Fortunately for the Gamecocks this season, the team has been able to avoid the injury bug amongst the position players. The same can’t be said anymore as catcher Grayson Greiner, a Freshman All-SEC team selection, is out for the weekend and possibly longer.
Catcher Dante Rosenberg
Greiner was injured on Wednesday during practice and went under the knife first thing on Thursday morning to repair a left meniscus injury. The surgery, according to head coach Ray Tanner, was successful but he’s out for the Columbia Regional.
“He did well,” Tanner said of the surgery. “He should respond quickly if we’re fortunate enough to advance. Will he be ale to catch? Unlikely. He will go as he can tolerate the pain. We hate that accident happened yesterday, but good news is, he should bounce back rather quickly.”
In Greiner’s place will be junior Dante Rosenberg, who has started 15 games and appeared in nine more. Rosenberg is hitting .255 this season with three doubles and seven RBIs.
If all goes well and Greiner heals quickly, he could be ready for the Super Regional round if the Gamecocks (40-17) should advance this weekend out of the four-team pool with Clemson, Coastal Carolina and Manhattan. It is unlikely that he would be able to catch, but he could be used as a hitter.
“We’re disappointed Grayson had an injury, but we don’t lack confidence in Dante Rosenberg,” Tanner said. “He’s excited about his opportunity and I think he’ll do well.”
Backing up Rosenberg will be sophomore Erik Payne, who has started 27 games this season at both second base and designated hitter. He began to catch some this fall, but has not logged any significant innings this year.
It was a freak injury, kind of like that of junior Colby Holmes earlier this season, as both Tanner and Greiner couldn’t quite figure out what happened.
“He took a check swing, his hips rotated, and his cleat got stuck,” Tanner said. “That’s the only thing we can figure happened. It caused the pressure on the knee and caused the tear.”
Holmes has pitched twice since injuring his elbow and will get the ball in game one of the Columbia Regional on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. on ESPNU against Manhattan. Tanner said that the matchup is good for the right-hander, who allowed four earned runs in 2.1 innings against Florida in the SEC Tournament.
“It has nothing to do with anything other than that,” Tanner said, referring to the matchup. “Colby had a really good outing here a couple weekends ago against LSU. He has postseason experience. It was really a matchup situation. We felt like this is the best matchup for us.”
That will put typical Friday night starter Michael Roth to Saturday against either Clemson or Coastal Carolina.
The Tigers (33-26) and Chanticleers (41-17) meet in the Columbia Regional opening game at Noon on ESPNU.
“It was a case where we felt like Michael would be a great matchup for Coastal or Clemson,” Tanner said. “We’re going to play Coastal or Clemson.”
In other roster news, sophomore Forrest Koumas will be active this weekend after throwing a bullpen session earlier this week. Freshman Evan Beal has a virus and was not at practice on Thursday. He was sent home with antibiotics.
Friday, June 1
Game 1 - No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Coastal Carolina – Noon p.m. (ESPNU/ESPN3)
Game 2 - No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 4 Manhattan – 4 p.m. (ESPNU/ESPN3)
Saturday, June 2
Game 3 - Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 – Noon p.m. (ESPNU/ESPN3)
Game 4 - Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 – 4 p.m. (ESPNU/ESPN3)
Sunday, June 3
Game 5 - Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 – Noon p.m. (ESPNU/ESPN3)
Game 6 - Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 4 – 4 p.m. (ESPNU/ESPN3)
Monday, June 4
Game 7 - If Necessary - 7 p.m. (ESPNU/ESPN3)