Hitters take advantage of younger pitching in scrimmage
As fall scrimmages motor through October, the Gamecocks bats are still staying hot against younger pitching, with the Black team taking advantage of more inexperience en route to a 4-3 win.
With freshman Sawyer Bridges and redshirt freshman Cody Morris starting, the Gamecocks jumped on Bridges early. LT Tolbert tripled and was driven in a batter later on a Matt Williams sacrifice fly. Carlos Cortes doubled after than and was driven in by a Chase DeMars single.
The Black team would tack on two more runs against Bridges in the third when Cortes doubled again and was brought home on a throwing error. Hunter Taylor scored from third on a wild pitch.
Cody Morris looked like anything but a freshman, pitching three scoreless innings and giving up just one hit, a double to Chris Cullen. Morris also struck out three batters to just one walk.
The Garnet team waited until freshman pitcher Colby Lee entered in the fourth inning to mount a comeback. Jonah Bride singled home Jacob Olson before an Alex Destino double and a wild pitch plated two more.
Graham Lawson pitched for the Garnet, throwing 3.2 scoreless innings and overpowering hitters with his fastball for five strikeouts and no walks.
The Black team would use Dillon Hodge’s scoreless 2.1 innings to settle down and coast to victory. Jonathan Jahn also closed it out for Garnet, pitching 1.1 innings and striking out two.
Josh Gregory made his first appearance at the plate Monday, going 0-for-2 with a walk. He’s still injured and cannot throw from the outfield this fall. Alex Destino also hit well after struggling through the first and third weekends, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Last weekend, head coach Chad Holbrook said he’s going to start narrowing down his position battles and there were signs of it Monday.
Many positions didn’t change throughout the game. The only players that rotated were Carlos Cortes, who started in left, switched with Christian Flint, who started at second base. Cortes had a smooth play to end the scrimmage, making a jumping grab and tag to get a stealing Madison Stokes out.
Cortes finished 2-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored while Stokes started the whole game at shortstop for the Garnet team.
Matt Williams started at first for the Black and was replaced later by Ross Grosvenor. Holbrook said last Sunday if the season started then, Williams would be the starting first baseman.
The fourth weekend of scrimmages, which was delayed due to weather, will conclude Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.
SP, Sawyer Bridges; C, Chris Cullen; 1B, Joey Polak; 2B, Jacob Olson; 3B, Jonah Bride; SS,; Madison Stokes; LF, Alex Destino; CF, TJ Hopkins; RF, Josh Gregory
SP, Cody Morris; C, Hunter Taylor; 1B, Matt Williams; 2B, Christian Flint; 3B, Chase DeMars; SS, LT Tolbert; LF, Carlos Cortes; CF, Danny Blair; RF, Josh Gregory
Sawyer Bridges: 3 IP, 6 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 1 K
Graham Lawson: 3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K
Jonathan Jahn: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Cody Morris: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
Colby Lee: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 4 K
Dillon Hodge: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K
Top offensive performers
Carlos Cortes: 2-4, 2 2B; Danny Blair: 2-4; LT Tolbert: 1-4, 3B; Alex Destino: 2-4, 2B; Chris Cullen: 1-2, 2B, sac fly, RBI