The Daily Gamecock

Baseball shuts out Davidson

8 different players pick up hits for Gamecocks

After two weeks of turmoil in the South Carolina baseball team was ended with a series victory at Auburn, the arrow was seemingly pointing up for the Gamecocks when they took on Davidson Tuesday night.

South Carolina didn’t miss a step against the Wildcats, snapping a two-game non-conference losing streak with an 8-0 win.

“I was very concerned coming into the game [Tuesday]. Davidson’s having a really good year,” said head coach Chad Holbrook. “It was a good win for us, a good mid-week victory against a good team.”

After registering one run in the bottom of the third, the Gamecocks did most of their damage in a dominant sixth inning. South Carolina brought in six unconventional runs in the frame, scoring on an infield single, a passed ball and a throwing error, among other things.

With the Gamecock offense drawing plenty of criticism recently, Holbrook said it was he saw flashes of improvement from South Carolina’s bats with several key starters sidelined with injuries.

“We were a little bit better offensively,” Holbrook said. “But we’re no offensive juggernaut by any stretch right now.”

Juniors Connor Bright and Elliott Caldwell and sophomore Max Schrock highlight a laundry list of injured Gamecocks. While Holbrook said Bright and Caldwell are close to a return to the lineup, the coach said he’s not optimistic about Schrock, and the second baseman could be out for the remainder of the season.

South Carolina registered 10 hits in the game, with all but one Gamecock starter getting at least one. Sophomore DC Arendas and freshman Logan Koch lead the way offensively as the two South Carolina players to turn in multiple-hit days at the plate.

Junior Patrick Harrington, who has recently been seeing the first regular playing time of his career after being plagued with injuries, earned his first hit and RBI as a Gamecock by hustling out an infield single with a dive into first base.

“Coach Holbrook was joking with me before the game saying, ‘Pat, you going to get one today?’ and I said ‘coach I’m going to get one today,’” Harrington said. “I don’t care how it is, if it wasn’t pretty, I got there.”

The Virginia Beach, Va., native only played in six games in three years with the program before this season, earning a start in just one of those appearances. Harrington has already played in nine games with three starts – including one last night – for Holbrook’s Gamecocks this season.

“Through all my years, this is definitely the most opportunities I’ve gotten,” Harrington said. “I’ve always been patient and I’ve always just stayed ready kept a positive outlook on everything.”

Another first in Tuesday’s tilt against Davidson was righty Reed Scott’s first outing as a starter. The freshman turned in four scoreless innings on the day, allowing five hits and striking out one in his second win of the year.

Scott had appeared in eight games as a reliever for South Carolina before Tuesday night, compiling a 1.17 earned run average.

“My defense definitely played well. Whenever my defense plays well, I usually pitch well,” Scott said. “I felt alright. I didn’t feel I had my best stuff, wasn’t hitting my spots too well, but my defense helped.”

The Gamecocks sent four other pitchers out to the mound after Scott, three of which were freshmen. Righty Taylor Widener saw the most action aside from the starter in his three shutout innings.

South Carolina will host another mid-week contest tonight when the Gamecocks take on USC Upstate, and with the year coming to a close, Holbrook said it’s exceedingly important for his team to start hitting its stride.

“It’s hard to believe that after (tonight’s) game we’ve got 14 games left in the regular season,” Holbrook said. “And I just told the guys after the game, every one of them is extremely, extremely important.”