April 16, 2014

Gamecocks’ struggles continue in a 4-1 loss to Charleston Southern (AUDIO)

Holbrook was not happy with team's overall effort Tuesday night

Holbrook was not happy with team’s overall effort Tuesday night (File Photo)

USC’s losing streak reached three games Tuesday night with a 4-1 loss to Charleston Southern at Carolina Stadium.  The previous two losses to Florida saw the Gamecocks blow late inning leads.  The Gamecocks never led against the Bucs and didn’t scratch until the bottom of the 9th.

The win is Charleston Southern’s first over USC since 2003.  The Gamecocks drop to 28-8 with a trip to The Citadel coming up Wednesday night.  The Bucs improve to 19-20.

The Bucs built a 4-0 lead thru five innings on a sacrifice fly and a RBI single by Al Tomas and RBI singles from Zack Hagaman and Chase Shelton.

Joe Pistacchio pitched the first two innings with Dennis Buckley taking the game to two outs in the 9th.  He was removed after giving up an RBI single to Jordan Gore for the Gamecocks’ lone run.  Austin Weekly struck out Tanner English with runners on first and second to end the game.

Buckley earned the win and is 2-0.  USC starter Evan Beal gave up five hits and three runs in 2.1 innings and suffered the loss to fall to 0-1.   Reed Scott and Josh Reagan also pitched for USC.

Box Score

AUDIO: Chad Holbrook discusses USC’s third straight loss [5:35]

AUDIO: Grayson Greiner talks about Tuesday’s loss [2:38]


Gators rally late again to take series from USC with 6-5 win (AUDIO)

Mooney's error opened the door for Florida's rally (File Photo)

Mooney’s error opened the door for Florida’s rally (File Photo)

USC lost a three run lead after the seventh inning Saturday night  in a 13 inning loss to Florida, and Sunday afternoon the Gamecocks saw a two run lead after the seventh inning evaporate in a 6-5 loss to that gave the Gators a 2-1 series victory.

It’s Florida’s third straight season series victory over the Gamecocks.  The Gators won despite committing five errors that led to three unearned runs.

USC led 4-2 going into the top of the 8th but the Gators turned the game with a four run rally.  The Gators loaded the bases with one out against USC starter Wil Crowe and he was replaced by Taylor Widener.  He induced a hard hit ground ball to short from Peter Alonso but  shortstop Marcus Mooney couldn’t handle it.    The error allowed two runs to score tying the game.

Zack Powers untied the game with a a double to left center and  Buddy Reed followed with a RBI single for his third hit of the day.

A solo homer by Jordan Gore in the bottom of the 8th made it a 6-5 game but the Gamecocks went down in order in the 9th against Eric Hanhold who picked up his second save of the season.

Dane Dunning earned the win, his first decision of the season and Crowe took the loss and is 6-2.

USC third baseman Joey Pankake had to leave the game with a pulled hamstring and his status for upcoming games is unknown at this point.  Rightfielder  Connor Bright did not start due to an elbow injury and second baseman Max Schrock missed his third straight game due to an illness.

The Gamecocks are now 28-7 overall and 8-7 in the SEC.  Florida is 23-13 and 9-6.  USC will host Charleston Southern Tuesday night before traveling to The Citadel Wednesday night and to Auburn this weekend.

Box Score

AUDIO: Chad Holbrook talks about the loss to Florida [10:14]




Florida outlasts USC in 13 innings 4-3 to even series (VIDEO)

Pankake had three hits in the loss (File Photo)

Pankake had three hits in the loss (File Photo)

Despite tallying 14 hits, fourth-ranked South Carolina fell to 13th-ranked Florida 4-3 in 13 innings on Saturday afternoon at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks are now 28-6 on the year and 8-6 in the conference action and the Gators improve to 22-13 and 8-6 in the SEC.   The rubber game of the series is set for Sunday with first pitch at 1:30 p.m.

Tied at 3-3 entering the 13th Florida pushed a run across in the top of the 13th and held on for the win. A pair of singles from Harrison Bader and Taylor Gushue and a hit by pitch from South Carolina reliever Taylor Widener on Peter Alonso loaded the bases for the Gators. With one out Justin Shafer lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to score Bader and give the Gators a one-run lead. Florida freshman left-hander A.J. Puk would pitch a perfect frame in the bottom of the 13th to seal the Gators victory.

Puk is now 3-2 after 3.1 scoreless innings in two separate stints in the game. South Carolina junior right-hander Joel Seddon suffered the loss in relief. He is 1-1 on the year. He allowed two runs, on earned, on four hits in five innings of work with two walks and five strikeouts. It is the first game this season that Seddon has allowed a run in 15 relief appearances.

South Carolina got on the board first with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. DC Arendas led off with a base hit, advanced to second on Tanner English’s sacrifice bunt and scored the first run of the game on Joey Pankake’s RBI double. Marcus Mooney would then bring home Pankake with a single up the middle.

The Gamecocks added to their lead, going ahead 3-0 in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Elliott Caldwell singled and stole second, putting a runner in scoring position for Tanner English who sent a 2-2 pitch to left field for a double and allowed Caldwell to score.

Florida responded with two runs in the top of the eighth. Buddy Reed opened the frame with a bunt for a base hit and scored on A.J. Puk’s RBI double. Richie Martin would then bring Puk home with a single to right field.

The Gators tied it in the ninth inning. Pinch hitter Zack Powers led off with a single to right-center. Jason Lombardozzi entered the game to pinch-run, advanced to second on a passed ball and would even the score at 3-3 on Casey Turgeon’s sacrifice fly to left field.

South Carolina’s 14-hit afternoon featured three-hit games from Pankake and English. Kyle Martin and Arendas had two hits as well. Bader went 3-for-6 to lead the Gators at the plate.

Story by USC Sports Information

Box Score

Chad Holbrook post game press conference

Staley steals the show at USC’s spring game (VIDEO/AUDIO)

Dylan Thompson was sharp in his first spring game as the clear leader of the Gamecock offense

Dylan Thompson was sharp in his first spring game as the clear leader of the Gamecock offense

Steve Spurrier gave a hint during the week as to who would be the receiver for his annual off the sideline pass in the USC spring game.  Spurrier said it would be a local celebrity.

So who could be local and enough of a celebrity to earn the honor?

TE Jerrell Adams had a 34 yard catch

TE Jerrell Adams had a 34 yard catch

How about USC women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley.  Late in the first half, earlier than normal for the game, Staley sneaked into the end zone and caught a 30 yard lob pass from Dylan Thompson for a touchdown to highlight the Black team’s 28-10 victory over the Garnet team before a crowd estimated at 36,412.

As for the real football plays, Thompson looked good completing 8-11 for 129 yards, including the pass to Staley.

In all, five quarterbacks combined to complete 25 of 43 attempts for 420 yards.

The day’s only negative was a cracked shoulder sustained by running back Shon Carson but Spurrier expects him to be fine for the start of fall camp.

Here’s our video review:

Post game interviews:

AUDIO: Steve Spurrier reviews the spring game [7:22]

AUDIO: DC Lorenzo Ward reviews the defense from the spring [3:24]

AUDIO: Dylan Thonpson & Mike Davis review the game and the spring [5:35]

Here’s the official USC story on the game

The Black team topped the Garnet for the second-straight season in South Carolina’s annual Garnet and Black Spring game Saturday afternoon at Williams-Brice Stadium. The Dylan Thompson-led Black squad posted 21 points in the first half en route to the 28-10 victory in front of 36,412 fans.

Offense was the early draw as each side drove for a touchdown. Led by Thompson at quarterback, the Black team capped a methodical 10-play, four-minute drive with a Brandon Wilds three-yard run with 7:42 to go in the first half. Just 3:22 later, freshman signal caller Connor Mitch led Garnet on a 70-yard drive to the end zone, highlighted by a 37-yard pass to Shon Carson. Mitch ran or threw on five of the eight plays that knotted the game at 7-7 with 4:20 to play in the quarter. Thompson answered with a 70-yard drive the opened with a 34-yard completion to Jerell Adams and closed with a four-yard touchdown run by David Williams for a 14-7 Black lead. Mitch’s Garnet side struggled on then next drive, which ended three plays in when Jody Fuller fumbled after a 28-yard reception with Chris Moody recovering at his own 31-yard line just at the end of the quarter.

Black opened the second quarter with sophomore quarterback Perry Orth throwing an interception, but the defense held Garnet to just a 48-yard field goal attempt from Elliott Fry, who missed it wide right. Black could not convert the opportunity, though, and Garnet took over again with 7:15 left in the half. The drive started with three promising plays, all over 13 yards, but Garnet had to settle for a 22-yard field goal from Fry, though, to cut the Black lead to 14-10 with 3:24 left in the half.

Once more, the Black team had the answer. With Thompson back under center, the side needed just 2:59 to go 60 yards for a touchdown. After David Williams rushed for 15 yards on two plays, Thompson found South Carolina women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley in the end zone for a 30-yard reception that gave Black a 21-10 advantage just before halftime.

The running clock in the second half kept things moving quickly. With freshmen quarterbacks Mitch and Orth calling the shots for the Garnet and Black teams, respectively, neither team scored in the third quarter. Orth had the Black team driving late in the period, though. Darius Paulk ran for 13 yards on a pair of rushes, and two plays later Orth found Matrick Belton in the end zone with a 41-yard pass to make it 28-10 Black just 1:01 into the fourth quarter.

Sophomore Brendan Nosovitch took over at quarterback for Garnet and led his team down the field, including a 40-yard strike to Sean Odom to set up 1st and goal from the 6-yard line. The defense delivered, though, allowing just a four-yard run to Nosovitch before forcing Garnet to turn it over on downs.

Thompson finished the afternoon 8-of-11 for 129 yards and a touch down for Black, while Mitch went 7-of-10 passing for 108 yards. Skai Moore led the defense with four tackles, while Jamari Smith posted the lone interception in the game.

Final Stats

2014 Spring Game Awards

Most Improved

OL Brock Stadnik

DL Deon Green

WR’s Carlton Heard

Spur Jordan Diggs

LB Jonathan Walton

TE Jerell Adams

S T.J. Gurley

CB Brison Williams

RB Shon Carson

QB Perry Orth

Spt-LS Drew Williams

Spt-Holder Patrick Fish

Freshman-Defense Jonathan Walton

Freshman-Offense Connor Mitch / Jacob August

Legend Award Marcus Lattimore

Everyday Effort Award Mason Zandi – Offense / Mason Harris – Defense

Everyday Hustle Award Mike Matulis – Offense / J.J. Marcus & Skai Moore – Defense

Everyday Attitude Award Shamier Jeffery & Shaq Roland – Offense

J.T. Surratt & Marcquis Roberts – Defense

Outstanding Weight Room Brandon Shell – Offense / Darius English – Defense

Outstanding Walk-Ons Darius Paulk – Offense / Michael Washington – Defense

Harold White GPA Devin Potter (3.9) – Offense

T.J. Gurley (3.4) – Defense

Landon Ard (3.8) – Special Teams

Big Plays – Spring Practice Perry Orth – Offense / T.J. Holloman – Defense

Dr. Harris Pastides Outstanding Student/Athlete

Representative of the Univ. of S. C. Dylan Thompson

Joe Morrison Offensive Player of the Spring Pharoh Cooper

Rex Enright Defensive Player of the Spring Abu Lamin

Jim Carlen Special Teams Player of the Spring Elliott Fry

Ernest Brooks – MVP – Clemson Game Connor Shaw

Cap One Bowl – (Big Play Players) Bruce Ellington – Offense / Victor Hampton – Defense

Gamecocks chomp Gators in game one (AUDIO)

Jordan Montgomery was masterful Friday night.(File Photo)

Jordan Montgomery was masterful Friday night.(File Photo)

Story by Daniel Schwartz

Trailing 1-0 after Florida jumped to an early lead in the first inning,  USC coach Chad Holbrook said “there was anxiety in the dugout…and maybe if we tied the game up [the team] could take a deep breath and start playing baseball.”

That deep breath came during a three run fifth inning that gave South Carolina the lead. They wouldn’t relinquish that advantage in a 4-1 win over the Gators Friday night.

After four innings of absolutely dominating the Gamecock hitters, Florida’s ace Logan Shore made an uncharacteristically bad throw to 2nd base on a Joey Pankake grounder that loaded the bases. Marcus Mooney then laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to plate Carolina’s first run of the game. Grayson Greiner followed with a two out single that allowed Pankake and Tanner English to score and gave the Gamecocks a 3-1 lead.

In the top of the 7th, Connor Bright made an impressive inning ending grab in left-center field when he tracked down a liner from Florida’s second baseman Casey Turgeon. The play prevented two runs from being scored and preserved the lead for USC.

Florida’s greatest threat came in the top of the 8th inning. Joel Seddon came on to relieve the usually sharp Cody Mincey after he walked the only two batters he faced. Seddon then loaded the bases himself after issuing another walk only to end inning by inducing a 1-out 4-6-3 double play by pinch hitter Zack Powers.

AUDIO: Chad Holbrook [5:00]