T.J. Costen is carving a niche as a versatile member of South Carolina baseball's freshman class.
Costen, who can play second base or in the outfield, has seen action in seven of the Gamecocks' eight games, including as a pinch runner. He is hitting 3-for-8, including a triple and a home run.
Costen, from Virginia Beach, Va., was selected in the 22nd round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers.
What did you know about the USC-Clemson rivalry before this weekend?
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It's a pretty heated rivalry. It's always good competition. That's why it's such a good rivalry.
What you think about playing three games in three different locations?
That's pretty cool. I like that, going up and down the state. Everybody can make it out to the games. It's a good idea. I like it.
Do you, Chase Vergason and Connor Bright see it as a competition for the second base job?
Yeah, we're all competing but it's friendly competition. We all love each other. No hard feelings between each other. We help each other out. If someone's doing something wrong, we tell the other guy. We all want to win. That's what it's all about.
Is it hard not knowing where - or if - you are going to play in any given game?
Wherever [Ray Tanner] puts me, I'll be ready to play. As long as we win, I'll do whatever he wants me to do. I don't really know until I come down and the lineup's on the board.
Did you get the ball or keep anything to remember your first home run?
I got the ball. One of the ladies who works here actually knew the women who had it. She came up and gave it to me before the next game. That was pretty cool. I appreciated it.
Talk about the Gamecocks' success in recruiting Virginia.
We've got a pretty good talent pool in Virginia and we all kind of knew each other. I think I was the first one who committed. I told coaches about another good player and got the ball rolling. Now there are a couple more guys from Virginia coming in. We're pulling some good players in from out of the area.
What makes you a good player?
I'd say just my athleticism and versatility. I play hard. I try not to let anyone play harder than I do.