Gamecocks baseball coach Mark Kingston joined SportsTalk, Friday, to preview the upcoming season and the strides his club has made in the offseason. Kingston laid out his plans for the pitching rotation and what he hopes to see offensively from multiple junior college transfers.
RHP Carmen Mlodzinski, who missed almost all of last season after breaking his foot, will return to anchor the staff and will get the opening-day start. Kingston said Mlodzinski had a great Cape Cod League season and was now “bigger, stronger and more confident” entering the 2020 season.
Expectations are high for Mlodzinski’s return as he was named to the Baseball America Preseason All-America Second Team. RHP Brett Kerry, who finished last season with a 2.62 ERA, will be the team’s no. 2 starter. Kingston likes Kerry in that role as his propensity for generating quick outs helps rest the bullpen. Kingston expects hard-throwing junior college transfer RHP Thomas Farr to solidify the no. 3 starter’s role. RHP Daniel Lloyd will open the season as the Gamecocks closer. Kingston said Lloyd’s fastball is consistently in the mid-90’s and he touched 97 mph on the radar gun, Friday.
Last year’s second baseman, Noah Campbell, will likely earn a starting role in the outfield, according to Kingston. Returning starters Brady Allen and Andrew Eyster are expected to man two outfield positions.
Kingston was enthusiastic about his catching situation, highlighted by the addition of UCF transfer Dallas Beaver. Beaver, a left-handed hitter, was named a starter for the Cape Cod League all-star game and Kingston praised his leadership and defensive prowess. Wes Clarke will likely start at first base and multiple players will platoon at second base.
Slick fielding George Kalil returns as shortstop and freshman Brennan Milone will step in at third base. Kingston heaped praise on Milone, “All he does is hit. So excited about him. A pure hitter.”
The Gamecocks open the season next Friday at Founders Park against Holy Cross.