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October 4, 2013
South Carolina held its tenth intrasquad scrimmage of the fall Friday afternoon, and Gamecock Central was there.
After racing to a 4-1 lead after six innings, the home side rallied back and forced a 5-5 tie as play ended after eight innings.
The key hits in the home rally were a 2-RBI single from Joey Pankake, who went 2-4 with 3 RBI on the afternoon playing in left field, and an RBI-single from Connor Bright, who finished the day 3-4 in addition to his RBI.
For the visiting side, freshman Jordan Gore led the way with 2 RBI and a 2-3 day at the plate in addition to fielding a fine second base. Teammate Anthony Paulsen also had a fine Friday, going 3-3 from the plate with an RBI.
On the mound, sophomore left-hander Vince Fiori continued an impressive fall throwing four innings of one-run baseball, allowing only four hits for the away side while the home pitchers were led by the equally capable freshman lefty Josh Reagan, who scattered five hits, allowed one run and struck out four.
PANKAKE HEATING UP: In his two at-bats with runners on base, Joey Pankake blistered pitches to left field to tally 3 RBIs. He's showing discipline at the plate, too, with both RBI singles coming with two strikes in the count.
On a perhaps unrelated note, despite the heat Pankake is sporting a beard. I wish I could make a joke here about pankakes and beards, but I've got nothing.
ENGLISH LESSONS: After struggling mightily to open the fall, Tanner English is surging at the plate. He went 2-3 Friday with two runs scored, a double, a stolen base and even shrugged off getting plunked in the head in the seventh inning on a pitch from Preston Johnson. Coach Chad Holbrook has said he wants English to have fun playing baseball and not worry about over-thinking every at-bat, and it appears that approach is building confidence. Like Pankake, English's two hits came with two strikes.
His leadoff double in the first inning was a thing of beauty. English quickly got down two strikes but worked back to a full count and then reached out and sharply hit a ball that painted the third-base line into the corner for an easy double that drew a round of applause from his teammates.
BRIGHT SHINES: Even though he's limited with a brace on his left foot and did not play the field or run the bases, Connor Bright had a stellar day with the bat, collecting three singles and the game-tying RBI in the bottom of the eighth.
SCHROCK MAGNIFICENT: He didn't hit, but boy, did Max Schrock play some defense Friday. Playing second base and having taken over for a legend in Scott Wingo, Schrock makes plays that don't seem possible, and he continued to display that ability Friday.
Left fielder Zach Madden led off the top of the third and smacked a grounder up the middle just to the left of the bag. Sprinting to his right - and going away from first base - Shrock gloved it behind shortstop DC Arendas, who couldn't get to it, then turned and fired a throw to an outstretched Kyle Martin at first to get the speedy Madden by a nanosecond.
UP NEXT: The team will scrimmage tomorrow (Saturday) at noon.
Home: Tanner English (2-3, 2B, 2 RS, SB, HBP), Joey Pankake (2-4, 3 RBI, SB), Connor Bright (3-4, RBI).
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