Wednesday, February 21, 2024

State schedule, Wednesday, Feb. 21

Voorhees at Edward Waters, DH, 1 p.m.
Coker at Barton, 3 p.m.
Florence-Darlington Tech at Francis Marion JV, DH, 3 p.m.
Western Carolina at USC Upstate, 3 p.m.
North Georgia at North Greenville, 3:30 p.m.
Queens at South Carolina, 4 p.m. SECN+
Erskine JV at Columbia International JV, DH, 5 p.m.
Kennesaw State at Wofford, 5:30 p.m. ESPN+

Pollock Field, Clinton
USC Sumter vs. Catawba Valley, 4 p.m.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

State scoreboard, Tuesday, Feb. 20

Rams' leadoff batter James Lovera raised
his season batting average to .368 with
Tuesday's performance. (CIU photo)

Player of the day: James Lovera, Columbia International, 3-4, 3B, 2 BB, 2 SB, 4 R, 3 RBI

Game of the day
Newberry 5, North Greenville 3
Kade Faircloth's RBI single in a three-run sixth inning gave the Wolves the lead and they held on to snap the second-ranked Crusaders' eight-game winning streak.

Newberry (3-8), entered the game on a three-game losing and fell behind in the fourth inning on Dakota Britt's RBI single.

Jacob LeBron singled in Brody Winter to tie score in the fifth, and Faircloth followed with a knock to score K.J. Leshko.

David Lewis homered in the bottom of the inning, but that's as close as the Crusaders could get.

Faircloth, who had three hits, drove in the Wolves' final run in the seventh

Briefly: Cam Cannarella went 3-for-5, including a leadoff homer, as Clemson handed Presbyterian its first loss. Jimmy Obertop also homered and Jarren Purify's career first hit was a grand slam to cap a five-run seventh, It was Clemson's third grand slam four games into the season ... Tyler Causey doubled and homered to drive in four runs as South Carolina pulled away to run-rule Winthrop. Four Gamecocks pitched limited the Eagles to three hits - two of them Jaylen Hernandez doubles ... Sebastian Alexander's two-run single gave Coastal Carolina the lead as the Chanticleers evened their record with a win over UNC Wilmington. Zack Beach was 3-for-3 for Coastal and Chants pitchers struck out 15 ... The Citadel turned eight hits, eight walks and five Charleston Southern errors into a lopsided win in the first meeting of the season for the rivals. Phillips Daniels had a double and three RBI for the Bulldogs, who did all their scoring in the first three innings ... Winston Parke's three-run homer capped a four-run sixth inning to give Limestone the lead and the Saints pulled away to a win a Belmont Abbey. Wyatt Stone was 0-for-2, but drove in three runs ... Zack Summerville opened Francis Marion's scoring with a two-run homer in the first and capped it with an RBI triple in the ninth inning of a win at Claflin. Kollin Crepeau and Owen Taylor joined Summerville in getting three hits ... Will McClellan had three hits, walked twice, scored three runs and drove in four as Lander blistered Southern Wesleyan. Jake Larsen (3-0) pitched five shutout innings for the Bearcats ... Carson Phillips' eighth-inning triple - his third hit of the game - drove in Sebastian Biggs to give USC Beaufort a win over Middle Georgia ... Emmanuel Maldonado had 2 singles, 2 walks and 3 RBI as Columbia International's topped Bob Jones at Conestee Park. The Rams drew 20 walks ... Chris Hall's ninth-inning grand slam lifted Lincoln Memorial past Erskine, capping the Railsplitters' comeback from a 3-0 deficit after one inning ... Savannah State scored seven runs in the first and seven in the sixth to run-rule Morris ... 

Clemson 8, Presbyterian 2 - Cle: Jimmy Obertop 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI
Coastal Carolina 7, UNCW 2 - Coa: Cameron Flukey 2 IP, 6 K
Columbia International 16, Bob Jones 10 - Col: Aiden Pridgen 1B, 2B, BB, 2 R, RBI
Francis Marion 17, Claflin 4 - Fra: Owen Taylor 4-5, HR, 3 RBI
Lander 13, Southern Wesleyan 1 - Lan: Ethan Wilder 1B, 2 3B, 3 R, 2 BB, RBI
Limestone 12, Belmont Abbey 6 - Lim: Tyler Champagne 2-3, 2 BB, R, RBI
Lincoln Memorial 7, Erskine 3 - Ers: Wilmis Castro 2-3, SB, R
Newberry 5, North Greenville 3 - New: Jacob LeBron 2-5, R, 2 RBI
Savannah State 16, Morris 0, 7 innings - Mor: Antonion Edwards 1B
South Carolina 12 Winthrop 2, 7 inningsSou: Talmadge LeCroy 1B, 2B, HR, 5 R, BB
The Citadel 15, Charleston Southern 4 - Cit: Travis Lott 2B, 2 BB, 3 R, 2 RBI
USC Beaufort 4, Middle Georgia 3 - Bea: Julian Galassi 2-4, HBP, R

Beyond the border

* UNC Greensboro beat consensus No. 1 Wake Forest, 4-3, in Greensboro.
* Dayton used a seven-run eighth to beat No. 6 Vanderbilt 8-5.
* Campbell knocked off No. 11 East Carolina, 7-6, in Buies Creek.
*  A 3-2 home loss to Austin Peay won't make the seat any less warm for Mississippi State coach Chris Lemonis, a former Citadel player.
* Tampa, ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division II, outlasted Southeastern, No. 1 in NAIA, 10-7.
* Former Clemson and USC catcher Jonathan French had a pair of two-run homers for Houston in a 27-1 win over Prairie View.

News digest, Feb. 20, part 2

Schedule news

* Erskine's Tuesday home game with Lincoln Memorial was a late addition to the schedule and prevented a streak of 15 straight road games for the Flying Fleet. The teams will meet again April 23 in Harrogate, Tenn.
* USC Sumter and Catawba Valley are playing a neutral site game on Wednesday, a 4 p.m. meeting at Elton Pollock Field on the Presbyterian College campus in Clinton.

Wednesday previews

* Queens (at South Carolina, 4 p.m.)

* USC Upstate
(vs. Western Carolina 4 p.m.)

* Western Carolina
(at USC Upstate, 4 p.m.)


Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Pitcher of the week:
Kent Johnson, Benedict.

Rankings JuCo Top 25: 1. College of Central Florida.  6. Gaston.
7. Walters State. 

News digest, Feb. 20

Stingers tweak schedule

Florence-Darlington Tech has adjusted the schedule for Weekend 2 of the Stinger Invitational because of weather concerns.

Stinger Invitational
Carolina Bank Field, Florence
Monroe vs. Florence-Darlington Tech, 11 a.m.
Monroe vs. Patrick & Henry, 1:30 p.m.
Patrick & Henry vs. Florence-Darlington Tech, DH, 4 p.m.

Dailey Field, Florence
Monroe vs. Florence-Darlington Tech, 10 a.m.
Monroe vs. Patrick & Henry, 12:30 p.m.
Patrick & Henry at Florence-Darlington Tech, 3 p.m.


Big South Conference
Starting pitcher of the week:
Daniel Eagen, Presbyterian.
Relief pitcher of the week: Jake Cubbler, USC Upstate.
Player of the week: Joel Dragoo, Presbyterian.
Freshman of the week: Tristan McGregor, Presbyterian.
Big South

Conference Carolinas
Pitcher of the week:
Chas DeBruhl, Francis Marion.

South Atlantic Conference
Pitcher of the week: Benjamin Blackwell, Coker.


2-year-baseball: 1. Gulf Coast State. 4. Gaston College. 5. East Georgia. 18. Florence-Darlington Tech.

Palmetto State Baseball Podcast, Feb. 20

The latest episode of the Palmetto State Baseball Podcast is out.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Dissa and data, Feb. 19

(I somehow overlooked USC Upstate when I first compiled this. I added a couple of notes regarding the Spartans on Feb. 20.)


Troj-antics: Kye Andress has hit safely in all 10 games to compile a .429 batting average ... The Trojans have a .333 team batting average and are 23-for-25 in steals ... Pitchers have 84 strikeouts in 84 innings.


Bene-feats: Stolen bases are always  big part of the Tigers' offense. They went 18-for-19 on opening weekend ... Benedict pitchers gave up 30 walks in 26 innings.

Bob Jones

Bru-insights: The six-game losing streak is the third-longest season-opening streak since the program began in 2021. The initial team lost its first 14 games and the 2022 club lost two straight. The 2023 team started 2-1, the only time BJU has been above .500 in its history. The Bruins are at home against Columbia International (1-11) on Tuesday.

Charleston Southern

Buc blasts: A 2-1 series win over Delaware State was accomplished despite a .211 team batting average, thanks in large part to a .224 opponents' BA by the CSU staff ... Matt Gallant struck out 9 in 4 1/3 innings and Bucs pitchers fanned 32 in 27 innings.


Claf-lines: Six innings into Friday's first game against Erskine, Panthers starter Kyle Hawkins was pitching a shutout. Oh, how things changed. The Flying Fleet scored six runs in the seventh en route to an 11-0 win and finished up scoring 57 runs in a four-game sweep. The staff ERA for the weekend was 13.78. ... The Panthers have been outscored 78-13 in their last five games and have a .179 season team batting average. Chesnee High product Kobe Miller is hitting .421 and Michael Coit is at .400.


Tiger tales: WCCP (1055 the roar) announcer William Qualkinbush reports the Tigers loaded the bases in 12 of 24 offensive innings. In 19 plate appearances with the bases loaded Clemson had four extra-base hits (2 grand slams) and scored 19 runs ... The Tigers came from behind all three games against Xavier ... Cam Cannarella drew a lot of preseason acclaim and he lived up to the billing in Week 1, hitting .538. Clemson hit .376 as a team ... Alden Mathes and Nolan Nawrocki hit grand slams on Friday.

Coastal Carolina

Chanti-sphere: Baseball at the Beach drew 9,463 to Springs Brooks Stadium over the weekend ... Players in the 2 through 7 spots in the Coastal batting order all three days had last names beginning the the letter "B" ... It was a case of feast or famine for the offense. Caden Bodine, Sam Antonacci, Graham Brown and Dean Mihos combined to go 16-for-42 (.381). The rest of the team was 9-for-61 (.148) ... Pitcher Riley Eikhoff faced the minimum in six no-hit innings against George Mason on Friday ... 


Snake strikes:  The Cobras and 7-3 and off to a 3-0 start in the South Atlantic Conference after a weekend sweep of Emory & Henry. The team batting average is .240, but the Cobras have 34 stolen bases and the ERA is a sterling 3.07. Benjamin Blackwell, a freshman from Blythewood High, has a 12 strikeouts in nine shutout innings covering two relief appearances. Aaron Diaz (1-0) has a 1.15 ERA over 15 2/3 innings for three starts ... Ick Cirino is hitting .320 ... All three losses have been away from home and next up is a Wednesday visit to Barton.

College of Charleston

Cougar curves: Completing a weekend wraparound series sweep of Marshall allowed the College to become the first NCAA Division I team in the state to start 4-0 ... CofC has a .318 team batting average, led by the .471 mark of South Carolina transfer Kevin Madden. Dylan Johnson, who came in from Florence-Darlington Tech, is at .462 and preseason all-American Cole Mathis is hitting .357 ... The staff ERA is 2.25, with the four starters combing for a 0.45 ERA ... Reliever Emmett Bice has a save and struck out eight in 5 2/3 innings ... Davis Aiken has two saves.

Columbia International

Ram-egrams: CIU ended a season-opening seven-game losing streak last week, but has lost its last four as the struggles continue in most facets of the game. The .261 team batting average isn't horrible, but an 11.75 staff ERA and 23 errors in 12 games are a lot for any team to overcome with so-so offense ... Emmanuel Maldonado (.375) and James Lovera (.333, 11 runs 7 steals) have been offensive sparks ... Brayden Adams has struck out six in five shutout innings and has the team's only win.


Fleet filberts: Video game-type numbers were abundant in the four-game weekend sweep at Claflin. The team scored 57 runs and had a .351 batting average. Josean Sanchez continued an excellent job of table-setting from the leadoff spot. He was 11-for-16 and drew four walks. Sanchez has a .451 batting average and .508 OBP ... Pitchers struck out 46 in 32 innings. Leading the way was Alex Heintz with 17 K's in a four-hit shutout in Saturday's opener. That's the third shutout for the Fleet this season. Joe Alegre went the first eight innings of a shutout in Friday's opener.

Florence-Darlington Tech

Stinger zingers: Tech has seven player with 20 or more at-bats hitting above .300. Mack James is at .429, Josh Campos at .424 and Rom Kellis at .421. Kellis has a team-high 18 RBI and shares the home run lead (3) with Michael Gibson. Gibson also has a 2-1 record and 1.64 ERA.

Francis Marion

Patriot-ics: Zack Summerville has maintained a strong offensive start, batting .444 with 11 RBI ... Seton Hill, which won Sunday's series finale, isn't a typical snowbird team coming south early in the season. The Griffins were No. 17th the NCAA DII preseason rankings ... Chas DeBruhl (2-0, 0.56) and Josh Adams (1-0, 2.35) have been anchors of the starting rotation ... Opponents have one home run in 80 innings.


Lander liners: Conner Droze, named Peach Belt Conference player of the week on Monday, has 6 homers and 11 RBI. Nakao Taichi has a team-high 12 RBI and Gary Garrett is tops in batting average at .342 ... The Bearcats are 33-for-35 in stolen bases ... PBC freshman of the week Jake Larsen is 2-0 with a save and a 1.59 ERA in three games and pitcher of the week Tyler Overholt has a 1.13 ERA, a win and three saves in a team-high five appearances.


Halo happenings: After getting a season-high seven extra-base hits in winning the series opener at Lenoir-Rhyne, the Saints had just two in dropping a pair on Saturday ... Sion Barnett (.400) extended his hitting streak to eight games before sitting out both games on Saturday ... Bailey Faircloth (3.00), Colt Wilkins (3.38) and Cale Wagoner (3.52) have been effective starters for coach Brett Harker.


Hornet heaters: Morris has its first action since last Tuesday with a Tuesday visit to Savannah State ... Tijawan Black is hitting .368 with three stolen bases and James Paul has a .333 mark and six RBI.


Wolf howls: It's been one of those years so far. A preseason Top 15 pick in a couple of NCAA Division II national rankings, Newberry is sitting 2-8 after being swept by Wingate over the weekend in the opening South Atlantic Conference series. The Bulldogs came in at 3-4 with 25 runs scored and left 34 runs and three victories richer. Things get no better for Newberry on Tuesday, when a visit to No. 2 North Greenville is on tap. The Wolves' offense did show signs of life last week, scoring 25 runs to more than double the 24 runs it scored in its first six games ... Kade Faircloth and K.J. Leshko are both hitting .323, with Rhett Jolly not far back at .313 ... Newberry has yet to hit a home run ... The staff ERA is 9.52.

North Greenville

Crusader capers: NGU capped its weekend sweep of Post by scoring 27 runs in the finale, increasing the team batting average to .355. The Crusaders are averaging 11.7 runs per game ... David Lewis has a .410 average with four homers and 19 RBI. Freshman Thomas Powell had 4 hits and drove in seven runs. Pat Monteith and Bryce Roddey and are sitting at .359 ... Reece Fields (1-0, 1.00) has struck out 24 in 18 innings. Relievers Nate Roof, Matthew Taubensee and Dawson Taylor have combined to strike out 22 in 13 2/3 innings.


Kilt kernels: Joel Dragoo, who had eight home runs in 2023, hit one in all four games of the Blue Hose's opening rampage against St. Peter's season. PC hit .424 and scored 58 runs. Brody Fahr was a mind-boggling .733 (11-for-15) ... The staff ERA was 2.40 with 50 strikeouts in 30 innings ... If PC puts up similar numbers on Tuesday, coach Elton Pollock would no doubt be pleased. The Blue Hose are at Clemson.

South Carolina

Fowl fare: Blake Jackson did what leadoff hitters are supposed to do - reach base. He had three hits, four walks and was hit by a pitch for a .571 OBP ... The Gamecocks had a 1.44 staff ERA and struck out 27 in 26 innings ... Sunday's no-hitter behind the efforts of five pitchers was the program's eighth all-time and first since Colby Holmes, Forest Koumas and Josh Knab combined to no-hit Albany Feb. 24, 2013. The last individual no-hitter was by Ray Lavigne against George Mason on March 26, 1975. A day earlier, Tim Lewis threw a no-hitter against Old Dominion. The 1975 team was USC's first squad to reach the College World Series ... Former USC Spartanburg (now Upstate) men's coach and Converse women's coach Bill Reitmeier no-hit Georgia in 1967 ... Carolina has won 26 consecutive opening weekend series.

Southern Wesleyan

Southern cooking: Sometimes, being lucky pays off - although it is sometimes the residue of hard work. The Warriors snapped an eight-game losing streak in Game 2 of Saturday's twinbill with Belmont Abbey by tying the score in the ninth on a bases-loaded wild pitch (looked like a passed pass to me on the video feed) and winning in the 11th on a bases-loaded walk ... The team batting average is .184 with 114 strikeouts ... Cam Mitchem and Jarrett Whitley each have two of the team's four home runs.

Spartanburg Methodist

Pioneer pearls: SMC went 1-2 in its annual visit to the Southern Union State Invitational in Wadley, Ala. The event has often been a good test for coach Tim Wallace's squad as he preps them for the Region 10 schedule.  The Pioneers hit .350 for the tournament, but needed a late rally in the opener to avoid going 0-3. The staff  ERA for the weekend was 6.92 and SMC made nine errors. Still, the Pioneers are 9-3 even after losing three of their last four.  Blake Martin (.563), Brooks Mauro (.459, 18 RBI), Hunter Fryowicz (.400), Kai Tullos (.400),  Schley Gordy (.351) and Ethan Wilson (.333, 3 homers 18 RBI) are offensive pacesetters ... Kemper Nix (2-1, 1.64) and Davis Wright (2-0, 2.4) have struck out 19 apiece ... SMC pitchers have 102 strikeouts in 84 innings. 

The Citadel

Bulldog bombs: A .359 team batting average after one weekend was built on six regulars hitting .364 or better: Wells Sykes (.500), Thomas Rollauer (.455), Anthony Hausner (.427, 2 HR, 8 RBI), Matthew Lively (.400), Sawyer Reeves (.400) and Javier Crespo (.364) ... The 22 runs allowed in the Game 2 loss to St. Bonaventure skewed the pitching numbers to a 9.00 ERA for the weekend. Landon Slemp pitched six shutout innings in the opener.

USC Aiken

Pacer patter: USCA ended a season-opening seven game losing streak by taking the final three games of a series with American International  ... J.B. Bell is hitting .407, with Capers Molinaroli just behind at .405. Kaden Usry drove in seven runs over the weekend, giving him nine for the season.... Kevin Cox's 1.68 ERA helps lower the team mark to 6.78. Aiken has struck out 83 in 85 innings, but has issued 61 walks.

USC Beaufort

Shark bites: A 3-1 start to the season has been followed by a five-game losing streak.  Brian Meyer, one of the key offensive players in past seasons, is mired at a .160 batting average. Take away Aiden Driscoll-Sadusky (.333) and Carson Phillips (.324) and USCB is hitting .201 as a team. It has been outhomered, 7-0 and doesn't have a triple, either.

USC Lancaster

Lancer-lots: A four-game sweep of Rockingham capped a 6-0 week for Lancaster, which is hitting .330 as a tea ... Joe Sperry is a couple of levels above red-hot. He is hitting .553 (21-for-38) with 6 doubles, 7 homers, 24 RBI and 17 runs scored in 11 games. He also has 14 strikeouts, a 4.50 ERA and a 1-0 record in four appearances as pitcher ... Eddie Olmeda is at .484.

USC Salkehatchie

Indian items: Opponents have outscored the Indians 103-35 and stolen 30 bases in 10 games ... Individual stats on the region website are missing at least three games.

USC Sumter

Ant hills: A 4-1 record last week has the Fire Ants up to 5-8 for the season. The improvement has come because of better offensive output. Sumter was shut out three times and scored more than three runs just once in losing its first six games ...  J.T. Popick (.349) has been among the steadiest on offense and is the only regular hitting over .300 ... Lukas Arvantides (1-1, 2.16, 19 K) and Josh Keen (2-1, 3.00, 19 have been mound leaders.

USC Upstate

Uppercuts: Freshman Vance Sheahan had a dandy start to his career, going 5-for-11 ... Jake Cubbler struck out eight in five innings of shutout relief.

USC Union

Bantam bits: Monday's sweep of the Montreat JV pushed Union's winning streak to six.  Entering those games, Mason Elrod was batting .529, with Tyler Strickland at .500, Brayden Corn at .435 and Michael Adams at .400 ... Bantams coach Micah Stancil used 17 pitchers in the first eight games, with the team striking out 64 in 54 innings.


Bengal bingles: The Tigers dropped two of three to Bluefield State, but at 5-6 overall are still in good shape to exceed last year's eight victories ... Kawan Ellerbe-James leads the team with a .455 batting average. Voorhees has stolen 37 bases in 40 attempts, with Joseph Gaines having a team-high seven ... Pitcher Jathan Smith has been outstanding with a 2-1 record, a 2.33 ERA and a .175 opponents' batting average.


Eagle eggstra:  Oh, what might have been. The Eagles took a 5-0 lead after two innings of the opener only to be held scoreless the rest of the way as Rutgers pulled away to a 14-5 win. On Saturday, Winthrop pitchers didn't allow an earned run, but the offense was limited to a run on four hits. The Eagles tied Game 3 in the eighth couldn't get another clutch hit the rest of the way in an 11-inning loss ... Alan Benhardt and Will Dorrell led the offense by going 2-for-8 ... Reese Lumpkin struck out eight and didn't allow an earned run in 7 1/3 innings ... Winthrop drew 2,082 fans for the weekend.


Terrier tappers: After a scare in the opener and some pitching struggles, it was a pretty good debut weekend for Wofford coach J.J. Edwards. His charges hit .381 and scored 43 runs in winning three games ... Wofford needed a ninth-inning run to walk off with a 12-11 win against Towson after a 4-0 first-inning lead didn't hold up. Bucknell took a 3-0 first-inning lead before Wofford roared back for a 17-9, then the Terriers rode a nine-run third inning to coast by Towson on Game 3 ...  The Terriers had a .519 on-base percentage. Adam Haber hit .556, Marshall Toole followed with .545, Tyler Hare was at .500 and Brice Martinez was at .462 ... Wofford pitchers struck out 27 in 27 innings, but gave up 39 hits and 13 walks.

Beyond the border

N.C. State coach Elliott Avent, who took over after Ray Tanner went to South Carolina, got the 1,000th win of  his Wolfpack  career on Sunday. He also won 225 games at New Mexico State ... Duke hit 11 home runs in Saturday's 23-5 win over George Mason in the Baseball at Beach tournament in Conway ... Billy Amick, who transferred from Clemson to Tennessee was 4-for-11 with a triple, two homers and 5 RBI in his debut weekend with the Vols ... Former Lander assistant Chris Anderson get his 300th victory at Belmont Abbey when the Crusaders beat Southern Wesleyan, 10-3, Saturday in the first game of doubleheader in Central ... Matt Masciangelo of Sacramento State was hit by eight pitches in nine plate appearances in a weekend series with Loyola Marymount ... Johnny Hummel, who transferred from Erskine to Kentucky, struck out all three batters he faced to get the save in the Wildcats' Saturday victory at USC Upstate ...  Keith Shumate, a former Western Carolina player who had a stint as coach at Louisburg, got his 400th win as head coach at Norfolk State on Monday ... Former Wofford coach Todd Interdonato led Boston College to wins over Ohio State and California in the MLB Desert Invitational in Scottsdale, Ariz. The wins sandwiched a loss to Kansas State.