Sophomore Jake Watson is leaving the South Carolina program and will transfer to Louisburg Junior College at the end of the semester. He is the third player with intentions to transfer to seek more playing time.
Infielder Jake Watson
Out of high school, Watson was ranked the No. 7 best high school prospect in the state of North Carolina by Impact Baseball. He hit .431 his senior season at Charlotte Christian with six home runs and 39 runs batted in. Watson picked the Gamecocks over North Carolina, North Carolina State, and others.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at South Carolina and winning a championship is something I am always going to cherish,” Watson said. “I just feel like going somewhere that I can get more playing time will benefit me more as a player right now.”
Upon his arrival, he encountered a crowded infield with seniors Scott Wingo and Adrian Morales at second and third with junior Peter Mooney at shortstop. He found innings hard to come by last season and innings were just as tough this fall with an influx of infielders in the 2011 class.
Watson played in 10 games last season and was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. He walked once, struck out once, stole a base, and made all of his plays in the field.
As a freshman, he received his only start of the season in the rubber match of the series against Clemson. Watson started at second base and played the first three innings of the game due to a suspension to Wingo for missing the team bus.
Watson will transfer to Louisburg JC in his home state of North Carolina and will be eligible to play this spring. He will be able to transfer at the end of the semester to another Division I school and would not have to sit out next season. He could be re-recruited by South Carolina.
Watson was not on scholarship this season, so his loss will not impact the 2012 roster. Hill is the only of the three players on scholarship who plans to leave, so the Gamecocks will have a roster of 34 players this fall – 26 scholarship players plus eight walk-ons.