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October 12, 2012

Friday scrimmage observations

South Carolina continued fall practice on Friday as the Gamecocks returned to the diamond. GamecockCentral.com's Paulina Berkovich was there to offer some scrimmage impressions.

USC will scrimmage again at noon on Saturday and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

The Gamecocks will take next weekend off for Fall Break. They are scheduled to wind it up with the Garnet and Black World Series on the Oct. 26 weekend. All scrimmages are open to the public.

Home -- CF T.J. Costen, LF Graham Saiko, 2B Max Schrock, 3B LB Dantzler, C Grayson Greiner, 1B Erik Payne, DH Brison Celek, DH Patrick Harrington, SS DC Arendas,P Nolan Belcher, P Tyler Webb, P Josh Knab, P Hunter Privette

Visitor -- CF Anthony Paulsen, 2B Chase Vergason, SS Joey Pankake, DH Curt Britt, 3B George Iskenderian, LF Connor Bright, C Dante Rosenberg, RF Sean Sullivan, DH Zack Smith, 1B Ryan Ripken,P Colby Holmes, P Joel Seddon, P Adam Westmoreland, P Drake Thomason

* The Home team won 5-2.

* Colby Holmes started for the visiting team on a day when several scouts were in attendance, so the Gamecocks made a point to showcase draft-eligible pitchers. Holmes struggled early with his command, missing pitches off the plate, and dropped several balls in the dirt. He walked consecutive batters with two outs in the first before recording the final out on a pop-up to first base. But after giving up a leadoff single to Erik Payne in the second, he induced a flyout to left and finished the inning with an easy groundout after Payne was caught stealing.

* Graham Saiko continued to make a case for playing time, with a walk and a run in the fourth inning and a solid double in the bottom of the sixth. But he was outdone by Max Schrock, who batted behind him. Schrock walked in his first at-bat and belted a single to center in the fourth. In the sixth he hit a line drive to right field and ran so hard his helmet went flying. He hesitated after rounding second and got caught in a rundown, but he managed to dodge the tag and ended up safe at third. Schrock played a solid defensive game at second base, although he is unlikely to displace Chase Vergason as the starter in that position.

* Joey Pankake started at short for the visiting team, committing an error on an easy grounder that allowed the home team to plate its final run in the bottom of the sixth inning. But he had a solid day at the plate, finishing the day with two hits. The second one was very well-placed in the hole between first and second, and Pankake showcased his speed around the basepaths when he not only stole second base but then almost caught Anthony Paulsen when the two scored on a single by Connor Bright.

* Ryan Ripken started at first base for the visiting team. Ripken looked overmatched in two trips to the plate, grounding out to second and striking out, although he played a solid defensive game. The freshman is unlikely to see much playing time this year.

* Aggression on the basepaths paid off once again for the Gamecocks. After T.J. Costen started the bottom of the sixth with a single to center, catcher Dante Rosenberg attempted to gun him down as he stole second base. But the throw sailed into ceter, allowing Costen to go to third and score easily when Saiko followed with a double.

* Joel Seddon had an inconsistent performance, breezing through the third inning before running into trouble in the fourth. Seddon struck on the side in the third, fooling Costen on a ball that bounced in front of home plate for the final out. But in the fourth, after the first three hitters reached base, Grayson Greiner hit a line drive into the left-field corner that dropped just foul. Seddon ended up walking Greiner to plate a run, but he controlled the damage by inducing a double play from Payne and ended the inning with a groundout by Brison Celek. Tyler Webb had the day's best pitching performance, retiring the side in order in both innings that he pitched.

Belcher - 2IP, 1H, 1BB
Holmes - 2IP, 1H, 2BB
Webb - 2IP, 2K
Seddon - 2IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 3K, 3BB
Knabb - 2IP, 1H, 4K, 1BB
Westmoreland - 2IP, 3H, 3R, 2ER, 2K
Privette - 1IP, 2H, 2R, 0ER, 2K
Thomason - 1IP

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