eight starts.
FRESHMEN MAKE A STATEMENT
Three freshman relievers all had a pair of scoreless relief appearances this week. Right-hander Matthew Vogel pitched three scoreless innings, left-hander John Parke pitched two scoreless innings, as did right-hander Taylor Widener. Also going 1.2 scoreless in the 13-0 win over Brown was freshman Reed Scott.
Several Gamecock position players earned their first career starts vs. Stetson and Brown. Freshman infielder Jordan Gore started at second in Sunday's 1-0 win with freshman Weber Pike at the designated hitter spot. Freshman catcher Logan Koch started the 4-2 win over Stetson on Wednesday.
HOME SWEET HOME
South Carolina has two sellouts this year and 32 in school history at Carolina Stadium. South Carolina has totaled 95,393 in attendance in the first 13 home games for an average of 7,337 per contest.
South Carolina is 168-32 in all-time games at Carolina Stadium, a winning percentage of .840. That is the best winning percentage of all 14 SEC schools since opening the facility.