South Carolina’s fall baseball scrimmages wrapped up Sunday with the Garnet team clinching the penultimate series of scrimmages with a 7-3 victory over the Black team.
After over a month of scrimmages, the Gamecocks won’t have any more until the New Year when they try to build on their Super Regional year in 2016.
“We still have to make some strides, but we’re growing as a group,” head coach Chad Holbrook said. “We have a talented group of pitchers, we have a talented group of hitters but we have to continue to improve as a group so we can play at a high level come February.”
After smothering pitching through the first two games where hits were at a premium, offenses got their revenge Sunday. They combined to score six runs through four innings as six pitchers saw action over the same span.
Jacob Olson put the Black team on the board first in the second inning with a RBI groundout plating Carlos Cortes, before Chris Cullen and Ross Grosvenor scored on back-to-back wild pitches.
The Garnet team would come roaring back in the bottom half of the inning when Riley Hogan singled home Destino. They tied the game in the third when Madison Stokes took Graham Lawson deep, belting a two-run homer to the seats in left field.
“I always knew Madison was very, very talented. Finding him the right position was on me to make him get comfortable. He’s certainly played comfortable baseball all fall long,” Holbrook said. “He kind of quarterbacked some things in the middle and made every play. He hadn’t played short a lot in his career here, but he played it at a high level.”
After the third inning, relief pitchers settled in and sat down hitters left and right, as the Black team would only have one more hit through the last four frames, a Chris Cullen single in the fourth.
The go-ahead run came across in the fifth inning when Alex Destino golfed a three-run home run to the right field concourse. That gave the Garnet team a 6-3 lead that they held onto for the remainder of the game.
The Garnet team would tack on an insurance run in the sixth on a Caleb Whitenton RBI single to pus the lead to 7-3. The Black team would push the Garnet team to the limit in the seventh, threatening with two runners in scoring position but Jake Wright bounced out to end the game.
This wraps up the fall scrimmage schedule with scrimmages resuming in January before the season starts in February. The Garnet team walks away winners, ready to savor the series victory and their winner’s spoils the rest of the winter.
“We were thinking it’d be a steak dinner for the winners and a hotdog from the convenient store for the losers. Maybe we’ll stick with that. we’ll all sit at the same table with the losing team getting their little wieners from the 7-11 and maybe we’ll get Halls Chophouse from Charleston to bring in the filets for the winning team. That sounds good to me.”
Garnet: CF, Danny Blair; SS, Madison Stokes; 3B, Matt Williams; LF, Alex Destino; C, John Jones; RF, Riley Hogan; 2B, Chase DeMars; 1B, Caleb Whitenton; DH, Josh Gregory; SP< Sawyer Bridges
Black: CF, TJ Hopkins; SS, LT Tolbert; 3B, Jonah Bride; LF, Carlos Cortes; C, Chris Cullen; RF, Jacob Olson; 1B, Ross Grosvenor; DH, Jake Wright; 2B, Christian Flint; SP, Graham Lawson
Sawyer Bridges: 2 IP, 1 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, HP
Colie Bowers: 1.2 IP, 0 H, O R, 0 BB, 2 K
Wilson Beattie: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Jonathan Jahn: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2 WP
Hank Nichols: .2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K
Josh Reagan: .2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
Graham Lawson: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K
Rian Haire: .2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
Colby Lee: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 2 K
Harrison Smith: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 2 WP
Top offensive performers
Chris Cullen: 2-4, 2B, R; Madison Stokes: 1-2, HR, BB, 2 RBI, 2 R; Alex Destino: 2-3, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R