OMAHA, Neb. - Junior Dante Rosenberg has been a wall behind the plate for the Gamecocks during NCAA Tournament play, but he’ll have some reinforcements if necessary. Head coach Ray Tanner said on Thursday afternoon that freshman Grayson Greiner, who has started 42 games at catcher, is available.
Greiner was injured just a couple of days before the start of the Columbia Regional when he twisted his knee and suffered a partial meniscus tear while taking batting practice. A Team USA selection, Greiner was not on the active roster for the Regional and, even though he was in the 27-man group in the Super Regional, he did not play.
Tanner said that his freshman would have been able to pinch hit but he wouldn’t have been able to catch should something have happened to Rosenberg. Now, Greiner could don the gear behind the dish if necessary.
“He’s getting close,” Tanner said. “He’s maybe almost there. I don’t know if he’s quite 100 percent. He blocked a little bit yesterday. We needed to see his flexibility, so coach Esposito had him blocking yesterday. He was a little bit tentative, but we’ve got a couple of days before we play.”
Greiner is hitting .236 this season with six home runs and 31 RBIs in 55 games played this season. He’s third on the team with 28 walks and has just one error behind the plate this season.
If South Carolina had a game today, Rosenberg would be the starter. Tanner hinted that by Saturday at 9 p.m. when the Gamecocks take the field on ESPN, that could change.
“I think he’s excited to be back there,” Tanner said. “That being said, Rosenberg’s been very good for us. We have a decision to make.”
Rosenberg is hitting .212 this season with three doubles in 29 games played. He’s been a defensive rock without allowing a passed ball this season.