Sunday, February 26, 2017

Wrapping up the weekend, Feb. 26

* Biggest surprise (positive): Southern Wesleyan winning its Conference Carolinas opener over North Greenville, 5-2. North Greenville rebounded to outscore the Warriors 34-1 in a Saturday doubleheader to win the series.
* Biggest shocker (negative): South Carolina pitchers hitting nine batters and the Gamecocks defense committing for errors in a 2-1 series win over Wright State. USC will need to straighten out both areas if it wants to be an elite team.

* Game of the weekend No. 1: USC Upstate 21, Dayton 20, 12 innings (Saturday): The Spartans fell behind 16-6 before rallying to win the marathon game. There were nine lead changes.

* Game of the weekend No. 2: Clemson 1, Elon 0, 13 innings (Friday): Tigers pitchers struck out 23 batters and Seth Beer singled in the winning run. Beer was 0-5 before that at-bat. He has failed to reach base in only one of his 69 career games at Clemson. His streak currently is at 67.

* Series of the weekend: Presbyterian going 2-1 vs. Stony Brook. The Blue Hose won one-run games on Friday and Sunday. Stony Brook won the middle game, 8-3, with a five-run 11th inning.

* Yes, we have no hits:  Spartanburg Methodist's Ridge Chapman (Wade Hampton High) struck out 11 batters in a complete-game no-hitter against Roane State in the opener of a Saturday doubleheader. A few hours later, Florence-Darlington Tech's Tate Autry (Chester High) threw a no-hitter and struck out 15 as the Stingers beat Cecil. On Sunday, Lucas Coan (Greenville High) got within an out of another no-hitter for SMC before New River spoiled his bid.

* Worth the wait: Anderson's Saturday doubleheader with No. 22 Lenoir-Rhyne was interrupted for more than three hours in Game 1 when the home plate umpire got dust in his eyes (it was windy, remember) and a replacement had to be summoned to Memorial Stadium.  The Bears held a 6-5 lead at the interruption, but Anderson quickly scored three runs and held on for the victory en route to a doubleheader split.

* Please don't go: Newberry and Trejon Smith probably hated to see Goldey-Beacom leave town after the Wolves' four-game sweep. Newberry scored 74 runs (29 on Sunday) on 72 hits. Smith was 11-for-14 with six doubles, a triple, a homer, nine runs scored and 16 RBIs. The Wolves had school-record 27 RBIs and tied the school record with 26 hits in the series finale.

 * Coastal Carolina fell behind Georga Mason 8-0 on Sunday, but scored the game's final nine runs to win. Matt Beaird's two-out single in the ninth drove in the tying and winning runs.

* South Carolina entered the season as a consensus Top 5 team nationally, but the Gamecocks' 5-1 Sunday loss to Wright State dropped the record to 5-3.  A loss to Wright State -- a projected NCAA Tournament team - is no disgrace, but USC hasn't looked like a national title contender so far. The weekend starting rotation of Clarke Schmidt, Wil Crowe and Adam Hill has been as good as advertised, but USC has struggled defensively on what appear to be routine plays and has shown an early penchant to failing to get big hits in key situations. 

* Furman capped a 3-1 week with a 10-6 win over Monmouth. The Paladins had five home runs among their 39 hits in the series.

* USC Aiken stretched its winning streak to five games with a sweep of Young Harris. The Pacers have scored 15 runs or more in three of their last four games.

* USC Lancaster improved to 18-3 by winning three of four games over the weekend to cap a 5-1 week.

* Charleston Southern had a second consecutive 2-1 weekend to improve to 4-2 under interim coach Adam Ward.

* J.P. Sears struck out 12 batters in seven innings as a highlight of The Citadel's 2-1 series win over Delaware State.

* College of Charleston pitchers picked up 31 strikeouts in a series win over Cincinnati. After splitting one-run games on Friday and Saturday, the Cougars won by two runs on Sunday.

* Zach Piazza homered in all three games as Limestone got a 2-1 series win over Barton. Piazza has 10 home runs in 17 games. Garrett Lowery homered once to give him nine for the Chase Allen had three homers to improve his total to seven.

* Coker picked up a nice 2-1 series win for first-year coach Luke Harrigan in South Atlantic Conference play at Tusculum.

* Clark Scolamiero may have found a home at the top of North Greenville's batting order. For the first time this season he moved to the leadoff spot for Saturday's doubleheader sweep of Southern Wesleyan and the USC transfer responded by going 3-for-7 with a double, 2 walks, 3 stolen bases, 3 RBIs and 5 runs scored. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Crusaders had 28 hits and 34 runs in the twinbill.

 * Erskine opened Conference Carolinas play with a sweep of Pfeiffer.

* Bobby Wenthe drove in nine runs as USC Beaufort went 3-0 against Warner. Wenthe has 26 RBI in 10 games this season.

* Reed Massey went 8-for-14, but Wofford dropped two of three games it played in a tournament it co-hosts with USC Upstate.

* Francis Marion dropped the finale of its series with Augusta, but the Patriots still have a lofty 13-2 record.

* Lander pulled to .500 for the first time since the first-week of the season before losing Sunday's series finale at Montevallo.

* In retrospect, Hunter Lipscomb's three-run homer in Friday's victory over Kennesaw State may have been Winthrop's biggest hit of the weekend. The eighth-inning blast led to a 4-3 victory, the Eagles' only win in the series.

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