April 27, 2015

Clemson can’t hold lead, drops opening game at Georgia Tech (VIDEO)

Matthew Crownover pitched well, but didn't get a win. (File Photo)

Matthew Crownover pitched well, but didn’t get a win. (File Photo)

Thomas Smith’s two-run single with one out in the eighth inning gave Georgia Tech the lead for good in its 4-2 victory over Clemson at Russ Chandler Stadium on Friday night. The Yellow Jackets, who took a 1-0 lead in the series, improved to 25-16 overall and 10-12 in the ACC. The Tigers dropped to 22-20 overall and 11-10 in ACC play.

Zac Ryan (6-1) earned the win, while Taylor Vetzel (1-3) suffered the loss. Tiger starter Matthew Crownover allowed just five hits, two runs (one earned) and two walks with a career-high-tying nine strikeouts in 7.0 innings pitched as well.

An error by the catcher after Glenn Batson’s flyball in the second inning allowed Chris Okey to score the first run, then Andrew Cox lined a single to score Batson in the top of the fifth inning. Matt Gonzalez laced a two-out, run-scoring single in the bottom of the fifth inning to cut Clemson’s lead in half. Gonzalez then reached on an error to lead off the eighth inning and scored on Smith’s two-run single off the glove of Andrew Cox at first base. Ryan Peurifoy added a two-out, run-scoring single.

The series continues Saturday at 6 p.m. on RSN and ESPN3.

Box Score

VIDEO:  Jack Leggett talks about the loss

Wynkoop, Kotch lead Gamecocks to game one win at UT (VIDEO)

Jack Wynkoop carried the Gamecocks Friday night (file photo).

Jack Wynkoop carried the Gamecocks Friday night (file photo).

Junior left-hander Jack Wynkoop pitched 8.1 scoreless innings and allowed just seven hits as South Carolina defeated Tennessee 4-0 on Friday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.  The Gamecocks improve to 26-17 and 9-10 in the SEC with Tennessee dropping to 16-21 and 5-14 in league play.

Wynkoop was masterful as he limited the Volunteers to just seven hits and one walk while striking out five batters to earn the win and improve to 6-4 on the year.  Tennessee starter Andy Cox suffered the loss and is 1-3 on the year.  He allowed three runs, one earned, on five hits in 5.2 innings with five walks and six strikeouts.

South Carolina broke ahead 1-0 in the top of the first inning.  Gene Cone led off the game with a bunt for a base hit, advanced to third base on DC Arendas’ single to right field and scored on Max Schrock’s sac fly to right-center.

The Gamecocks increased the lead to 3-0 in the second inning taking advantage of a Tennessee miscue to score a pair of runs.  Connor Bright reached base with two outs on UT shortstop A.J. Simcox’s throwing error.  Logan Koch then followed with a two-run homer to right-center, his second home run of the season.

Carolina would tack on a run in the top of the seventh loading the bases with one out with Elliott Caldwell driving in DC Arendas with a RBI single to right field.

Gamecock senior right-hander Cody Mincey would retire the final two outs to seal the victory for Carolina.

Box Score

VIDEO: Chad Holbrook post game comments

#STRecruiting: Seventh Woods dad says no decision is imminent from his son

Seventh Woods

Seventh Woods

There was a flurry of Internet activity Thursday regarding 2016 Hammond sensation 6-1 Seventh Woods.  USC coach Frank Martin had an in home visit with the family Tuesday and that set off the speculation that Woods could be headed to the Gamecocks, and headed there soon. But his father said Friday afternoon no decision is on the horizon.

“It will be a little ways down the road,” Louis Woods Sr.  said.  “I don’t know what’s out there on the Internet but it’s going to be down the road.  He really doesn’t have anything close in his mind at this time.”

USC and North Carolina have been talked about the most in terms of closeness with Woods and they have recruited Woods the hardest according to Hammond coach Mark McClam.  Tar Heel coach Roy Williams first offered Woods as a 13 year old and has made several stops to see him play.  He made an in home visit with the Woods family a couple of weeks ago.  But it would not be correct to say the battle is only between those two.

“There’s really no schools he’s calling a top five or whatever,” Louis Woods said.  “I don’t know what’s out there on the Internet saying its Carolina and North Carolina.  Of course, those are schools that have contacted him but other than that everything is really wide open. He’s just going thru the recruiting process and seeing who’s really interested.”

No other coaches have been in the home at this point besides Martin and Williams and both visits went very well.

“The visit with coach Martin was really great and we really enjoyed the conversation we had and the input he gave us,” Louis Woods said.  “We got a lot out of it.  He would fit in over there pretty good.  We wouldn’t have a problem with that.  The meeting with Coach Williams also was good.  He would it in there good also.  It’s more of a fast paced, up and down game, which is his style of play.  It was also a good conversation with him as well.”

Mr. Woods said the current NCAA investigation at North Carolina is on their minds  but as of now is not a real sticking point though they would like to know what, if any, penalties UNC faces before they make a decision.

“You hear a lot of things and I’ve read some things and you have to find out exactly if it’s going to affect the basketball program,” Louis Woods said.

Another factor is the Woods’ family proximity to USC.  The opportunity for his son to play within a few miles of home is big according to Mr. Woods.  “That’s a plus right there by itself,” he said.

Seventh Woods has visited USC, Clemson, North Carolina and Duke.  Clemson isn’t a factor in his recruiting at this point.  His father said they are eyeing a decision before the start of school in August.

“We want to go ahead and do this summer thing and if he feels like he’s ready to do something before school opens back up, he can put it out there and get it out the way,” Louis Woods said adding there is no favorite at this point because other than going to games, they haven’t been able to closely examine in person the schools they are considering.


A SportsTalk conversation with PC’s Harold Nichols (AUDIO)

Presbyterian's Harold Nichols joined SportsTalk Thursday to talk Spring ball.

Presbyterian’s Harold Nichols joined SportsTalk Thursday to talk Spring ball.

South Carolina is a football state by nature, and football is the one game we seemingly talk about year round, regardless if the sport is in season or not.

Here at SportsTalk we like to cover all the programs that suit it up on Saturday’s in the fall, and following everyone’s respective Spring practices, we’ll be getting in touch with the men that lead those teams on weekends in the fall.

Thursday night we had an opportunity to borrow some time from Presbyterian’s Harold Nichols.

The Blue Hose took a major step in the right direction in 2014, going 6-5 overall, but three of those losses came from the likes of Northern Illinois, NC State, and Ole Miss.  So outside of the “money games”, PC more than held their own, going 4-2 within a burgeoning Big South Conference.

Nichols discussed the next step for his program, and provided detail considering his roster in 2015 coming out of Spring practice.

AUDIO: Harold Nichols [7:00]

#STRecruiting: Updates on USC basketball targets Woods, Cobb & Dixson

Seventh Woods

Seventh Woods

6-1 PG Seventh Woods of Hammond Academy in Columbia is, of course, regarded as one of the top players in the country for the 2016 class. It has long been felt in recruiting circles that USC and UNC are at the top of his list.  Tar Heels’ coach Roy Williams offered Woods when he was 13 years old and has seen him in person about seven times.  Gamecocks’ coach Frank Martin quickly made Woods a priority as well when he took over the Gamecock program.  Martin met with Woods, his family and his coach on Tuesday night leading some basketball recruiting observers to opine that USC is now the team to beat in this two horse race.

USC recently offered 6-9 PF Eric Cobb of Baltimore, as did several others after he decommitted from Kansas State.  The Gamecocks are expected to get an official visit from him.  Thursday Cobb began an official visit to Seton Hall.  VCU is another program believed to be strong with Cobb and he is scheduled to visit there Monday his coach told Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv.

6-7 Dikembe Dixson of Delbarton, WV, who recently named his top four as USC, Arkansas, Marshall and Mississippi State, has set his first official visit with Arkansas for May 8th.  He was visited earlier this week by an Arkansas assistant coach.