Gamecocks Set For Crab House Shootout
Last weekend the Gamecocks swept their way through the opening weekend mainly due to their hot hitting. Freshman Lonnie Chisenhall had as good a weekend as any true freshman could have hoped for. He was 7-14 (.500 batting percentage) at the plate last weekend with 7 RBI's and was SEC Freshman of the week as a result of his stellar play.
The questions around Andrew Crisp's health were answered as well. Crisp started two of the three games going 6-10 at the plate. With the Gamecocks facing three right-handed pitchers this weekend, Tanner may choose to use more left handed hitters. However, Crisp will without question see time this weekend, and should start at some point in centerfield.
The unusual injury to Robbie Grinestaff is still in question. He went 1-2 at the plate while only seeing limited action, and it should be a little longer before he is back to full speed.
The Gamecock pitching staff will stay in order this weekend with junior Harris Honeycutt once again starting on Friday. Honeycutt (1-0) gave up one run on three hits with six strikeouts in five innings of play in the 13-2 win over Oklahoma last weekend. Honeycutt is not battling to keep a weekend starting role, but when Hempy returns, Honeycutt hopes his early performances earn him the right to stay the Friday starter.
JUCO transfer Jay Brown's Gamecock career got off to a solid start last weekend, as he pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings in the 12-0 win over Western Kentucky. Brown (1-0) will get the start Saturday against Richmond, and look for Tanner to possibly allow him to go seven innings this weekend.
Sophomore Mike Cisco will start on Sunday and hopes to lower his 4.50 ERA after a tough outing against UNC Wilimgington on Sunday. Cisco (1-0), who surrendered seven hits and three runs in six innings against the Seahawks last weekend, hopes to pick up where he left off last year, but will have possibly the toughest challenge of the weekend when he faces The Citadel.
The Gamecocks will face Liberty in the tournament opener Friday at noon. Liberty is 1-2 this season and will send junior Michael Solbach to the mound. Solbach was 7-4 last year. Junior outfielder Garrett Young leads Liberty at the plate so far this season, going 5-9 with one home run last weekend. Liberty defeated East Carolina last Friday, but lost the final two games by a combined score of 18-6.
The Gamecocks and Richmond will face off at 11:00 am Saturday morning. Richmond has not played yet this year, but the Spiders were 22-33 last year and are led by senior outfielders Vince Riggi and Matt McKenna.
Sunday will be by far the toughest challenge as the Gamecocks face the host team, The Citadel Bulldogs. Senior Justin Smith (1-0) will be on the mound, and expect this game to be close. The Bulldogs are 2-1 so far this season after opening the year against East Tennessee State Sophomore outfielder Sonny Meade was 8-15 last weekend and looks to lead the Bulldogs to at least two more wins after this weekend; five would be a bonus.
The Gamecocks should once again come away with a tournament sweep, especially if the hot bats continue. Look for Coach Tanner to continue to try out some arms in the bullpen, and even though Jordan Costner struggled, look for him to be thrown right back into the fire. The Gamecocks will continue to play well, and anything short of a sweep this weekend would be considered a disappointment.
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