Veterans shine in Friday's scrimmage
The Gamecock baseball team began its second weekend of fall scrimmages Friday with a matchup of two pitchers who hope to compete for the job of Sunday starter.
The eight inning game was dominated by many of last year's starters and the Garnet team came away with the 4-2 win in eight innings.
Sophomore Adam Hill took the mound for the Garnet against freshman Cody Morris and the Black team.
After a shaky start, Hill looked like his usual self, working around a leadoff double by TJ Hopkins to pitch three scoreless innings, striking out four and walking one.
Morris struggled with his control, walking three batters in the first two innings. The right-hander walked two and allowed a two-out single that led to the first run of the game.
The teams notched only six hits apiece over eight innings, all singles apart from Hopkins' leadoff double. The Garnet team struck first when Matt Williams singled in freshman Riley Hogan in the second inning.
The Garnet team extended its lead in the fourth inning with back-to-back-to-back singles off of Reed Scott. The senior got a strikeout and flyout to start the inning before junior college transfer Chase DeMars singled. Chris Cullen then hit a rocket to left field for a single that was misplayed by freshman Carlos Cortes. DeMars came around to score and Cullen advanced on the throw. Williams then singled in Cullen to give the Garnet team a 3-0 lead.
The Black team pulled within one in the sixth inning with two more two-out singles. Senior Josh Reagan walked junior college transfer Justin Row before striking out Cortes and Alex Destino. Madison Stokes worked a walk before back-to-back singles by juniors Jonah Bride and Hunter Taylor made the score 3-2.
The Garnet team made it 4-2 in the bottom of the frame with yet another two-out RBI. Senior Dillon Hodge hit fellow senior John Jones on the elbow before getting Jacob Olson and Hogan to flyout. DeMars drew a walk and Cullen singled in pinch-runner Danny Blair to give the Garnet team a two-run lead.
Hodge closed out the eight-inning game with a strong 1-2-3 finish.
1B, Riley Hogan; 2B Chase DeMars; SS, LT Tolbert; 3B, Matt Williams; LF, Christian Flint; CF, Danny Blair; RF, Jacob Olson; C, Chris Cullen; SP, Adam Hill
1B, Joey Polack; 2B, Madison Stokes; SS, Justin Row; 3B, Jonah Bride; LF, Carlos Cortes; CF, TJ Hopkins; RF, Alex Destino; C, Hunter Taylor; SP, Cody Morris
Adam Hill- 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K
Josh Reagan- 3 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K
Colie Bowers- 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
Cody Morris- 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (ER), 3 BB, 0 K
Reed Scott- 2 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K
Dillon Hodge- 3 IP, 1 H, 1 R (ER), 3 BB, K
Top Offensive Performers
Chase DeMars: 1-for-2, BB, R; Chris Cullen: 2-for-2, BB, RBI; Matt Williams: 2-for-2, BB, 2 RBI; TJ Hopkins: 2-for-4, double; Jonah Bride: 2-for-3, RBI; Hunter Taylor: 1-for-3, RBI
— John Jones left the game after getting hit in the elbow in the sixth inning and did not return. However, he looked to be alright after a minute or two and the Garnet team never got back to his spot in the order, as he was the DH.
— Josh Reagan looked strong, aside from the two walks and a couple seeing-eye grounders that led to two earned runs. His fastball topped off at 88 mph, a tad faster than the 85-86 that he averaged last year. He struck out Destino on a 72 mph curveball that, was for all intents and purposes, unhittable.
— Cortes struggled today, but you can tell that he is worthy of his high ranking. Pegged as the best catcher in the country, he's going through the growing pains of learning a new position. He misplayed a couple of balls in left, but with time, should find a home somewhere in the lineup.
— Danny Blair struggled on the base paths, actually recording three outs in the same inning. Hodge, a lefty, picked him off of first. Since it was a scrimmage, head coach Chad Holbrook told him to stay on first. He was picked off again one throw over later. After again staying on first, and staving off a couple more pickoff attempts, he was caught stealing to end the inning. It looked to me like a lapse in focus rather than bad technique or speed, but it's something to keep an eye on.
— Class of 2018 Gamecock commit John Gilreath was in attendance. He arrived a bit late, but the left-hander said he plans to take in the rest of this weekend's scrimmages.