Notebook: Seniors, Sarge Frye honored
Andrew Crisp had made five trips to the batter's box on the night and had only reached first base on a walk. It wasn't the kind of senior night he had in mind offensively. But as fellow senior Alex Farotto threw his last pitch to Joey Lewis, Crisp was the direction the ball was heading in. How appropriate that senior player was the name called on to make the final play during the first senior day at Carolina Stadium.
In his four-year career on the field, Crisp did it all for the Gamecocks, playing numerous positions across the field. Last spring, he saw time in the outfield and second base and was asked to take over at third base this season following the departure of James Darnell to professional baseball.
The revolving door of assignments didn't hurt Crisp's ability at the plate as his 254 career hits are No. 6 all-time in the Carolina record books. He is 11 hits behind Derick Urquhart and Landon Powell (265) for fifth place all-time.
Crisp joined fellow seniors Alex Farotto, Curtis Johnson, Jay Brown, Jordan Costner, Craig Thomas and Jesse Barbaro as the seven players honored in this year's class.
Farotto has become the top closer on the team with eight saves and a 3-2 record in 17 games this season. For his career, Farotto has a 5-3 record with eight saves in 64 games.
Joining Farotto out of the bullpen was Johnson who is 2-0 on the season in 16 appearances. Although he has fought injury, Johnson has made some extended appearances in his last few times out, including over two innings of work against Tennessee last weekend. Johnson has made 52 total appearances in his career with a 4-3 record and four saves.
Though injuries have slowed his career, Brown became a reliable mid-week starter in his senior season with a 3-0 record and 3.58 ERA. In 14 career appearances, Brown is 5-0 and could be coming back next season as USC looks to ask the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility due to his previous injuries.
Costner finishes his year with just two appearances after seeing action in 15 games previously. He does have a career record of 3-0.
Thomas, who is a two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection, has not appeared in any games this season due to injury. Last season, he made 21 appearances and recorded one save.
After sitting out last season due to transferring from Lander, Barbaro appeared in five games and has scored two runs as a pinch runner.
Gamecocks dedicate plaque to Sarge Frye
South Carolina athletics director Eric Hyman told the crowd that gathered in the outfield concourse that the school would always honor their history. Friday's ceremony was the first step at the new Carolina Stadium to honoring one of the greatest members of USC's past as the school unveiled a new plaque to honor the late Weldon B. "Sarge" Frye who spent over 30 years as the groundskeeper for numerous school facilities.
With over a dozen members of his family on hand, Frye's son Jerry and daughter Nancy pulled the drape off of the over three foot tall plaque to reveal an image in the likeness of Frye and an inscription detailing the success of his time at USC.
"Sarge could certainly be proud of the new baseball facility," Jerry said in an address to the gathered crowd.
The namesake of USC's previous baseball park, Frye spent his career working at University maintaining the athletic fields the numerous teams played on. In 1980, the USC Board of Trustees named the baseball field in his honor for his years of service to the school. The park served as home of Carolina baseball until last year when the new Carolina Stadium was finished.
In his years of work, Frye worked with some of the most successful coaches in school history including Bobby Richardson, June Raines and current USC head coach Ray Tanner who Jerry said he said his father had a father-son like relationship with. Upon his death in 2003, Tanner and the team donned caps with the word "Sarge" sewn into the side in his honor.
"I think this is certainly a great remembrance of him," Jerry said.
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