Columbia, SC (University of SC, SID) - South Carolina (39-13) is back in action on Tuesday hosting The Citadel (20-31) in the final home game of the regular season. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. The game is available on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, "The Game." Live video broadcast is available at GamecocksOnline on the All Access Channel. Andy Demetra and Tommy Moody will have the call.
South Carolina is ranked No. 8 by the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll, No. 9 by the NCBWA, No. 15 by Perfect Game and No. 17 by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.
A LOOK BACK: South Carolina went 4-0 last week with non-conference win vs. Wofford and a weekend sweep of Missouri. The Gamecocks are now 39-13 and 16-11 in the SEC with four games left in the regular season. South Carolina is tied for second in the SEC East and tied for third overall with three league games remaining. South Carolina's final weekend series is at Vanderbilt, who is also tied for second in the East with the Gamecocks.
LAST TIME VS. THE CITADEL: Despite homers from Brison Celek and DC Arendas as well as seven hits and 10 walks at the plate, South Carolina fell to The Citadel 10-8 on April 16, 2014 in non-conference action at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park.
Kyle Martin went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a pair of RBI to lead the Gamecocks at the plate. Celek was also 2-for-4 and Arendas reached base five times with a homer, three walks and a hit by pitch. The Citadel belted out 12 hits and benefited from eight walks and three Gamecock errors to score double-digits on South Carolina, just the second time this season the Gamecocks have allowed 10 or more runs. Mason Davis went 3-for-4 with three runs, a homer and a pair of RBI. Tyler Griffin added two hits and three RBI with Drew DeKerlegand also with a homer.
Austin Livingston earned the win for The Citadel. He allowed five runs, four earned, on three hits with four walks and eight strikeouts in five innings of work. Skylar Hunter earned a save with a scoreless ninth inning. Carolina starter Matthew Vogel suffered the loss. He allowed five runs, four earned on three hits in 2.1 innings.
Junior catcher Grayson Greiner was named the 2013-14 USC Co-Male Student-Athlete of the Year alongside Gamecock football/basketball standout Bruce Ellington. Greiner has been recognized in the baseball circles as well as he has been was named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List for the top catcher in college baseball and is on USA Baseball's Midseason Watch List for the Golden Spikes Award.
Greiner Tags Out Missouri Runner
Greiner continues to lead the Gamecocks in hitting with a .347 average (61-for-176) with 36 runs scored, a team-high 11 doubles and eight homers as well as 48 RBI, third highest in the SEC. His .347 average is fifth-best in the SEC. He also has a team-best .417 on-base percentage and a .545 slugging mark. Greiner owns an identical .347 average (35-for-101) in league games with four homers and 23 RBI vs. SEC teams. Greiner is also riding a 10-game hitting streak.
Greiner was named SEC Player of the Week on March 31 after his play in the Tennessee series. Greiner hit a walk-off grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning to lift South Carolina to a 9-6 win over Tennessee. His play along with Jordan Gore's walk-off homer was No. 1 on ESPN's SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays of the Day.
Greiner Behind the Plate
Greiner won the Tom Price award as the MVP for South Carolina in the weekend series vs. Clemson. 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.
SOME SUPERLATIVES: The Gamecocks are 28-1 when leading entering the seventh inning as well as 32-1 when leading entering the ninth inning. The Gamecocks are 34-4 when outhitting the opponent as well. South Carolina is 8-4 in one-run games and 37-8 when allowing five runs or less. The Gamecocks are 19-1 when scoring six runs or more as well. South Carolina is 18-11 in games decided by three runs or less. The Gamecocks have allowed three runs or less in 38 of 52 games this year with a 35-3 record in those contests.
SEDDON SEALS IT: Junior right-hander Joel Seddon pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 14th save of the year in South Carolina's 3-1 victory. Seddon leads the league with 14 saves with nine of the 14 vs. SEC opponents. He is 2-1 with a 0.54 ERA. He has limited opponents to just three runs, two earned, on 15 hits in 33.1 innings with 41 strikeouts to seven walks. Opponents are batting .134 against him. He is 14-for-15 in save opportunities. Seddon sits alone at seventh place on the USC Single-Season Top 10 save list. He has been named to the NCBWA Midseason Stopper of the Year Watch List.
SOUTH CAROLINA BULLPEN: South Carolina's bullpen is 18-1 with a 1.03 ERA in 193.0 innings pitched this year. The bullpen has 199 strikeouts to 62 walks, opponents batting .183 against the relievers. The relief staff has limited opponents to 27 runs, 22 earned, on 124 hits.
The numbers are very similar for SEC games with a 7-1 record along with nine saves and a 0.91 ERA in 89.1 conference innings pitched. The relievers have given up 13 runs, nine earned, on 60 hits with 86 strikeouts to 28 walks. Conference opponents are hitting .193 against the Gamecock relievers.
MINCEY WITH AN APPEARANCE: Junior right-hander Cody Mincey had a pair of scoreless appearances vs. the Tigers. Mincey went 1.2 scoreless in Saturday's win and followed that up with two scoreless innings to pick up the victory in Sunday's 2-1 win. Mincey is 5-0 on the year with a 0.54 ERA. He leads the Gamecocks with 26 appearances. Mincey has 43 strikeouts in 33.1 innings. He is tied for fourth in the SEC in appearances.
Junior infielder Joey Pankake went 6-for-12 in the Missouri series. Pankake had two hits in Sunday's 2-1 win including a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. Pankake is now batting .306 (56-for-183) for the year with a team-high 45 runs scored and a .393 on-base percentage with 23 walks to 17 strikeouts.
DC DELIVERS: Sophomore infielder DC Arendas was 5-for-10 in the Missouri series. Arendas tied his season-high with three hits in Saturday's 3-1 victory. Arendas has climbed to .292 (42-for-144) with a .393 on-base percentage.
MONTGOMERY GETS IT STARTED: Junior left-hander Jordan Montgomery was in command on Friday night to earn his seventh win of the season. Montgomery allowed just two runs on five hits in 8.1 innings with eight strikeouts and a walk. Montgomery is 7-4 with a 3.21 ERA in 81.1 innings. He has struck out a team-high 77 batters and opponents are batting .237 against him. Montgomery ranks sixth in the SEC in strikeouts.
JACK OF ALL TRADES: Sophomore left-hander Jack Wynkoop allowed one run on five hits in 5.2 innings with a walk and two strikeouts to pick up a win in the 3-1 victory vs. Missouri. Wynkoop is 7-3 with a 2.16 ERA in 79.0 innings. He has 54 strikeouts to 10 walks. His ERA ranks 10th in the SEC.
CARDIAC GAMECOCKS: The Gamecocks have won six games this season when trailing entering the seventh inning including four wins when trailing entering the ninth inning. South Carolina is outscoring opponents 90-23 from the seventh inning through extra innings on the year. From the sixth inning to the end, South Carolina is also outscoring opponents 142-36.
AT THE PLATE, ON THE MOUND AND IN THE FIELD: South Carolina is hitting .283 (500-for-1767) as a team with a .360 on-base percentage and a .380 slugging percentage. The .283 averages is fourth-best in the league. The Gamecocks own a SEC-best 2.03 ERA in 470.0 innings with 402 strikeouts to 134 walks, opponents batting .219 against the squad. South Carolina is fielding .976 on the year, second-best in the SEC. South Carolina also owns a 2.56 ERA in SEC games, best in the league as well.
CLUTCH CONE: Freshman outfielder Gene Cone had a bases-clearing double in Friday night's 8-2 win over Missouri. Cone has 17 RBI in 20 starts and a .333 on-base percentage.
Cone had two of the biggest hits in the weekend series vs. Alabama. Cone reached base in all four plate appearances in a 9-3 win with three walks and a key three-run triple. He followed that up with two-out two-run single that would give the Gamecocks a lead they would not relinquish in Sunday's 9-3 win. Cone had a team-high five RBI and two runs scored vs. the Crimson Tide. Cone came through for the Gamecocks in both victories at Auburn two weeks ago. He belted a career-high three hits including a game-tying RBI double in the top of the ninth inning to help South Carolina rally for a 3-2 win at Auburn on Saturday. He then followed that up on Sunday going 1-for-3 with game-winning RBI sacrifice fly in the eighth inning of South Carolina's 4-3 win at Auburn. Cone tied his career-high with three hits in Wednesday's 6-1 win over USC Upstate.
MAX IT OUT: Sophomore infielder Max Schrock returned to the lineup on Wednesday and immediately helped out going 2-for-5 with two RBI in the 15-1 win over Wofford. He added three hits and a RBI in the 8-2 win over Missouri, tallied a RBI in the 3-1 win vs. the Tigers and scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning in the 2-1 series finale after leading off with a triple. Schrock owns a .269 average (28-for-104) in 29 games with a .462 slugging percentage.
Schrock had a flair for the dramatic in the Ole Miss series. Despite a sprained ankle, Schrock came on in a pinch-hit role and without taking batting practice before the game, launched a two-out two-run homer to right field in the bottom of the 9th to help the Gamecocks rally to a 5-4 10-inning win over the Rebels. The previous day, Schrock tied a career-high with four hits including a homer as well as two RBI and two runs scored in the 6-4 loss.
HOME SWEET HOME: South Carolina has eight sellouts this year and 38 in school history at Carolina Stadium. South Carolina has totaled 270,989 in attendance in 36 home games for an average of 7,527 per contest.
South Carolina is 186-37 in all-time games at Carolina Stadium, a winning percentage of .834. That is the best winning percentage of all 14 SEC schools since opening the facility.
HARRINGTON HIGHLIGHT: Junior outfielder Patrick Harrington has a hit in five of the last six games. Harrington tallied a RBI single in the 2-1 win on Sunday and went 2-for-3 with a run scored in the 3-1 win the day before. Harrington set a career-high in the 15-1 win vs. Wofford with three RBI as well.
K-MART: Junior first baseman Kyle Martin had four hits in the 6-1 win over USC Upstate and went 4-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI in Sunday's 9-3 win over Alabama. Martin owns a .317 average (64-for-202) with 31 runs scored, eight doubles, four homers and 27 RBI. Martin leads the Gamecocks with 19 multi-hit games.
A LITTLE BIT OF ENGLISH: Junior outfielder Tanner English hit .500 (5-for-10) in the Alabama series as well with two runs scored and two RBI. English is hitting .285 (51-for-179) for the year with a team-high 15 stolen bases.
MOONEY IN THE MIDDLE: Sophomore shortstop Marcus Mooney is a spark plug at the plate and in the field. He is up to a .266 average (47-for-177) at the plate. He has scored 23 runs and driven in 20 runs as well. Mooney has 12 of his 20 RBI with two outs this year.
WIDENER SHOWS VERSATILITY: Freshman Taylor Widener pitched a perfect inning of relief with a strikeout in 15-1 win over Wofford. He also had 0.2 perfect innings at Georgia and added a single and a run scored as well in his lone plate appearance in Sunday's game. Widener is 3-0 on the mound with a 0.87 ERA in 18 appearances. He has 31 strikeouts in 31.0 innings; opponents are batting .150 against him.
GREAT SCOTT: Freshman right-hander Reed Scott has been effective in a middle relief role for the Gamecocks. Scott pitched six scoreless innings of relief to earn his first career win in a Gamecock uniform and kept the Gamecocks alive in a 9-6 come-from-behind victory vs. Tennessee. Scott is 1-0 with a 0.83 ERA on the year. He has allowed just three runs on 23 hits in 32.2 innings, opponents hitting .205 against him.
A BRIGHT SPOT: Junior outfielder Connor Bright is hitting at a .336 clip (48-for-143) with 10 doubles, 23 RBI and 25 runs scored. Bright has a .376 on-base percentage and a .406 slugging percentage. He owns 14 multi-hit games
VINNY: Junior left-hander Vince Fiori pitched one scoreless inning of relief in 15-1 win over Wofford. Fiori has a 0.00 ERA in 17.0 innings pitched with 17 strikeouts to seven walks. Opponents own a .177 average against him.
REAGAN SUPPLIES RELIEF: Freshman left-hander Josh Reagan pitched 2.2 scoreless innings of relief in Sunday's 5-3 loss to Georgia. Reagan has been very effective this year with a 3-0 record and a 0.36 ERA in 25.0 innings with 24 hits allowed. He has 21 strikeouts to four walks as well.
STARTERS: Two Gamecock players have started all 52 games this year, junior first baseman Kyle Martin and junior center fielder Tanner English.
Photos by Burton Fowles