South Carolina baseball: Bats go cold as Gamecocks drop series finale – SECcountry.com
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The same high-caliber pitching that led South Carolina baseball to wins Friday and Saturday was present again at Founders Park on Sunday. But the hitting that accounted for 22 hits — many of them timely — through two games was nowhere to be seen.
The Gamecocks (2-1) recorded only four hits and couldn’t bring a runner around, losing 1-0 to UNC Greensboro in Sunday’s series finale.
“Coming into the series, I would have taken a series win,” South Carolina coach Chad Holbrook said. “That being said, you want to play better on Sunday when you had a chance to do something special and we didn’t do enough offensively. You’ve gotta give credit to UNC Greensboro.”
Sophomore Adam Hill was dazzling in his debut, allowing only a first-inning single and an unearned run through 7 innings. But the Gamecocks couldn’t match his dominance at the plate, as UNCG’s Matt Frisbee was up to the task of matching Hill.
Frisbee threw 7 innings, allowing three hits, walking one and striking out four. The Gamecocks put the barrel on the ball quite a bit against Frisbee, but consistently hit it hard right at the Spartans defense.
“We squared some balls up,” shortstop Madison Stokes said. “We just didn’t have success with it. I’m 100 percent okay with that and I’m sure Coach Holbrook is, too. We just didn’t have them fall. That’s fine. We are just going to learn from that and continue to swing it and barrel balls up and try to score runs when we have players on base.”
UNCG scored the game’s lone run in the third when Hill walked Austin Embler to lead off the inning. Embler stole second and moved to third on a passed ball two pitches later, scoring on a groundout to first base off the bat of Ben Spitznagel.
“I’ve gotta be better than that,” Hill said. “I can’t walk that guy. If I don’t walk that guy, it’s a tie ball game. It’s definitely something I’ve gotta clean up. We played well, hit some balls hard. Just baseball.”
USC had its best scoring opportunity in the fourth when Danny Blair continued his hot start to the season with a hard-hit single up the middle with one out. He stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error from UNCG catcher Ryan Clinch with the middle of the lineup coming up. Blair was stranded at third when Alex Destino struck out and John Jones popped out in foul territory.
South Carolina put two runners on in the eighth with one out, but Blair grounded into an inning-ending 6-3 double play to end the final threat of the afternoon for the Gamecocks.
“If you had told me before the game we would only allow one hit, I might have thought we would win by double-digit runs,” Holbrook said. “That’s why you have to play the game. Baseball, you’ve gotta bring it every single day.”
Player of the game
The UNCG starter was dealing, keeping the Gamecocks off balance with his offspeed pitches. Hill was impressive Sunday, but Frisbee was a little bit better and got the win.
Danny Blair steals second and moves to third on a throwing error pic.twitter.com/wUTjuVonTP
— Mike Wilson (@MikeWilsonAJC) February 19, 2017
What’s for South Carolina baseball
South Carolina hosts Charlotte at 4 p.m. ET Tuesday at Founders Park.
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