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Baseball Recruiting Notebook 7-9

With its second national championship in as many years behind them, the South Carolina coaches are starting to hit the recruiting trail. There are only two pieces so far in the 2013 class and the summer is now in full swing. Assistant coaches Chad Holbrook and Jerry Meyers are on the prowl for top players and they’re beginning to zero in on a few.

Class of 2013 infielder Jordan Gore could make a decision early next week after visiting South Carolina and Clemson.

One such player is shortstop Jordan Gore (Conway), who Holbrook first noticed in a showcase earlier this summer put on by Diamond Prospects at A.C. Flora High School. There plenty of talented middle infielders in the 2013 class but Gore is the first player that the Gamecocks have put forth a formal offer for.

Gore, who stands 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds, has narrowed his list to four schools and plans to make a decision as early as next week. South Carolina, Clemson, The Citadel, and College of Charleston are all in the running for his services and the switch-hitter claims to be open to any of them.

“South Carolina has a great program and Clemson does, too,” Gore said. “College of Charleston and The Citadel are both good schools. I really like all four of those schools.”

Gore will visit South Carolina for the first time on Saturday morning and into the early afternoon. After that trip, he’ll head to Clemson for a visit on either Sunday or Monday to check out what the Tigers have to offer.

The Conway High School product claims that he didn’t have a rooting favorite growing up saying “it doesn’t really matter.” Once his visits are done, Gore said he’ll sit down with his family and come up with a decision.

“I want to see how interested the schools are in me and how much potential we have in winning,” Gore said. “I want to check out the academics, too.”

Last season, Gore hit .415 with a home run and .950 fielding percentage at short for the green and gold-clad Tigers. He was a fixture at the top of the lineup hitting either first or second and is one of the top players on the Shockwave U16 team this summer.

“Coaches say I have a pretty good arm,” Gore said. “I’m a switch hitter and coaches tell me I’m not a bad shortstop. I like to hit it hard and hit it in the gaps. I’ve been playing pretty good so far this summer with the Shockwave. My pitching has been coming along and I’m fielding pretty well. I can’t complain with the way I’m playing right now.”

Chad Holbrook was in Winston-Salem during the middle of the week and will be in Marietta for the better part of the next two weeks.

While Gore is considered primarily a shortstop at the collegiate level, he also pitches for his high school and summer teams. He touched 88 on the gun in a tournament in Fort Myers, Fla. this past week and also features a split-finger and curve ball.

Gore said his main areas of focus for improving his game are getting stronger and increasing his foot speed. At a recent Diamond Prospects event, he ran a 7.2 60-yard dash.

The South Carolina coaches are making up for some lost time in recruiting right now but Gore was able to see why the Gamecocks are playing catch up. He said he watched a lot of the College World Series and while it’s important to play there, the fact that USC was there won’t be a deciding factor.

“I watched it and just thought I’d love to be playing there one day,” Gore said. “That helps some with my decision but it’s not going to make my decision for me. There’s a lot of other things.”

South Carolina currently has two players committed in the class of 2013. Catcher Nick Ciuffo was the first member of the class and was joined by outfielder Gene Cone earlier this summer.

Wasilewski on the mend – again

At first, it was an elbow. Now it’s an elbow and a knee. Class of 2012 commitment Zak Wasilewski is currently fighting through two major injuries but he isn’t letting all of the rehab and therapy get to him.

A left-handed pitcher, Wasilewski tore his ulna collateral ligament in his elbow requiring Tommy John surgery last fall. He was cleared to hit for his Tazewell High School team and was going to continue to do so this summer.

Class of 2012 commit Zak Wasilewski gives his first video interview with TheBigSpur.com.

But in his first weekend of games with the Canes summer travel team, he tore his ACL and meniscus rounding first base after a bad throw on an infield single.

“I believe I can overcome anything,” Wasilewski said. “I overcame Tommy John. I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal. I’ll be jogging in three months. I’m working on range of motion and I’ve already gotten it completely straight. I don’t think it won’t be as Tommy John was.”

Wasilewski blasted nine home runs while hitting .513 en route to second-team all-state honors this spring for his high school club but will be sidelined now through the fall.

“Just coming back that season and being able to play, being able to hit, that really helped,” Wasilewski said. “My job was to hit and produce runs for our team. It made me a better hitter and it will make me a better pitcher, too. I’m able to see both sides and I believe I’ll be prepared.”

Wasilewski went into surgery the morning of South Carolina’s second game against Virginia. He came to in time to get the television on in the hospital and even though he was groggy, he watched his future teammates punch their ticket to the national championship series.

“I came out of surgery and a game was about to come on,” Wasilewski said. “Watched every game we played and I loved all of it. I feel like I made the right choice and it was a great feeling.”

Video interview with Wasilewski

Meyers hits the road

Pitching coach Jerry Meyers is putting just as many miles on his car as Holbrook on the recruiting trail.

Pitching coach Jerry Meyers has put some miles on his car since his return from Omaha, Neb. Back in his first full summer recruiting cycle with the Gamecocks, Meyers was in Marietta, Ga. for part of the day on Thursday and in Sumter the same night.

At the U18 World Wood Bat Association tournament at the East Cobb Complex on Thursday morning, Meyers was checking out class of 2013 right-handed pitcher Kevin Davis (Brewton, Ala./T.R. Miller). Davis was scheduled to start the quarterfinal game later in the afternoon but he entered in relief with his team down in the round of 16 of the single elimination bracket play.

The USC pitching coach saw Davis pitch an inning allowing one hit. He struck out two while hitting between 91-93 on the radar gun. Davis, who was playing up two age groups, threw two innings on Wednesday without allowing a hit. He walked two and struck out five while topping at 94.

Davis will also play for Team Alabama’s U17 team in the WWBAs. He will start on Saturday and both Holbrook and Meyers are expected to be in attendance for that game.

Kevin also has a younger brother, Kyle, who will be a class of 2015 prospect at the catcher position. His pop time was clocked at 1.9 in a tournament over the weekend.

Holbrook in the Tar Heel state

Recruiting coordinator Chad Holbrook didn’t waste much time hitting the road either. After taking in a two-day tournament put on by the Diamond Devils at Carolina Stadium last weekend, he spent Tuesday through Thursday in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Canes Baseball program put on a midweek showcase for coaches and scouts to get a look at their players before two big weeks for the U16 and U17 ages in the WWBAs.

While there, Holbrook checked in on 2012 commitments Max Schrock and Curt Britt. The duo is off to a strong start this summer and look to defend the Canes’ national championship won last season in the U16 division this year with the U17s.

There were a couple of offers extended but Holbrook and Meyers plan to wait until the weeks in Marietta to take another look at some players.

Quick hitters

- Class of 2011 signee Alex Satterfield has started rehab on his elbow. He had Tommy John surgery in early June. Doctors say he’s already ahead of schedule as far as movement in his arm.

- Incoming pitcher Hunter Privette was on a short stint with the Florence RedWolves and had his summer end in June. Now, he’s working out and preparing to arrive in Columbia this August. The Florence-Darlington Tech sidearmer left Florence with a positive feeling about his performance.

“I wish my time would have been a little longer there,” Privette said. “I felt like I was getting better and more comfortable the more reptitions I got. I could tell a difference after each appearance going from giving up a hit and a pair of runs in my first outing to getting the fly balls and the double plays that Gamecock fans have come to expect from their sidearmers. It was an overall good experience but now it’s time to look forward to August.”

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