The Daily Gamecock

Analysis: South Carolina rallies to overcome early inning woes in midweek matchup

<p>FILE—Closeup of a glove as the South Carolina baseball team huddles before a game against Appalachian State on Tuesday, March 1, 2022.</p>
FILE—Closeup of a glove as the South Carolina baseball team huddles before a game against Appalachian State on Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

After giving up a grand slam in the bottom of the first inning, the Gamecocks were able to mount a comeback in its 9-6 win over Appalachian State.

Fifth-year senior outfielder Andrew Eyster was once again the bright spot of the offense, registering four RBI on two extra-base hits to bring the Gamecocks back into the game. Eyster now has 19 hits and 17 RBI on the season.

Junior second baseman Braylen Wimmer also played a large part in the rally, going 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBI and two runs of his own.

“He’s done a nice job this year, improving his two strike approach, and he’s playing so hard,” head coach Mark Kingston said. “It’s so good to see how hard he’s playing, and he’s getting rewarded for that.”

Kingston spoke highly of the energy that the dugout carried while the team was trailing.

"You want guys to enjoy playing. You want the team to be together in the dugout," Kingston said. "This team has shown that they’re gonna keep fighting, they’re gonna keep getting good bats and we're not gonna panic in the dugout. We're gonna just stay calm and hope the game comes back to us."

Although freshman shortstop Michael Braswell had trouble continuing his great offensive start to the season, he performed well on the other side of the ball.

Braswell came in to pitch in the bottom of the ninth, striking out two batters and earning his second save of the season after making a run-saving play on defense two innings prior.

Senior pitcher CJ Weins started on the mound for South Carolina and gave up five runs while striking out as many batters in his three innings of work.

The South Carolina bullpen continued to pitch well and kept Appalachian State's offense in check. The four relievers only allowed one run on seven hits while notching 11 strikeouts. 

Fifth-year senior pitcher Parker Coyne had a standout appearance, throwing an illustrious four strikeout inning. Kingston was satisfied with the bullpen's performance, especially in lieu of the many injured pitchers on the roster.

"We're gonna need guys to step up," Kingston said. "There's just no two ways about it. We're gonna need guys to step up until we get back to the point where we have a full pitching staff."

The Gamecocks will be back in action for a rivalry series against Clemson this weekend. Game one is scheduled for Friday, March 4th at 7:00 p.m.

Even with this weekend's importance, Kingston said the team is taking it one game at a time.

"With what we're going through right now from an injury standpoint, we can't afford to look ahead any bit, so we're gonna play one game at a time," Kingston said.


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