Gamecocks raise $4300 for flood relief in baseball exhibition – The State

Fans who came out to Lexington to raise money for flood relief efforts and watch Game 4 of the Garnet & Black World Series were treated to an exciting finish Thursday night.

Sophomore Madison Stokes drilled an opposite-field, walk-off home run over the right field wall in the bottom of the eighth inning to give Black a 1-0 win over Garnet at Lexington County Baseball Stadium. Black holds a 3-0-1 lead in the series with Game 5 set for 3 p.m. Friday at Founders Park.

“Madison works very hard. He’s a great kid,” USC coach Chad Holbrook said. “He works extremely hard at this sport, and it’s good to see some of his work being rewarded over the past couple of weeks. He’s been a very consistent performer the last six to eight scrimmages.”

Nearly 1,000 fans were on hand for the game, which was held to aid Salvation Army flood relief efforts, and $4,300 was raised.

“You get about 1,000 people, and you put this thing together in two weeks,” Holbrook said. “For something that’s put together that quick in November, non baseball season, the weather’s been kind of gloomy, I thought it was great.”

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Despite the game-winning home run, pitching ruled most of the night. The teams combined for nine hits and there were 22 strikeouts.

Holbrook said the struggles at the plate were because of good pitching, not bad hitting. Starters Clarke Schmidt and Braden Webb went a long way to earning a spot in the weekend rotation this spring.

“You had two guys that were throwing low to mid 90s and commanding all their pitches. It was tough,” Holbrook said. “I don’t know if I’ve seen better stuff than that in a long time. If we started tomorrow, they’re certainly in the conversation to be two weekend guys for sure.”

The Gamecocks also played strong defense, committing one error. Jared Williams, who’s listed on the roster as an infielder, made a diving catch in right field to keep the game scoreless in the fourth inning. He banged into the wall and briefly stayed down before climbing to his feet. Williams stayed in the rest of the game after the scare.

“It was an incredible play. Jared’s an awesome kid, one of the best kids I’ve ever coached, and he works hard at the game, too,” Holbrook said. “It was really, really neat to see him make that play. I was worried about him and then saw him get up and that made me feel a lot better. That was an incredible play.”


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