High School Sports

Two former Gamecocks joining Heathwood Hall baseball staff

South Carolina’s Joey Pankake (9)
South Carolina’s Joey Pankake (9) tglantz@thestate.com

Two former South Carolina standouts will be part of the Heathwood Hall baseball program this year.

Former Gamecocks Brian Buscher and Joey Pankake will be on head coach Brian White’s staff when practice begins next month.

Buscher, who was head coach at Heathwood in 2012, will work the hitters and infielders. He was an All-American at South Carolina and started on two College World Series teams.

Buscher was a third round pick by the San Francisco Giants in 2003 and later moved to the Minnesota Twins organization. He played three seasons in the majors with the Twins, hitting .266 with eight homers and 69 RBIs.

Buscher also spent time on the USC coaching staff.

“I’m excited to have Brian return to Heathwood to help develop the young men in our baseball program.” White said. “Having his experience, both as a coach and player, is a great addition to what we are building with Highlander Baseball.”

Pankake will serve as the head coach of the Highlanders’ B team and will assist with the varsity team as well. The former second baseman was a seventh-round pick by Detroit Tigers in 2014, and he spent four years in the organization.

Pankake hit .244 with 27 homers and 161 RBIs in four seasons in the minor leagues. At South Carolina, he hit .292 with 18 homers and 100 RBIs in his three-year career.

“Joey will bring great knowledge and enthusiasm to our program, and I know he will be able to connect with our players in a terrific way.” White said. “He’s been a Division 1 and professional player, and will be able to help develop all of the players in our program, particularly with the young B team in their growth and development.”