March 19, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina (17-4, 3-0 SEC) returns to SEC action this weekend at Missouri (16-5, 3-0 SEC). This weekend’s trip to Missouri marks the first road conference series for the Gamecocks this year. Friday and Sunday’s games will be broadcast on SEC Network Plus with Saturday’s game televised on the SEC Network. All three games can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network.
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network affiliates/Flagship WNKT FM 107.5 “The Game” in Columbia and 1320 AM “The Fan.” With NCAA Women’s Basketball coverage on Friday on 107.5 FM “The Game,”, Friday’s game will begin on 1320 AM “The Fan.” (Andy Demetra & Tommy Moody)
Broadcast: Friday & Sunday: SEC Network Plus; Saturday: SEC Network (Mike Morgan & Mike Rooney)
Internet: Live Gametracker stats at GamecocksOnline.com. Additional coverage on Twitter @GamecockBasebll
South Carolina vs. Missouri
March 20 – 7 p.m. (ET); March 21 – 3:30 p.m. (ET); March 22 – 2 p.m. (ET)
=”” alt=”Twitter Logo” border=”0″ class=”imported”>Follow @GamecockBasebll on Twitter
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
South Carolina – Wil Crowe (So. RHP) 3-1, 2.67 ERA, 30.1 IP, 10 BB, 41 SO
Missouri – Reggie McClain (Jr. RHP) 3-1, 1.64 ERA, 38.1 IP, 7 BB, 37 SO
South Carolina – Jack Wynkoop (Jr. LHP) 4-1, 2.10 ERA, 34.1 IP, 6 BB, 28 SO
Missouri – Tanner Houck (Fr. RHP) 3-1, 3.21 ERA, 33.2 IP, 3 BB, 29 SO
South Carolina – Clarke Schmidt (Fr. RHP) 2-0, 2.45 ERA, 22.0 IP, 4 BB, 21 SO
Missouri – Peter Fairbanks (Jr. RHP) 2-2, 1.52 ERA, 29.2 IP, 6 BB, 28 SO
South Carolina leads 5-1
DID YOU KNOW??
South Carolina opened SEC play with a series sweep of Kentucky, the first time since 2010 that the Gamecocks have started league play 3-0.
South Carolina is ranked in every publication. The Gamecocks are No. 5 by Perfect Game and ranked No. 6 by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, D1Baseball and USA TODAY coaches poll.
THE MISSOURI SERIES
South Carolina leads the all-time series vs. Winthrop 4-1 including a three-game sweep last year in Columbia, S.C. The Gamecocks won games 8-2, 3-1 and 2-1 last May vs. the Tigers.
The Tigers enter the weekend following a series sweep last week at Georgia and splitting a pair of midweek contests vs. Air Force. Missouri’s pitching staff leads the SEC in opposing batting average as the Tigers have limited opponents to hitting .189. Their team ERA of 2.02 ranks second in the league.
IN THE CROWE’S NEST
Sophomore right-hander Wil Crowe earned SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week honors as announced by the league office on Monday afternoon. Crowe was phenomenal on Friday night allowing just one run, unearned, on one hit with three walks and 10 strikeouts in seven innings of work in the 10-1 victory vs. Kentucky. His 10 strikeouts tied a career-high. Crowe allowed just a single in the first inning to the Wildcats, who came into Columbia this weekend riding an 11-game winning streak and hitting .312 at the plate. Crowe is now 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA. He leads the SEC with 41 strikeouts to just 10 walks in 30.1 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting .221 against him.
Crowe is the first Gamecock this season to earn a conference weekly honor. The league office twice recognized him in 2014, once as SEC Pitcher of the Week and once as SEC Freshman of the Week.
CALDWELL A HIT
Senior outfielder Elliott Caldwell has been hot at the plate lately with four consecutive multi-hit games. Caldwell went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a RBI in Tuesday’s loss to Winthrop. Caldwell hit .636 (7-for-11) in the Kentucky series with four runs scored, a triple, two homers and four RBI. Caldwell went 2-for-4 in the 10-1 win, followed that up going 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a two-run homer in the 4-3 victory over the Wildcats and went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI including a game-tying homer in the bottom of the ninth inning in Sunday’s 6-4 10-inning win. Caldwell’s homer on Saturday was the first of his career in a Gamecock uniform.
Caldwell leads the Gamecocks at the plate with a .426 average (26-for-61) this year with two doubles, two triples, two homers and 13 RBI. Caldwell’s .539 on-base percentage is fourth-best in the SEC with his batting average fourth and a .623 slugging percentage that ranks tied for 10th highest in the league. Caldwell has reached base in 15 straight games. He has eight multi-hit games this year.
JACK OF ALL TRADES
Junior left-hander Jack Wynkoop improved to 4-1 with a win in Saturday’s 4-3 victory vs. Kentucky. Wynkoop allowed two runs on seven hits in 7.1 innings with a walk and five strikeouts. Wynkoop is 4-1 with a 2.10 ERA in 34.1 innings with six walks to 28 strikeouts. Opponents are batting .208 against him. Wynkoop is tied for third in the SEC in wins and is third in innings pitched as well.
Wynkoop earned the Tom Price Award as Gamecock MVP of the Clemson series. Wynkoop worked six-plus innings and allowed just one run in the 4-1 victory vs. the Tigers.
Wynkoop is in the weekend rotation for a third straight year. He has made 32 starts in his career, that is second-highest among all returning SEC pitchers.
Senior first baseman Kyle Martin went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a RBI on Tuesday vs. Winthrop. Martin is coming off a strong weekend in which he hit a two-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th inning in South Carolina’s 6-4 win over Kentucky on Sunday. Martin was 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBI in the victory.
Martin is batting .378 (28-for-74) with a team-high 20 runs scored as well as 22 RBI and tied for the team lead with four homers. Martin’s 22 RBI is fourth-highest in the SEC with his four homers tied for ninth-best in the league. Martin also leads the SEC with four sacrifice flies.
Martin currently owns an eight-game hitting streak and has reached base in 11 straight games. Martin has eight multi-hit games and six multi-RBI games this year. Martin is fielding 1.000 at first base and leads the SEC with 210 putouts as well as 218 chances.
Martin elected to return for his final season after being selected in the 20th round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Martin was Carolina’s leading hitter last year batting .336 (82-for-244) with 35 runs scored, 11 doubles, five homers and 38 RBI, a .389 on-base percentage and a .443 slugging percentage. He started all 62 games at first base.
Martin averaged 1.32 hits per game last year, tied for highest among SEC returning leaders. His .336 average is second-highest among returning SEC players as well.
Freshman right-hander Clarke Schmidt worked a career-high 6.2 innings and struck out a career-high seven batters in his first career SEC start in Sunday’s 6-4 win over Kentucky. Schmidt allowed two runs on four hits with two walks. For the season, Schmidt is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in 22.0 innings with four walks to 21 strikeouts.
Schmidt has a pair of wins in relief. Schmidt worked 4.2 scoreless innings with just three hits allowed, no walks and four strikeouts in the 5-2 win over Furman. He followed that up with 2.1 innings of work in a 6-4 win over Northeastern allowing one run on five hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
CONE LEADS IT OFF
Sophomore outfielder Gene Cone reached base in the first 20 games this year. Cone was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the 10th inning in the 6-4 win vs. Kentucky and eventually scored on Martin’s two-run homer. He also went 1-for-3 with two runs scored in a 10-1 victory over Kentucky last Friday.
For the season, Cone is batting .292 (21-for-72) with a team-high 20 runs scored and a .444 on-base percentage. Cone’s 20 runs scored are tied for 11th-highest in the SEC.
A CLOSER LOOK AT WIDENER
Sophomore right-hander Taylor Widener notched a save and a win vs. Kentucky. Widener allowed one run on two hits in 1.2 innings with two strikeouts for his fifth save in a 4-3 victory vs. the Wildcats and followed that up with 1.1 innings of work allowing one run on three hits with two walks and a strikeout in Sunday’s 6-4 victory. Widener is 1-0 with a 2.53 ERA and six saves in 10.2 innings with 18 strikeouts. Opponents are batting .184 against him this year. He ranks second in the SEC in saves.
MAX IT OUT
Junior Max Schrock belted his first career grand slam in the 10-1 victory vs. Kentucky. Schrock finished the game with a career-high five RBI. Schrock earlier in the week went 3-for-3 with three runs scored, a homer and three RBI in a 13-3 win over Penn State. Schrock is batting .242 this year (16-for-66) with three homers and 17 RBI. Schrock ranks tied for third in the SEC with 18 walks and has just four strikeouts on the year and a .395 on-base percentage.
MINCEY MAKES HIS MARK
Senior right-hander Cody Mincey made his first three relief appearances of the year last week. Mincey picked up a save in the 3-0 win over Penn State with one scoreless inning of relief. He added two scoreless innings of relief with no hits allowed and three strikeouts in the 10-1 win over Kentucky and worked one inning in Sunday’s 6-4 win over Kentucky.
Mincey has not allowed a run in 28 of 33 career relief appearances. He owns a 2.06 career ERA with 49 strikeouts in 39.1 career innings pitched.
Freshman Alex Destino is tied with Martin for the team-lead in homers with four on the year. Destino’s two-run homer last Saturday helped lift the Gamecocks to a 4-3 victory. Destino tied his career-high with four RBI including a three-run triple in the 13-3 win over Penn State. He is batting .328 (22-for-67) this year with four homers and 21 RBI. He owns a .552 slugging percentage.
Junior left-hander Vince Fiori pitched two scoreless innings vs. Winthrop and allowed just one hit in one scoreless inning of work in Sunday’s 6-4 win over Kentucky. He has a team-high 10 relief appearances for the season. Fiori is 2-0 with a save and a 0.56 ERA in 16.0 innings with 16 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .135 against him.
ON THE MOUND
For the season, South Carolina pitchers sport a 2.36 team ERA. The Gamecocks have allowed 64 runs, 50 earned, on 157 hits in 191.0 innings with 66 walks to 188 strikeouts. Opponents are batting .2223 against the Gamecocks. South Carolina’s ERA ranks fourth-best in the SEC with opposing batting average sixth-best and batters struck out fifth-highest as well.
AT THE PLATE & ON THE FIELD
South Carolina is hitting .266 (177-for-665) as a team with 129 runs scored, a .365 on-base percentage and a .389 slugging mark. The Gamecocks are fielding .967 for the year.
South Carolina is 17-0 on the year when allowing five runs or less. South Carolina is 16-0 on the year with a lead entering the seventh innings. The Gamecocks are 14-0 when allowing less than 10 hits, 7-1 when recording double-digit hits and 11-0 when out-hitting its opponent. South Carolina is 8-2 in games decided by three runs or less.
START HIM UP
Gene Cone has started all 21 games this year for the Gamecocks with all of his 21 starts in center field.
South Carolina pitchers allowed just eight runs, seven earned, on 19 hits in 28.0 innings this past weekend vs. Kentucky with 30 strikeouts. The Wildcats hit just .186 for the series.
Prior to Penn State scoring in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s 13-3 win, the Gamecocks had not allowed an earned run in 44 consecutive innings. South Carolina did not allow an earned run the entire weekend vs. Miami (Ohio) with a pair of shutouts, 2-0, 7-0 and a 5-3 victory on Sunday with the RedHawks scoring all three runs unearned. The Gamecock pitching staff allowed just 11 hits in 27.0 innings pitched with seven walks to 25 strikeouts. Miami hit just .124 for the weekend.
South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook won his 100th career game in Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Penn State. Coach Holbrook is 104-42 (.712) in three years at the helm of the Gamecock program.