USC baseball’s outlook improves with series win at Auburn

Reliever Seddon picks up his second victory as Gamecocks take series

Special to TheState.comApril 20, 2014 

USC coach Chad Holbrook

TIM DOMINICK — tdominick@thestate

With No. 11 South Carolina’s 4-3 victory Sunday against Auburn, Gamecocks coach Chad Holbrook thinks his team is turning the corner.

“This was a big win for us,” Holbrook said. “This was a big weekend for us. Having to face some adversity, finding a way to win a big series like this is big, and I hope it gives us some momentum moving forward.”

Gamecocks starter Wil Crowe battled through 52/3, allowing three runs on six hits. Cody Mincey and Joel Seddon, who pitched in relief in Saturday’s Game 2 victory, combined to pitch 31/3 innings of four-hit baseball.

The top and middle of the South Carolina order came through in a big way.

Marcus Mooney led off and went 1-for-4 with a run scored. DC Arendas went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, and Joey Pankake got his only hit of the series in the first inning for an RBI double.

Grayson Greiner, who started Saturday’s ninth-inning rally, went 3-for-4 with two RBIs.

South Carolina jumped to an early lead – something the Gamecocks haven’t done during its recent slide.

Against Auburn starter Trey Wingenter, the top of the lineup started quickly.

Mooney took a pitch to the back to get on base, Arendas singled to right-center field and Pankake crushed a RBI-ground rule double to the deepest part of the park.

After Kyle Martin grounded out to first base, Greiner hit a single through the left side to score Arendas and give the Gamecocks a 2-0 lead.

Auburn pulled Wingenter in favor or Michael O’Neal, who finished the inning with no further damage. The Tigers scrapped out a run in the bottom of the frame to cut the USC lead in half.

The two teams traded runs in the third. Greiner doubled to left-center field to score Arendas, but Crowe allowed three straight two-out singles to put the score at 3-2 in favor of the Gamecocks.

Auburn scored in the sixth off Crowe to tie the score, and Holbrook elected to substitute Mincey in for Crowe.

“Wil was OK, but I don’t think it was his best performance,” Holbrook said. “He battled and competed, which is his best trait … he gave us a good start, but he gave it over to our bullpen, which is what I thought was our advantage over (Auburn).”

Mincey shut the Tigers’ bats down and gave way to Seddon with two outs in the seventh.

In the top of the eighth, Martin and Greiner picked up two hard-hit singles to center field. A few batters later, Gene Cone came through again for USC with a sacrifice fly that allowed Martin to tag and score from third.

Seddon shut the Tigers down in the ninth and picked up his second win of the year.

“To persevere (through the injuries) and still find ourselves where we are at 30-10, I’m proud of my team,” Holbrook said. “If we can find a way to get healthy, we’re going to be difficult to beat, because our pitching staff has done a great job.”

The Gamecocks (30-10, 10-8) hope to carry this momentum into Tuesday’s meeting with Davidson.

USCAUBURN
abrhbiabrhbi
Mooney ss 4110Ebert lf 5000
Arendas 2b 4210Tella cf 4100
Pnkke 3b 4011Tmscha 3b 3120
Martin 1b 4120Short pr 0000
Greiner c 4032Austin c 5131
Caldwell lf 2000Haecker ss 3011
Hringtn ph1000Robert dh 4010
Widener dh 3010Shaffer pr 0000
Cone rf 3011Thmpsn 1b 4021
English cf 4000Glvnyak 2b 4010
Grier rf 3000
Gillikin ph1000
Totals 334104Totals 363103

USC2010000104
Auburn1010010003

E—Haecker, D. (11). DP—Auburn 3. LOB—USC 8; Auburn 10. 2B—Pankake (7); Greiner (7). HBP—Mooney. SH - Harrington (1); Haecker, D. (7). SF—Cone (2). SB—Martin (2).

USCIPHRERBBSO
Crowe 52/363326
Mincey 120001
Seddon W,2-1 21/320012

AuburnIPHRERBBSO
Wingenter 1/332200
O’Neal 52/351123
Cochran-Gill L,0-2 121101
Dedrick 200011

WP—Seddon (2). HBP—by Wingenter (Mooney). PB—Greiner (5); Austin, B.(8). Umpires—HP: Darrell Arnold 1B: Hank Himmanen 2B: Paul Guillie 3B: Tony Maners. T—2:55. A—3,084

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