South Carolina has an opening at shortstop with rising junior Joey Pankake switching positions. There will be competition for the spot but another body can be added to the fold as junior college shortstop Marcus Mooney (Loxahatchee, Fla./Palm Beach State) has committed to the Gamecocks.
Class of 2013 shortstop Marcus Mooney
Mooney was first introduced to the program in the fall of 2010 when he helped his older brother, Peter, move in at South Carolina. Peter Mooney, who spent the 2011 season at shortstop, won a national championship as a junior and moved on to professional baseball.
Then assistant coach Chad Holbrook took Marcus Mooney on a tour of the campus and Carolina Stadium, which left a lasting impression on the final Mooney brother.
“Coach Holbrook took me on a tour around the school and it was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen,” Marcus Mooney said. “I knew it was the school I wanted to go to after Palm Beach. That, and Peter told me it was the best time of his life made me want to go there.”
Marcus Mooney chose the Gamecocks over Florida State, N.C. State, Florida Atlantic and Miami.
There have been multiple Mooneys to play shortstop in the Southeastern Conference. In addition to Peter, oldest brother Michael Mooney starred at Florida and was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 23rd round.
All three players have followed similar paths going from high school to junior college. Marcus Mooney’s travels are a bit different though as he left Palm Beach State after just one season.
“South Carolina said they needed me now and I didn’t want to wait another year to come,” Marcus Mooney said. “It was hard though because Palm Beach, we we’re just national runner-ups. Everyone was really excited about going back next year. It was a real tough decision to leave right now but it had to be done.”
Marcus Mooney will have four years to play three, if he so chooses, and he will be a sophomore this fall when he enrolls.
While he has his own unique skill set, Marcus Mooney does compare favorably to his brothers in terms of stature standing 5-foot-9, 160 pounds.
To paint a picture of his game, Marcus Mooney said that Michael was a better fielder but he is better at the plate. He said that Peter was a better hitter but he is better defensively.
“Offensively, I just go up there hacking. If the first pitch is a strike, I‘m hacking. I try to put the ball in play,” Marcus Mooney said. “Defensively, I like making outstanding plays in the hole.”
Mooney is the final member of the 2013 class. The only other infielder in the class is Jordan Gore (Conway/Conway). The duo will compete with sophomore DC Arendas for the starting job at shortstop.
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