USC’s outfield looked set heading into the season, with junior center fielder Jackie Bradley flanked by sophomore left fielder Evan Marzilli and junior right fielder Adam Matthews.
But junior Jake Williams has pushed his way into the equation. A Wofford transfer who sat out the 2010 season as a redshirt, Williams has impressed the coaching staff. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Williams, who played at Riverside High in Greer, batted .326 with 18 home runs and 67 RBIs in two seasons at Wofford.
“We got those guys in the outfield who are pretty good, but so is he,” head coach Ray Tanner said. “That gives us four pretty solid outfielders. Jake’s going to be in there. He may get a chance to play and DH one of those other guys. Or he may get a chance to DH. I’m pleased with the way he looks right now.”
Tanner was less pleased with his catchers, who are competing to replace Kyle Enders. The group consists of junior-college transfers Dante Rosenberg and Brent Worsham, senior Robert Beary and freshman Greg Brodzinsk.
“We’ve got some work to do behind the plate,” Tanner said. “Actually, (Sunday) was not very good.”
Tanner hopes a decision will come this week on the status of Brady Thomas, who has appealed to the NCAA for a sixth season of eligibility because of a medical hardship dating to his Florida State playing days. Thomas, who batted .331 with eight homers and 30 RBIs and made the CWS All-Tournament team last season while primarily serving as the DH, could move into the starting catcher’s role if the NCAA rules in his favor.
The Price is right
Closer Matt Price did not throw the first weekend of practice after missing three prior workout days due to strep throat. He should be back on the mound this weekend.
Tanner expects Price to finish games, but the coach has stated that if he needs Price to move into the rotation, he wouldn’t hesitate to do so.