Diamond 'Cocks Weekend Roundup: South Carolina Takes Series against Tennessee

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 29: Head coach Ray Tanner of the South Carolina Gamecocks stands in the dugout during game 2 of the men's 2010 NCAA College Baseball World Series against the UCLA Bruins at Rosenblatt Stadium on June 29, 2010 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

After losing a heart breaker on Friday night, the Gamecocks rebounded nicely Saturday and Sunday to take the series against the Tennessee Volunteers. The victory brings Carolina to 23-9 / 5-7 on the season. The Vols are now 20-12 / 6-6.

In addition to inching a bit closer to .500 in league play, the biggest positive that I took from this weekend was the improved quality of our Saturday and Sunday pitching. The Gamecocks have struggled at these spots somewhat in recent weeks, but freshman Jordan Montgomery and junior Colby Holmes gave Carolina a winning combination that allowed them to dig themselves out of the hole they made for themselves Friday. Montgomery's performance was particularly striking, because it came out of nowhere. In his first SEC start, the young southpaw used his off-speed arsenal to throw a gem, giving up only a single earned run and three hits in eight innings and 99 pitches of work. L.B. Dantzler had this to say about his teammate:

"He threw one of the best games any pitcher on our team has thrown this year," Dantzler said. "He did a tremendous job of keeping us in the game. Without that effort, it wouldn’t have been close the way we were swinging it. Because of him, we were able to win it in the last inning."

Dantzler would hit the game winner in this one after we failed to convert several golden opportunities over the course of the game. Sunday would feature more dominant pitching, this time courtesy of Holmes, and a better job making good the most of our chances, as we scored six runs on six hits to make sure Holmes wouldn't have to sweat out a close one. Hopefully we've found two guys we can count on in these spots in Montgomery and Holmes.

The coming week brings a home game against The Citadel on Tuesday and a trip to Florence to take on Francis Marion on Wednesday. A visit from Mississippi St. is in store for the weekend. The Western Division Dawgs are currently 20-12 overall and 5-7 in the league. They enjoyed a walk-off win against the hapless Vanderbilt Commodores today to take that series. Both MSU and USC will be hungry to keep their seasons moving in the right direction; it would be great to see USC get a sweep and get over .500 in the league. Even if that ends up being too much to ask, another series win will have Carolina moving back towards the league's upper echelon.

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