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February 8, 2014

Starters spread the wealth in scrimmage



Chad Holbrook would have to search far and wide - or break down the video in microscopic detail - in order to find much to complain about considering how well the projected starters performed on Saturday.

Seven players collected two hits apiece as part of a 16-hit attack and intermittently injected some brilliant glove work along the way with several outstanding defensive plays in the field during a nine-inning scrimmage Saturday afternoon at Carolina Stadium.

The solid performance from the starters came six days before South Carolina opens the 2014 season with the first of a three-game home series against Bucknell.

Third baseman Joey Pankake led the way with two hits, a walk, sacrifice fly and three RBI, while right fielder Connor Bright had a run-scoring single, double and turned in perhaps the best defensive play of the scrimmage when his sensational running catch in deep right-center robbed Matt Williams of extra bases in the top of the second.

Jack Wynkoop worked four innings for the home team in his final scrimmage appearance prior to his probable start against Bucknell next Saturday afternoon in the second game of the 2014 regular season.

The southpaw from Virginia Beach, Va. allowed one run on five hits with two strikeouts and no walks a she faced 14 batters, including the minimum three batters on three occasions. A pickoff, caught stealing and double play grounder helped his cause.

His counterpart, Curt Britt wiggled out of a bases loaded, no-out jam in the bottom of the first with a strikeout and fly to short right before Marcus Mooney, on third after leading off with an infield single, was tagged out at home trying to score when the ball skipped past catcher Logan Koch.

Soon after his brilliant catch, Bright doubled to left-center with two outs in the bottom of the second off Britt, but didn't score.

Gene Cone, a freshman from Spring Valley, broke the ice for the visitors off Wynkoop in the top of the third when he singled home Jae Roberts with a sharp grounder through the middle. Roberts had singled and eventually moved to third on a long fly to right-center by freshman Brock Maxwell.

The home team finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth with some two-out lightning. After Greiner singled and Widener walked, D.C. Arendas rifled a single to center that scored Greiner. Moments later, Bright's RBI single to left-center scored Widener.

The rest of the scrimmage was dominated by the home team both on the mound and at the plate. Pankake's two-out RBI double into the newly refurbished left field corner gave the home team another run in the bottom of the fifth.

Tanner English flashed his blazing speed in the bottom of the seventh, igniting a three-run outburst by singling off Matthew Vogel and quickly stealing second and third on consecutive pitches.

Extra-hitter Patrick Harrington doubled to left to score English. Three batters later, after a roller slipped under the glove of freshman shortstop Jordan Gore, Pankake plated two runs with a one-out single to center.

The home team added two runs in the ninth against freshman right-hander Matthew Vogel with consecutive sacrifice flies by Schrock and Pankake. English started the inning with a double and trotted to third when Harrington was hit by a pitch and Mooney walked.

Redshirt sophomore lefthander Vince Fiori followed Wynkoop to the mound and faced one batter over the minimum in three innings, allowing two hits.

JUCO transfers Robert Lawhon (USC Sumter) and Trey McNickle (St. Petersburg College) pitched the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, for the home team. Lawhon escaped a bases-loaded situation unscathed by inducing a fielder's choice groundout (FC 4-6) for the final out.

LINEUPS
VISITOR: Gene Cone (8), Jordan Gore (6), Elliott Caldwell (5), Weber Pike (3), Matt Williams (4), Zack Madden (7), Jae Roberts (DH), Logan Koch (2), Brock Maxwell (9).

HOME: Marcus Mooney (6), Max Schrock (4), Joey Pankake (7), Kyle Martin (3), Grayson Greiner (2), Taylor Widener (DH), DC Arendas (5), Connor Bright (9), Tanner English (8), Patrick Harrington (EH).

PITCHERS
VISITORS: Curt Britt (1-3), Josh Reagan (4-6), Matthew Vogel (7-9).

HOME: Jack Wynkoop (1-4), Vince Fiori (5-7), Robert Lawhon (8), Trey McNickle (9).


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