The USC baseball team needed more bad news as much as it needed another boot to the head. Mired in a month long slump that has included several heartbreaking late inning losses, the Gamecocks learned Tuesday that they would be without their top pitcher for the rest of the season.
Clarke Schmidt has thrown his last pitch as a Gamecock. He will miss the rest of the season with a torn ulnar collateral ligament to his right elbow. He left his start last week with pain in his pitching arm and an MRI this week revealed the worst case scenario.
“This is obviously tough news for Clarke and everyone associated with our baseball program,” Chad Holbrook said in a statement. “Clarke is a special kid with a bright future in front of him and our program will be with him every step of the way. He has been an incredible representative of our university and baseball program and I’m sure he will make a full recovery. I have no doubt he will achieve his goal and dream of pitching in the Major Leagues.”
Schmidt went 4-2 with a 1.34 ERA in nine starts this season. He will need Tommy John surgery; the date for that procedure has not been set.
The Gamecocks are 24-15 overall and 9-9 in SEC play. This weekend they will face 6th ranked Kentucky, who leads the SEC East at 12-6.