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TOP 9 - Matt Price on the nump looking for save No. 2 on the season. He gets a pair of ground balls at Erik Payne, who makes both plays. The second one is a nice one back up the middle. Two down. Price goes ahead 1-2 on Slauter, who flares a 2-2 pitch right to Pankake at short. He makes the catch for the final out of the game. As a note, Reed was 7-of-7 in save chances this year before blowing this one. FINAL: Carolina 7 - MSU 6. W: Beal (2-3) S: Price (2). USC (25-10, 6-7) scores four runs in the eighth to take the lead.
BOTTOM 8 - Chris Stratton moves past the 100 pitch mark as he strikes out Christian Walker on a slider for the first out of the inning. Dantzler pops up behind the second base bag for the second out. Greiner turns on a fastball offering from Stratton and deposits it just over the left field wall. Gotta find two more somewhere. That's four HRs for the year for Greiner. Adam Matthews knocks a single, which knocks Stratton out of the game. Closer Caleb Reed, who has been on the team since I was in college, it seems, gives up a double down the left field line to Brison Celek. Costen pinch runs for Celek and Sullivan pinch hits for Vergason. Sully swings at a first-pitch breaking ball then takes a second-strike fastball. Kind of the reverse order you want on that. Well, I guess he can do whatever he wants to. Hits a slicing liner to right field and the ball alludes the dive of Brownlee. Sullivan slides in with a triple to tie the ball game. English up and ahead in the count 2-1. English absolutely freezes on a pickoff. Productive inning though, to say the least. Gamecocks lead 7-6
TOP 8 - Renfroe pops lazily to shallow center. One down. Tapper to Walker, who steps on the bag. Two down. Evan Beal coming in to face RHH Brownlee. He golfs a low fastball to left center, which is tracked down by English for the final out of the inning. MSU leads 6-3.
BOTTOM 7 - English falls behind 0-2 in the count. He takes a 94mph fastball, which is just insane in the seventh inning, for a ball outside. He strikes out on a breaking ball in the dirt. This guy has gotten filthy as the game has gone on. Pankake grounds out to second. Marzilli tries to drag bunt, but it's fielded by Stratton and flipped to first. Stratton has really gotten good the last few innings. He hit 94 mph on the gun just a minute ago and then threw a sharp curve ball to K English. Breaking ball has gotten sharp and velocity is holding -- or maybe even improving. MSU leads 6-3.
TOP 7 - Frazier singles to center off of Webb to start the inning. Slauter tries to bunt him up, but fouls off two pitches. He's swinging away now. Sharp grounder to third. Dantzler fields cleanly but misses his hand on the transfer and drops the ball. He has no choice but to go to first base. Runner on second, one down. That proves costly as Norris lines a double to right center. Scores a run, which wouldn't have happened on a clean defensive play. Really hard to get upset at LB as he's been phenomenal there all season long. Webb with a nice curve ball strikeout to Rea for the second out of the inning. Ks Porter to end the inning. MSU leads 6-3.
BOTTOM 6 - Gamecocks have Greiner, Matthews, and Martin due up. Greiner hits a first pitch sinking liner to left. Renfroe can't make the diving catch and Greiner cruises to second. Matthews up. Play for the big inning here, please. Matthews quickly falls behind 0-2. He goes down looking at a 92mph FB that was low and away. May have hit his spot. One down. Martin has had two poor at-bats and is pinch hit for by Celek, who falls behind 0-2. Goes down swinging on 1-2. Two down. Vergason hits a tapper to first. 3-1 on the putout. MSU leads 5-3.
TOP 6 - Roth throws his nicest changeup of the night to K three-hole hitter Norris. Uh oh. Rea just tattooed a pitch deep to center field for the second MSU home run of the game. That ball was launched. Next pitch hits Porter and then Renfroe follows it up with a double to left center. Bradford, the guy who hit the first home run, is up now. Infield in at the corners but back in the middle. Going to concede the run on a ground ball up the middle. Infield could have been playing anywhere as Bradford launches a ball deep to right. Everyone but the umpires thought the ball went out. I don't know how it didn't. Ruled a two-RBI triple. That ends Roth's day as Tyler Webb comes in to pitch. Infield plays in for Brownlee. Hard grounder right at Pankake. Runner breaks for home. Just what you wanted, but Pankake doesn't field it cleanly. Gets the out at first, so not ruled an error, but not a good defensive play. Two down, bases clear. Nine-hole hitter Frost flies out to center to end the inning. Mississippi State leads 5-3
BOTTOM 5 - Joey Pankake with a leadoff double to the gap in right center. Nice little start to the inning. Marzilli shows bunt, but takes a couple of pitches to walk. Two on for Walker. He grounds the first pitch he sees to the shortstop. Easy double play ball. Pankake on third with Dantzler up. He hits one on the screws, but it's right at the right fielder to end the inning. Gamecocks lead 3-1.
TOP 5 - Renfroe flies out to right for the first out. C.T. Bradford turns on an offer from Roth, who loses his no-hitter and shutout in one swing. Ball sails over the right field wall to make it 3-1 in favor of the Gamecocks. Line drive single by Brownlee. Sacrifice bunt moves him up a base for leadoff hitter Frazier, who works the count full. Roth throws a wild one to walk Frazier and move Brownlee up. Runners at the corners with two down. Slauter hits a sharp grounder to Pankake's right. He heads for the hole, cuts it off, and makes a strong throw to second base to end the inning. Gamecocks lead 3-1
BOTTOM 4 - Martin goes down on strikes and Vergason flies out to left. English Ks as well to end the inning. That was a quick one. Gamecocks lead 3-0.
TOP 4 - Norris works a leadoff walk. Rea, a big ole boy without much in the way of wheels, hits a soft liner to second. Vergason lets it bounce in front of him so he can attempt to turn a double play. Pretty smart, and even if it doesn't happen, you trade some speed for no speed. Fields, fires to Pankake, who fires to first. Appears Rea beats it out, but the call goes in the favor of the Gamecocks. Double play. Cohen out to discuss. No avail. Ground ball towards the four-hole. Vergason makes another nice rangy play. Gamecocks up 3-0.
BOTTOM 3 - Chase Vergason bounces a single through the right side to lead off the inning. Obvious bunt situation and, even when everyone knows its coming, if English drops down a perfect one, he's going to be safe. He drops down a perfect one. He's safe. Pankake, on the other hand, has never been a good bunter. Never as in, like, ever. He fouls off two then strikes out on a high off-speed pitch. Bad, bad at-bat. Marzilli serves an opposite field single to left to load the bases for Christian Walker. Four pitches, none of which were real close, bring home a run as Walker takes his free base. Dantzler up and Dantzler takes a strike then ropes one foul. I swear he has lived behind in the count. 0-2 pitch he bounces through the right side to score a pair though. Attaway to hang tough. As I mentioned on Twitter before his first at-bat, I think Dantzler is going to have a good weekend this weekend. He put in some extra cage work on Thursday to fix a couple of mechanical things and I was told by one person he's swinging the bat as well as he has since the preseason. Greiner Ks for the second time, this time on high heat. Matthews goes down looking on an outside fastball to end the inning. Gamecocks lead 3-0
TOP 3 - Two quick outs for Roth. Ground out to third and a bunt back to the mound. Roth then gets a ground ball back up the middle. Pankake fields a ground ball just to his side and in front of the bag. His throw is low. Walker can't pick it. E6. That's error No. 12 on the year ... After this weekend, I'm going to take a look at where some of the other shortstops are in the SEC with errors and see how he compares. Will also take a look at how he compares to some of the freshmen in USC history and around the league in years past. Don't tell anyone that though. I don't want anyone to take my story idea. Two-hole hitter Slauter flies out to the track in right to end the inning. No score.
BOTTOM 2 - Quick inning for Stratton. Greiner Ks swinging. Still can't do much of anything with outside off-speed pitches. Don't see a lot of adjusting going on. Matthews hits one on the screws, but right at the second baseman. That's the third hard-hit ball of the night. Martin Ks on 92mph heat. His bat speed looks down. That happens when he loses confidence and doesn't get reps. I alluded to that some prior to him enrolling and in the fall. That's not real new, but something he has to work on. That said, 92 ain't easy to catch up with. No score.
TOP 2 - Porter pops up along the first base line. Walker is over there, but Roth cuts him off. Guess he wants the out. One down. Good thing Marzilli doesn't take a route like Renfroe did in the bottom of the first on a fly ball to right center. Renfroe was at the dish and sent one to the track. Marzilli crashes against the wall and makes a great catch while running face first against the bullpen door. Heck of an effort there. Two down. Vergason ranges to his left and makes a play on the grass for the final out of the inning. No score. Greiner leading off.
BOTTOM 1 - Pankake up and works the count a little bit. He turns on a fastball and sends it high and deep to left center. Renfroe takes a Magellan-esque route, but makes the catch on the track for the first out. Marzilli pops to shallow center. Walker ropes a two-strike single back up the middle just out of the reach of the shortstop for the first hit of the game. Dantzler, though, grounds to first to end the inning. No score.
TOP 1 - Michael Roth is getting worked deep into the count by the first two MSU hitters. He gets Frazier to line out to Pankake at short but Slauter works a seven-pitch walk to give the Bulldogs their first base runner of the game. Roth gets Norris to strike out looking and Rea to hit a first-pitch grounder to third. Dantzler makes the play to end the inning. Stratton to the bump for the Bulldogs. No score.
Little bit of a shakeup in the lineup today. I don't know what I think about Pankake at the top of the order or Marzilli at two, but might need to make some changes with the way this team is scoring runs. Marzilli's numbers, as I've mentioned quite a few times, have started to creep up over the last few weeks. He's not hitting well in Southeastern Conference play.
I talked to someone last night who said they think LB Dantzler is due for a big weekend. He's put in some extra work in the cage this week to fix a couple of mechanical things and I was told he hit the ball on Thursday as well as he has since before the season started. That would be a welcome sight for anyone who wants to see South Carolina win baseball games.
SS - Joey Pankake
CF - Evan Marzilli
1B - Christian Walker
3B - LB Dantzler
C - Grayson Greiner
RF - Adam Matthews
DH - Kyle Martin
2B - Chase Vergason
LF - Tanner English
LHP Michael Roth
SS - Adam Frazier
C - Mitch Slauter
3B - Daryl Norris
1B - Wes Rea
DH - Trey Porter
LF - Hunter Renfroe
CF - C.T. Bradford
RF - Brent Brownlee
2B - Sam Frost
RHP Chris Stratton 2.54 ERA, 7-0, 49.2, 36 H, 14 ER, 14 BB, 67 K, OBA .203
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This post has been edited 20 times, most recently by John Whittle on 4/13/2012 at 8:23 PM
Follow me on Twitter: @johnmwhittle
Great catch marz!
This is a gut check in the 6th. It's time for the team to support the pitching staff and score some more "runs". Great pitcher on the mound for Miss State, but he's thrown a bunch of pitches.
Oh damn. When teams hit Roth on Friday it gives me a horrible feeling about the rest of the weekend.
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Lead off double and we do nothing with it.
YYYYYEEEEAAAAHHHH. BBBNAAABBBYYYY. THAT'S A WAY TO BATTLE!!!!!
It may be time to hit the panic button.
It may be time to hit the panic button.
Great response tonight by the team!!!
It seems like when you play in the SEC, you play a tough team evry week. Whether it be Football or Baseball. Now go win on Sunday!!!
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