South Carolina has added a new name to its recruiting class. Outfielder Brian Goodwin (Miami-Dade JC) verbally committed to the Gamecocks on Wednesday morning as a part of the 2011 class. Goodwin, a former North Carolina standout, is considered one of the top junior college players in the country.
Shortstop Joey Pankake may take the mound for Easley tonight against Blythewood.
Goodwin played the 2010 season at North Carolina after being selected in the 17th round of the 2009 MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox. He hit .291 as a freshman with seven home runs and a team-high 63 RBIs.
In November, he was dismissed from UNC for violation of university policy and transferred to start the spring semester to Miami-Dade. In 42 games with the club, Goodwin, who bats left and throws right, is hitting .367 with eight home runs and 32 RBIs. He also has 31 walks and nine doubles.
Goodwin is considered a late first round or early supplemental first round pick in this June’s MLB Draft. Should he enroll at South Carolina, he would have two years to play two but would also be eligible for the 2012 draft as well.
South Carolina currently has five outfielders committed or signed in the 2011 class. Goodwin is ranked the No. 1 junior college prospect in the country by PerfectGame.
High school playoffs
South Carolina will have two class of 2011 signees meet on the diamond tonight when Blythewood and Easley take the field at Blythewood High School. Catcher Grayson Greiner and his team will welcome Joey Pankake and the Green Wave tonight at 6:30 p.m.
There are only a few future Gamecocks still alive in the South Carolina high school playoffs. Left-handed pitcher Andrew Faulkner and his South Aiken squad take on Carolina Forest tonight at home at 7:30. Outfielder Tanner English and St. James High School will play on Friday night at home.
Greiner’s team lost to Byrnes on Monday night in Spartanburg but the USC signee wasn’t on the field the whole game. A standout catcher, Greiner was on the bump for the Bengals put took a line drive off the forehead just above his left eye. The ball barely deflected off his glove prior to hitting him and Greiner went down on the mound. After a few minutes, he walked off with some assistance but under his own power.
“I saw the ball come off the bat, I stuck my glove up, felt it hit my glove, then remember going down,” Greiner said on Tuesday. “The first thing I asked was, “was he out?” Today I feel much better. Just have a headache at the spot I got hit.”
Greiner, who still took his AP Government test on Tuesday morning, said he plans to play Wednesday night against Easley. Before going down against Byrnes, he was 1-for-2 with an RBI single off of Clemson signee Daniel Gossett.
While it is still up in the air, there is a chance that Pankake will pitch tonight against Blythewood. He took the loss against Byrnes in the opening round game of the Upper State playoffs. This season, Pankake is hitting over .500 and only has two strikeouts.
The winner of the Greiner and Pankake showdown will travel to Spartanburg on Friday night needing to defeat Byrnes twice.
Faulkner pitched brilliantly on Monday night against Sumter and left after six innings with the lead before the bullpen surrendered it. He allowed only two hits and had 11 strikeouts over his 18-out performance.
English and the Sharks went on the road and defeated A.C. Flora on Monday night and now control the Lower State bracket. They’ll host the winner of Darlington and Flora on Friday night needing to win one of two games.
Carter earns POTY
South Carolina may not be quite done in the junior college ranks for the 2011 class. There is a chance that former Gamecock pitcher Ethan Carter comes back to the fold this fall. Carter achieved the academic requirements necessary at Louisburg JC and now has to take a couple of on-line courses this summer to be eligible to re-enroll. While doing everything he needed to in the classroom to come back, he also did everything on the field asked of him as well.
Carter was recently named Region 10 Pitcher of the Year for his performance at Louisburg. He pitched in 12 games and posted a 9-3 record throwing 77 innings with a 1.75 earned run average. He walked nine and allowed 59 hits for a WHIP less than one while striking out 78 hitters.
Wando goes down
After squeaking into the playoffs as a No. 4 seed and then winning their district, Wando High School, featuring 2011 signee Connor Bright and 2013 commitment Nick Ciuffo, finished up its season with a loss to Carolina Forest in the Lower State playoffs. Bright led the team with a .485 batting average and .564 on-base percentage. He knocked a team-high seven home runs, drove in 26 runs and scored 44. He walked 15 times and struck out just nine times on the season. Ciuffo hit .372 with eight doubles and three home runs. He drove in a team-leading 29 RBIs while hitting predominantly in the cleanup spot in the batting order.