May 22, 2015

Dismal season likely over for Gamecocks after 5-1 loss to Missouri (AUDIO)

Wynkoop took the loss vs Missouri (File Photo)

Wynkoop took the loss vs Missouri (File Photo)

The final nail in the coffin for USC’s baseball season was hammered by Missouri closer Breckin Williams who was nails in a clutch 8th inning relief job that saved a 5-1 win for the Tigers and in all likelihood ended the Gamecocks’ season.

Called on to protect a 3-1 lead when starter Reggie McClain allowed a single and double to start the eighth, Williams struck out DC Arendas looking, got Kyle Martin swinging and and induced Elliott Caldwell to fly out to left field to end the Gamecocks’ final hopes for a comeback.  Williams set down the Gamecocks quickly in order in the ninth to secure his 13th save and move the Tigers into the double elimination portion of the tournament.

The Gamecocks, who haven’t won a game in the SEC Tournament since 2012 and are now 25-42 all time in the event, managed just six hits off McClain and Williams, three of those by Gene Cone whose 8th inning double was USC’s only extra base hit.  That was not enough offense to support starter and loser Jack Wynkoop who allowed four runs and nine hits over seven innings.

Missouri scored two runs in the second but the Gamecocks answered with a run in the third on a sacrifice fly by Arendas.  The Tigers added a run in the fourth for a 3-1 lead.  Meantime the Gamecocks had just one baserunner between the fourth and seventh innings.

The Gamecocks are 32-25 and with only 13 SEC wins and an RPI in the 60s, they are likely to be at home for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999.

Box Score

AUDIO: USC post game press conference [5:06]

(Chad Holbrook, Jack Wynkoop, Gene Cone)


#STRecruiting: Palmetto State products Golson & Mack finalize their plans

Golson is now a Seminole

Golson is now a Seminole

One was a star quarterback at Myrtle Beach who is ready to complete his college football career.  The other was a high scoring guard from Dreher who is about to embark on his college basketball career.  Within a couple of hours of each other Tuesday, both confirmed their future athletic plans.

Everett Golson, the former Myrtle Beach quarterback who spent the last four years at Notre Dame, announced that he will transfer to Florida State for his final season.  Golson graduated Sunday.  Prior to that he visited Florida State and firmed things up with Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher.  Golson revealed on May 7th he would transfer and FSU was his primary choice from the outset.

Golson started as a redshirt freshman for the Irish and led them to the national championship game.  He was suspended for the next season for an academic violation but returned last season and passed for 3445 yards, 29 touchdowns and 14 interceptions while completing 60% of his passes.  But he was replaced by Malik Zaire to start the bowl game and even though coach Brian Kelly did not name a starter after spring, Golson apparently saw the handwriting on the wall.

6-5 Tevin Mack of Dreher announced in November he would play for Shaka Smart, and he will get his wish.  Mack originally signed with VCU where Smart was head coach.  Smart is now head coach at Texas and today Mack signed to join him there with the Longhorns.

Mack got his release from VCU soon after Smart left and the interest in him came from his backyard and from across the country.  USC and Clemson were in touch as were UCLA, Kansas, West Virginia, Georgia and others.  Eventually Mack took unofficial visits to Georgia and Texas.

Mack was among the state’s leading scorers last season at 29 points per game and he was South Carolina’s MVP in the Carolinas All Star Classic.

Dabo Swinney boots sophomore defensive end off the team

Ebenezer Ogundeko was a highly touted player out of high school.

Ebenezer Ogundeko was a highly touted player out of high school.

Sophomore defensive end Ebenezer Ogundeko has been dismissed from the Clemson football team.  Head Coach Dabo Swinney made the announcement Tuesday.

“Ebenezer Ogundeko has been dismissed from the Clemson football team for a violation of team rules and behavior detrimental to our football team,” said Swinney.  “We wish him well.”

Ogundeko, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., came to Clemson in 2013 and red-shirted the season. He played in seven games last season for 16 total snaps from scrimmage and had five total tackles as a reserve defensive end and special teams player.

#STRecruiting: Transfer Keyshawn Woods takes a close look at USC Monday

Keyshawn Woods

Keyshawn Woods

6-2 shooting guard Keyshawn Woods made his first ever visit to USC Monday as he began the process of finding a new program.  Woods played his freshman season at Charlotte where he averaged over eight points per game and led Conference USA in three point shooting at better than 46%.  The native of Gastonia received his release from the 49ers last month following their coaching change.

Woods paid an unofficial visit to USC Monday and said he got a good look at what the Gamecocks have to offer.

“They just made it pretty clear that they really want me,” said Woods who added that he has an offer from USC.

Woods said he’s also looking at possible visits to Auburn, Creighton, Butler, St. Joseph’s and VCU before he makes a decision later this summer in time to enroll for the second session of summer school.

“I’m just pretty much looking for somewhere where I can grow as a player and really work on my weaknesses on the offseason that I have to sit out,” Woods said.  “The main goal is for me to really work on all of my weaknesses and make them my strength.  I’ve really got to get stronger in the weight room so I’m really going to be working on that wherever I go next.  I hope I can get with a program that’s already established and with a coach that can hopefully get me to the next level.”

Wherever he lands, Woods will have to sit out next season and will have three seasons to play three starting in the fall of 2016.

#STRecruiting: WR Kyle Davis decommits from USC and other Monday night notes

Kyle Davis

Kyle Davis

WR Kyle Davis of Decatur, GA announced Monday night he has dropped his 10th month old commitment to USC and reopened his recruiting.  Davis put the word out via Twitter:  “after a long talk with my family, I’m officially decommitting and opening my recruiting back up. I will not take any interviews.”

Davis committed to USC during a camp last July becoming the Gamecocks’ first commitment for the 2016 class.

“I had no idea. It just came to me,” Davis said at the time. “I talked to my dad and he said, ‘Go ahead, you’ve got the green light.’ It was my decision. I’m proud of it.  They’re on the come-up.  A national championship is in the near future, I think.  It’s a nice town.  Everything is right there in walking distance. It was nice. I love it.  My goal is to get to the league, and Spurrier puts people in the league.  That was a big thing. When I got here it just sealed the deal.”

The deal became unsealed over several months as the Gamecocks struggled to a 7-6 season,  questions about Steve Spurrier’s coaching future hung over the program, and more major programs jumped in on Davis who did not shut down his recruiting after committing.

If anything, he ramped things up making multiple visits to Georgia, Auburn and  other programs around the SEC. Davis’s offer list has grown to include Alabama, Florida, Miami, Florida State, Cal, Louisville, Tennessee, Michigan State, LSU, Ohio State and others reflecting his growth into a nationally acclaimed prospect.

Davis, who plans to be an early graduate, had 64 catches for 1200 yards last season.

Other notes….

Clemson offered 2017 DL Cam Spence of IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL

DB Chris Smith of South Pointe was offered by SC State.

LB Tobias Little of Atlanta released a top five list of Clemson, USC, Missouri, NC State and Georgia Southern in no order.  He visited Georgia Southern over the weekend.

OL Josh Ball of Fredericksburg, ,VA was offered by Auburn.  He’s a USC target.

USC target OL Brett Heggie of Mount Dora, FL is offered by Louisville.

LB Kenneth Ruff of Fort Lauderdale to release a top ten June 1st.  He’s been favoring USC.

WR Josh Imatorbhebhe of Suwanee, GA committed to Southern Cal.  He also had a USC offer.