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Baseball Notebook
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Baseball Notebook

March 6, 2017

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina went 2-2 last week with a win vs. Appalachian State and a win at No. 12 Clemson. The Gamecocks are 7-5 on the year after three weeks of action.

Record: 7-5
SEC: 0-0
Home: 6-4
Away: 1-0
Neutral: 0-1

Last Week: 2-2
2/28/17 — Appalachian State (W, 8-4)
3/3/17 — at Clemson (W, 2-0)
3/4/17 — vs. Clemson (L, 8-7)
3/5/17 — Clemson (L, 5-3 (11 inn.))

NOTES:
The South Carolina pitching staff continues to impress as it limited Clemson to a just a .221 batting average in this past weekend’s series allowing 13 runs on 23 hits in 29.0 innings of work. For the season, the Gamecocks own a team ERA of 2.86 with 124 strikeouts in 110.0 innings. The Gamecocks have allowed 43 runs, 35 earned, on 79 hits with 124 strikeouts to 48 walks. Opponents are hitting .198 against Carolina for the season. The opposing batting average is the best among the 14 SEC schools with the Gamecocks ranking second in strikeouts and fourth in earned run average.

Junior right-hander Clarke Schmidt improved to 2-0 on the year with a win in Friday night’s victory at Clemson. Schmidt did not allow a run in 5.2 innings of work and struck out five. Schmidt owns a 0.48 ERA for the season having allowed just four runs, one earned, on 11 hits in 18.2 innings with 19 strikeouts. Opponents are batting .164 against him.

Junior first baseman Matt Williams was South Carolina’s top hitter in the Clemson series and hit .417 (5-for-12) for the weekend with a RBI and two runs scored. Williams currently owns a career-high 10-game hitting streak. For the season he is batting .394 (13-for-33) with a pair of doubles, four runs scored and five RBI. He has a .487 on-base percentage.

Despite a no-decision, junior right-hander Wil Crowe put together a quality start in Saturday’s game vs. Clemson at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C. Crowe allowed four runs on four hits in six-plus innings of work with two walks and six strikeouts. For the season, he is 2-0 with a 2.60 ERA in three starts. He has allowed five runs on 11 hits in 17.1 innings with four walks to 22 strikeouts. Opponents are batting .175 against him.

Sophomore outfielder TJ Hopkins won the Tom Price Award as MVP for the Gamecocks in the Clemson series. Hopkins’ top game of the weekend was Sunday when he went 3-for-5 with his second triple of the season and a pair of runs scored. He also had a key diving catch to record the final out in Friday’s 2-0 win at Clemson. Hopkins is hitting .275 (11-for-40) for the year with a team-high 12 runs scored and a .375 on-base percentage.

Sophomore right-hander Adam Hill gave the Gamecocks a quality start in Sunday’s contest vs. Clemson. Hill allowed just one run, a solo homer, on five hits in 5.1 innings with three walks and seven strikeouts. Hill owns a 1.56 ERA in three starts having allowed five runs, three earned, on nine hits in 17.1 innings with seven walks and 20 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting a miniscule .153 against him.

Sophomore utility player Jacob Olson tallied the Gamecocks’ first multi-homer game of the season in Tuesday’s 8-4 win over Appalachian State. Olson went 2-for-4 with a double, a triple, a RBI and a run scored in Saturday’s 8-7 loss to Clemson. Olson is third in hitting for the Gamecocks batting .317 (13-for-41) on the year with a team-high three homers, a triple and three doubles to go along with seven RBI and eight runs scored. He has a team-best .659 slugging percentage. Olson owns a team-high five multi-hit games.

Junior right-hander Tyler Johnson pitched a scoreless inning of relief for his fourth save of the season in Friday’s 2-0 win at Clemson. Johnson has four saves in five relief appearances. He has struck out 12 in 6.2 innings of work out of the bullpen.

Junior catcher Hunter Taylor is tied for the team lead with three doubles. He had a double in Saturday’s game vs. Clemson and three of his four hits of the season have been doubles. Taylor is batting .333 (4-for-12) with a pair of runs scored in five games and three starts.

Senior right-hander Colie Bowers has not allowed an earned run in six relief appearances for the Gamecocks. Bowers has limited opponents to one unearned run on three hits in 9.1 innings with two walks and 10 strikeouts. Opponents are batting .100 against him. Bowers threw a scoreless inning of relief in Saturday’s contest vs. Clemson and allowed an unearned run on one hit in Sunday’s game.

Sophomore catcher Chris Cullen hit his first homer of the year, a three-run shot in Tuesday’s 8-4 win over Appalachian State. He also belted a two-out RBI double in Sunday’s 5-3 loss vs. Clemson. Cullen owns a .364 on-base percentage in 10 games with eight starts.

Senior left-hander Josh Reagan pitched 2.1 scoreless innings of relief with just one hit allowed and three strikeouts in Friday’s 2-0 win at Clemson. Reagan is 1-0 on the year with a 1.54 ERA in a team-high seven relief appearances. He has allowed just two runs on five hits in 11.2 innings with four walks and 14 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .128 against him.

Sophomore infielder LT Tolbert has raised his batting average to .300 (9-for-30) for the season including a 2-for-4 day at the plate in Sunday’s game vs. Clemson. Tolbert has a .344 on-base percentage and has fielded 1.000 at second base.

Junior designated hitter/outfielder Alex Destino is hitting .295 (13-for-44) with a pair of homers and a team-high 10 RBI on the year. Destino is tied for the team lead in doubles as well with three for the season.

The Gamecocks are hitting .270 (109-for-403) as a team for the year with a .351 on-base percentage and a .397 slugging mark. The Gamecocks are fielding .976 for the season. South Carolina has equaled or out-hit its opponent in 11 of 12 games this year.

South Carolina is 7-2 on the year when scoring first in a game and 6-2 when entering the seventh inning with a lead and 7-1 when entering the ninth inning with the lead. The Gamecocks are 3-1 when scoring six or more runs and 7-3 when allowing five runs or less. South Carolina is 3-4 in games decided by three runs or less.

NEXT WEEK
3/7/17 — The Citadel — 7 p.m.
3/8/17 — Winthrop — 7 p.m.
3/10/17 — Michigan State — 7 p.m.
3/11/17 — Michigan State — 4 p.m.
3/12/17 — Michigan State — 1;30 p.m.