After watching the South Carolina baseball teams first scrimmages heading into the spring season, Chad Holbrook saw positives and negatives.
All in all, it was OK, nothing great, a lot of work to do. It was about a C-plus, C-minus for me, Holbrook said.
But Holbrook clearly was unhappy with key veterans for off-field behavior that he declined to specify, citing a team violation.
He named sophomore left-hander Jack Wynkoop, who didnt throw until the ninth inning of Sundays scrimmage, and sources confirmed the others were junior third baseman Joey Pankake, junior catcher Grayson Greiner, sophomore second baseman Max Schrock and senior designated hitter Brison Celek.
We try to hold our players accountable and do the right things off the field. Some of them didnt handle it the right way. Hopefully, well learn from it and get better and become a little bit more committed to doing what were trying to get done here, he said.
All of them played this weekend, however, and Holbrook added none was in legal trouble.
Some things they need to handle in a better way, he said. We expect them to do certain things, and when they dont, its disappointing. But theyre young kids, too, theyre good kids. I love them to death, but its the first weekend of practices, and I shouldnt be having to talk about this.
Holbrook called himself ticked off enough about Wynkoop, one of the weekend starters last year, that he might not use the left-hander the opening weekend series next month against Bucknell.
He might throw Tuesday or the second weekend, Holbrook said. So, well see. Well make that determination at a later date.
But he was heartened by the innings thrown by junior right-hander Joel Seddon as well as freshman right-handers Wil Crowe and Matthew Vogel and freshman left-hander Josh Reagan.
They made a case to throw Saturday, not just Sunday. It was impressive, Holbrook said. The thing I take away from the weekend the most was the way our young guys threw the ball.
With the shortstop situation up in the air, he tried different combinations at short, second base and third base that included sophomores Marcus Mooney and DC Arendas and freshmen Jordan Gore and Matt Williams, along with returning starters Pankake and Schrock.
Part of that was we wanted to see some people in different positions. Part of it was because some of the guys didnt handle some responsibilities off the field we asked them to handle this weekend, he said.
Junior center fielder Tanner English was slowed on the base paths by a sore knee, while junior right-hander Evan Beal didnt pitch because of a sore back. Junior first baseman Kyle Martin did a bit of everything, though. He hit a home run and made two diving stops Sunday and pitched well Saturday.
Hes just picking up where he left off in the fall, Holbrook said. Hes strong, athletic, (and) very confident in the batters box. Hes playing great, hes pitching great, hes committed.
Holbrook also saluted Saturdays work by his top starter, junior left-hander Jordan Montgomery.
He looked like a big-leaguer. I was very, very impressed with him. Well follow his lead, Holbrook said.
Pankake got a taste of third base after playing shortstop the past two seasons, and he played solid defense.
Joey should be one of the leaders of our team, Holbrook said. He has the talent to be a first-team All-SEC guy if he does the right thing and handles himself correctly.
Holbrook hopes to learn a lot more over the next two weekends about his team.
I am concerned with how much work we have to do in a number of areas, he said. Were not really any closer to making any decisions right now. I dont think thats fair after two scrimmages, and we havent had live work in months.