Gamecocks baseball scrimmaged for the first time this spring on Saturday, going six full innings on a chilly day at Founders Park.
Pitching dominated the day, as there were only three runs total scored by both teams.
RHP Carmen Mlodzinski and RHP Brett Kerry got the starts for their respective squads and both guys were very sharp.
The scouts were out in full force to watch Carmen, who was very solid in three innings of work.
His fastball sat in the 94-95 MPH range and his two seamer showed great life throughout.
The pitch that impressed me the most from Mlodzinski was the changeup. He made hitters look foolish on a few occasions and could be a real game changer for him this season.
Kerry on the other hand made a very strong case for why he should be considered for a weekend starter role.
Brett is an extremely consistent and efficient pitcher, as he showed no signs of rust after missing the fall with an injury.
One thing he has added to an arsenal is mixing up his timing with his leg lift, something New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman has made very popular.
RHP Graham Lawson looked as good as I’ve seen him since his return from surgery, sitting 93-94 MPH and making life very tough on USC hitters.
He filled the zone and his breaking stuff showed life. He’s a guy who should have a big impact on this Carolina bullpen.
LHP Dylan Harley continues to battle through command issues. His stuff is good and he does seem to be around the plate more often than a year ago.
Still, the number one factor that could keep Dylan off the mound this year is his ability or lack thereof to throw strikes consistently.
RHP Cam Tringali and RHP Danny Lloyd closed out the scrimmage.
Cam showed more of the same that I saw from him in the fall, battling through adversity to strand a runner at third in his final inning.
Lloyd seemed to be a little rusty today, showing command issues we didn’t see in the fall.
Still, you can’t deny just how good his stuff is, with a fastball in the mid 90s and devastating slider in the high 80s.
At the plate, Wes Clarke is a guy who continues to impress me. He hit an absolute laser over the left field fence off of Carmen Mlodzinski, registering at 109 MPH exit velocity.
Clarke is a guy who’s approach has improved so much from a year ago and could be a big bat in that USC lineup.
It’s hard to put into words how much better off the Gamecocks are at the catcher position this year compared to last.
Dallas Beaver is a big bat who looks very solid defensively, Colin Burgess is a freshman who can give you quality innings, and Jax Cash (now finally healthy) showed some real promise today gunning down a wimpy base stealer.
Other guys who stood out and had good days at the plate were Braylen Wimmer, Bryant Bowen, Jeff Heinrich and Noah Campbell.
Heinrich is a guy who will certainly push for playing time in the infield. He has a good glove and absolutely roped a ball to right field for a triple on Saturday.
Pitching is always ahead of hitting at this time of the spring. Still, an overall productive day at the ball park for Mark Kingston and company.