USC baseball coach Chad Holbrook promised real changes in the lineup after his team’s disappointing series loss to rival Clemson.
Those changes never really came. Sure, there was tinkering around the edges with a few positional switches, but the nucleus of the club stayed on the field for the bounce-back wins against Charleston Southern and High Point.
Holbrook admitted that he was perhaps too mad and emotional as he talked about the team after the Clemson loss in Monday’s news conference. After hearing that team leaders Max Schrock and Kyle Martin had talked about the team’s lack of energy that day, he heatedly challenged all his players.
But as he considered his options overnight, he knew that he still had to keep his best players on the field.
“As you sit on it and think about it, I’m smart enough to realize for us to be the team we want to be, Max Schrock and Kyle Martin have to play well and they have to swing the bat. I don’t have anybody on the bench better than those two,” Holbrook said.
They responded in the right way. In the next two wins, Martin had four hits and seven RBIs while Schrock had four hits and five RBIs. Schrock, who was really struggling to start the season, has raised his average from .161 to .243.
Holbrook came to the conclusion that Schrock needed to play rather than take a seat in the dugout.
“You don’t bust out of a slump sitting on the bench,” Holbrook said. “You’ve got to grip it and rip it, and he did. Hopefully, he’s out of it now.”