The Daily Gamecock

Wynkoop looks for redemption against Northeastern


Junior pitcher Jack Wynkoop paid his dues last season. He won seven games as a key component of South Carolina's three-man rotation— a unit that accumulated a 3.03 ERA over the season.

Wynkoop proved his worth as a serviceable Saturday starter; however, he lacked the power that Friday starter Jordan Montgomery packed, which helped Montgomery to a 95-strikeout season. Despite not having the same baseball makeup as Montgomery, Wynkoop found a way to stick around, substituting deadly accuracy in lieu of a ferocious four-seam fastball.

Even though Wynkoop issued fewer walks and recorded a lower ERA than his counterpart, much of the attention was often directed toward Montgomery. However, when Montgomery was selected in the fourth round of the MLB Draft by the New York Yankees, it left head coach Chad Holbrook looking for a pitcher to plug in to the front end of his rotation.

Wynkoop found a way to the top of the rotation.

But through one game as the Gamecocks' No. 1 pitcher, Wynkoop has racked up a loss and already owns a steep 7.20 ERA. Wynkoop gave up four earned runs over five innings to a tough-hitting College of Charleston team to open the season, which is the same run total that he allowed over 27 innings to start last season.

His rocky start has Holbrook holding steady with the veteran, but the head coach is considering a change-up in the starting rotation.

"You can't base important decisions like that on one outing," Holbrook said. "There's a lot of factors to consider ... I know you didn't see the real Jack Wynkoop last Friday."

Wynkoop will take the mound Saturday against Northeastern (2-1), since cold weather forced South Carolina to cancel Friday's game. Instead, the Gamecocks (3-1) will play a doubleheader on Saturday and finish the series on Sunday.

The Huskies finished 2014 with a 26-29 record but managed to snag a two out of three games from College of Charleston last season.