Latest Team Rankings
Free Text Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
March 5, 2013
BALL STATE (5-4) at NO. 6 SOUTH CAROLINA (8-2)
When: 7 p.m. today, 4 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Carolina Stadium, Columbia
Tickets: Available at the box office
Probable starting pitchers: Ball State - TBA (Today and Wednesday). South Carolina -- LHP Jack Wynkoop (Tuesday, 1-0, 0.00); TBA (Wednesday)
Notes: South Carolina plays its only midweek series of the season. The first meetings between the two teams. USC may again be fighting the weather tonight. The Gamecocks moved the time of the Wednesday game forward three hours so as not to conflict with the 7 p.m. basketball game. Wednesday's pitcher will depend on who isn't used tonight. Ball State is coming to Columbia after playing a doubleheader against Morehead State in Spartanburg on Monday. The Cardinals won both games. First baseman LB Dantzler has a seven-game hitting streak.
Next up: USC hosts the first of a three-game series against Rider at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Might as well stay with the hot hand - or arm.
After sixth-ranked South Carolina's left-handers dominated Clemson over a three-game series, the Gamecocks will once again turn to a left-hander when their next opponent rolls into town. Tonight at Carolina Stadium, freshman southpaw Jack Wynkoop will receive his second straight start, hoping to duplicate the success of his teammates against the Tigers, and of his own performance a week ago.
Wynkoop scattered five hits but no runs in 5 1-3 innings against Furman a week ago, helping clinch a 5-2 victory. The talent-rich rookie, who was aiming for a spot in the weekend rotation until senior Nolan Belcher beat him out in the spring, is hoping to keep his upside pointed up.
"I was happy that the coaches wanted to give me the ball," Wynkoop said after the Furman game. "I didn't really get nervous. Maybe a little bit in the locker room before (the game). But once I got out there, it just seemed like normal baseball. I think I got most of my nerves out against Liberty."
Wynkoop, a tall lefty, hasn't faced a lot of the struggles of some freshmen pitchers. He came into fall practice and began getting batters out, not fooling around trying to work the corners but throwing each of his pitches over the plate and commanding batters to swing, or take a called strike. While Belcher was a bit better during the spring and earned the role, Wynkoop wasn't fazed - he's going to be an important part of USC's pitching staff this year and maybe it was the best move, anyway. Throwing a freshman right into the mix, even one talented enough to get to USC, may have bitten off more than he could chew.
"For a young guy, he is advanced beyond his years," coach Chad Holbrook said. "He has a chance to be a special pitcher for us. It was good to see him get out of the gate and throw the ball well."
The Gamecocks have been terrific on the mound, especially lately, and their offense has started to come around. After batting below .200 in the first two games against Clemson, USC scored eight runs in the final game, including five with two outs in the deciding sixth inning.
Going into the first five-game week of the season, Holbrook wants to see that continue. USC shook up its lineup on Sunday and responded with one of its best games of the young season, and the Gamecocks have seven more games to figure out their best options before SEC play begins.
More than that, Holbrook saw his team respond to a challenge. After a loss to Clemson on Saturday in Greenville, Holbrook saw the Gamecocks ready to go for the series finale.
"I didn't really have to say anything to them," Holbrook said after Sunday's game. "Sometimes when you come to the stadium, you can tell whether a team is ready to go or not, just based on whether they're a little edgy, on the edge of their seat here in the pre-game meal. Sometimes as a coach, you just get a feeling. After pre-game meal, I sat in my office and I said, 'I think we're ready to go today.' And they were."
South Carolina NEWS