Four departing seniors debuting in minors
While their former teammates are honing their skills at summer leagues around the country, four members of South Carolina’s 2013 baseball squad are beginning their journeys as professionals.
L.B. Dantzler, Tyler Webb, Colby Holmes and Adam Westmoreland all signed contracts with their respective clubs and have begun their first season in the minor leagues.
Dantzler, a 14th-round selection of Toronto, was assigned to the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays. Holmes, who signed with Atlanta as a free agent, and Westmoreland, taken in the 26th round by Miami, were also assigned to their clubs’ Gulf Coast League affiliates. Webb, a 10th-round pick of the New York Yankees, was placed with the Class A Short Season Staten Island Yankees.
Dantzler earned the start at first base in the first game of the season for the GCL Blue Jays on Saturday. The former third-team All-American finished 1-for-3 with a game-tying, RBI single in the 7th inning, as the Jays knocked off the GCL Phillies in extra innings. Dantzler has not appeared in a game since Saturday and is batting .333 through the first four games of the year. Dantzler was named the Capital One Academic All-American of the Year in his senior season at South Carolina and was one of ten finalists for the Senior CLASS Award.
Webb debuted in Staten Island’s season opener against the Brooklyn Cyclones last Monday. The all-time appearances leader in Gamecock baseball history, Webb picked up the save by pitching a perfect ninth inning, including a game-ending strikeout, to preserve a 2-1 victory for the Yankees. He made his second appearance of the year on Saturday, striking out the side in a 4-2 loss to the Hudson Valley Renegades. Against the Aberdeen IronBirds on Monday, Webb struck out three in two innings of work. At press time, Webb was the only pitcher on Staten Island’s roster that had not allowed a hit.
Holmes made his season debut for the GCL Braves on Monday against the GCL Yankees. The Conway native entered in the 7th inning and pitched a scoreless frame, inducing two groundouts and recording one strikeout. Holmes was one of just two Braves pitchers to not allow a hit on the day, as the Yankees went on to record 21 hits in a 15-12 win. Holmes’ 0.00 ERA is currently the best on the Braves’ staff.
Westmoreland has yet to appear in a game for the GCL Marlins, who are 1-3 on the season.
While Dantlzer, Webb, Holmes and Westmoreland are pursuing their big league dreams, USC has 20 current players preparing for the 2014 campaign in summer leagues. Nine USC players are in the Coastal Plain League, including Kyle Martin, who is batting .231 with five doubles and four RBIs for the Thomasville Hi-Toms.
Six Gamecocks are playing in the Cape Cod League, including Tanner English (Harwich Mariners) and Max Schrock (Cotuit Kettleers).
Catcher Grayson Greiner is playing as a member of the USA Collegiate National Team and will be traveling to North Carolina, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Japan over the summer.