Here is the belated, and abbreviated, field report for the last few games.
South Carolina played Princeton over the weekend and continued their Tiger-taming ways by sweeping the series. Friday night’s game was another pitching duel. Freshmen Kyle Martin and Connor Bright both drove in runs to support Michael Roth’s appearance. Roth pitched beautifully before he ran into some trouble in the ninth. The Tigers plated their first run of the series in the ninth, but Evan Beal came in to strike out the last batter, earn the save and seal the win.
On Saturday the offense provided a less dramatic experience for the fans in attendance. Carolina scored in 5 of their 8 innings at bat and squeezed Princeton into submission. Christian Walker was 3 for 4 with a pair of RBIs, and Dante Rosenberg was 2 of 3. Matt Price pitched 6 innings of one run baseball, and Tyler Webb and Forrest Koumas didn’t allow any runs the remainder of the game.
Sunday’s game was about being opportunistic. The Gamecocks were out hit, but came out on top 3-1. Erik Payne had a double and a home run to drive in two runs and lead the offense. Colby Holmes pitched 5 shut out innings before giving way to 5 Gamecock pitchers.
On Tuesday the Gamecocks dispatched Charleston Southern 5-2 on the shoulders of Adam Westmoreland’s 5.2 IP. On Wednesday night USC spotted App State 4 runs in the first before retiring the next 23 batters in a row and storming back for a 6-4 win.
On Friday USC starts its conference schedule against Kentucky. While some questions have been answered, there are plenty that remain. Here's what we know.
Christian Walker playing first base; LB Dantzler playing third base, and Evan Marzilli in centerfield.
Tanner English in the outfield, and Erik Payne at second.
In the outfield, Coach Tanner continues to try to get Adam Matthews back to his pre-injury production, but there is such a depth of talent for the outfield that settling for any other than above average production won’t be an option. Shortstop is still in the air. The job appeared to be Joey Pankake’s, but Connor Bright has brought a steady glove to the position and may be tough to move. Grayson Greiner has been a superb defensive catcher, ad has been more than adequate hitting as well. Dante Rosenberg is playing well, to and could share time behind the plate. Lastly, there is Kyle Martin, a first baseman who won’t unseat Christian Walker, but he is hitting so well that he is going to have to get more at bats, probably as the designated hitter.
Michael Roth and Colby Holmes have been exceptional and will keep their weekend roles. Matt Price has had a slightly bumpier start, but he is doing fine and will only continue to improve. Coming out of the bullpen, there is an embarrassment of riches. The real decision for pitching coach Jerry Meyers is what roles the pitchers should take over. Tyler Webb and Ethan Carter are off to great starts and could do long relief or a set-up closing role. Forrest Koumas had an unfortunate outing against Clemson, but has otherwise been the closer we need. Evan Beal also looks to be a closer or set up possibility. Nolan Belcher and Adam Westmoreland have recovered from injury nicely and are available. There is still some fluidity to roles, and that will probably continue, but the early production has been great.
Tomorrow we’ll have a preview of the Kentucky series
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