On Tuesday night South Carolina took on instate rival Citadel in Founders Park and it was a walk in the park to say the least.
Freshman Will Sanders clocked his first win and proved why Coach Kingston was so high on him in recruiting in the past years.
Will registered 10 strikeouts and allowed only one run and a walk in his longest appearance so far, throwing 67 pitches in 5 innings.
This wasn’t the same Will Sanders we have seen this season. We all knew he was good, but this guy was on another level. Cool, calm and collected is not the way to think of it, after allowing a homerun, proceeded to wipe it off and strike out the next three batters.
It’s very obvious if he continues to progress, he will be on a weekend rotation before long, and be a guy Kingston leans on often.
Daniel Lloyd came in to collect four strikes outs and looked as sharp as we’ve seen during his South Carolina career.
This pitching crew, as deep as it may seem, has yet to find a solid lefty to rely on and deep into SEC play can be a serious problem when trying to do matchups in later innings.
With that being said this bullpen is fairly young and from a longevity standpoint has nothing to truly worry about, but we are living in the present and that poses a big question yet to be answered.
The golden child Wes Clarke made a special appearance and sent one out to a lucky fan early in the first, and Gamecock bats finally came back to life.
MOON SHOT WES CLARKE! SEE YOU LATER!— The Spurs Up Show (@TheSpursUpShow) March 23, 2021
The strikeouts are still a concern but don’t expect it to slow down anytime soon as the Gamecocks look to face all six other SEC teams in the Top 25 here in the coming weeks, and the pitching is surreal.
David Mendham had a hit and 2 strikeouts, and the team collected 8 RBI’s to match the 8 hits on the night.
Majority of those coming against the Citadel’s Friday night cash cow Devin Beckley. It’s apparent when the Yardcocks are firing on all cylinders on the defensive side and can get back in the dugout quickly the bats remain hot, and it showed tonight.
The Gamecocks rattled off consecutive hits and walks to keep the first innings alive consistently placing the ball in play, stealing bases, and forcing pitchers to throw at them is when this team thrives.
Regardless this is 8-10 Citadel, but after such a rough six games it’s nice to come blow off some steam, knock off the rust, and get reps in as a collective.
This team had about as solid of a midweek game as you can ask for. It’s easy to overlook these matchups and get caught doing so as we saw last week against Davidson.
All in all, you would love to see Will pitch more but you can’t really complain about his performance, can never have enough hitting stats, and you always want multiple Wes Clarke home runs, but this team came out flexed their muscles and showed they are still relevant and still a force in the baseball world to deal with.
The matchup against Florida coming up will be an interesting one and is a must win if the Gamecocks look to remain ranked. After Kingston was ejected Sunday in Knoxville, you saw the same team that went 11-0 earlier come back and finally lay the team that went 0-6 to rest.
Hopefully we see the team that works as a collective back for the remainder of the season but from here on out every game matters. These mid-week matchups can make or break our postseason and could be the deciding factor in rank and regional play which we all know is huge.
The less mid-week mishaps the better you are, along with going over .500 in conference play and this team is looking fair.