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What We Learned: USC vs Tennessee Baseball

Well, this weekend didn't go very well did it? After taking 2 of 3 from a very good Vanderbilt squad, Carolina completely fell flat on its face.


Well, this weekend was anti-climatic wasn't it? Even after losing to Furman in the middle of the week, most of us probably thought that we would go into Knoxville and take at least two of three. However, after this weekend it's time to stop deluding ourselves as fans, bloggers, reporters or whatever you may be. We do not have a very good baseball team. At this moment, this team does not deserve a postseason bid of any kind. And depending on how this team finishes the year, it may be time to reanalyze the head coaching situation.

Good individual performances: Jack Wynkoop spun another gem on Friday night. He pitched 8 1/3 innings of shut out baseball before turning it over to the bullpen. Other than allowing only 7 hits and one walk with 5 strikeouts, he also didn't allow the lead off man to reach in the first 6 innings of the game. Clarke Schmidt also pitched well this weekend, as he held the Volunteers to just one run in 4 2/3's innings of relief on Saturday. Elliot Caldwell and Kyle Martin both continue to hit well. Caldwell had four hits in the series and drove in five runs. Martin, while he didn't hit like we are used to seeing, was still effective this weekend as he smashed his 9th homerun of the year and is now tied for 6th in the SEC in both homeruns and RBI's.

Performance as a team, not so good: Despite some of the obvious high end talent on this team, they seemingly do not play well together in crunch time. I'm not questioning the lack of team chemistry or if there are locker room problems, I am not at all suggesting that. It just seems to me that when things get tight in the late innings, when we need a big hit or a big pitch, things fall apart more often than not.

It's time to objectively look at the head coaching situation: I am not for or against Holbrook being fired at this point. But it is clearly obvious that the majority of the fanbase is not happy with the coaching situation. Let's looks at the year's that Holbrook has been on staff here at USC as both an assistant or the head coach.

Year Position Record (SEC) Finish
2009 Associate HC/Recruiting Coordinator 43-20 (17-13) Qualified for ECU Regional, eliminated in Regional championship
2010 Associate HC/Recruiting Coordinator 54-16 (21-9) National Champions
2011 Associate HC/Recruiting Coordinator 55-16 (22-8) National Champions
Associate HC/Recruiting Coordinator
49-20 (18-11) National Runner-up
2013 Head Coach 43-20 (17-12) Champions of Columbia Regional, lost to #1 UNC in Chapel Hill Super Regional in 3 games
2014 Head Coach 44-18 (18-12) Columbia Regional host, eliminated by Maryland in regional championship
2015 Head Coach 26-19 (9-12) TBD

Ever since Holbrook has been head coach, we have had pretty good teams other than this year. In fact, he was a major key to our championship runs. However, this year has been a truly tough season. Holbrook has his downfalls as an in-game manager. That's ok, if you can get your guys to play their hearts out night in and night out for 9 full innings. However, from the eye test, it doesn't seem like the players are bringing that emotion that helped vault our program to three straight CWS finals. It's not time to freak out and fire Holbrook, but if things bottom out at the end of this season, or we continue this pace of play through next season, it will be time for Ray Tanner to take a step back and fully reevaluate the state of Gamecock baseball.

With final exams taking place this week (pray for me pls), there are no midweek games. On Friday, the Gamecocks will return to Carolina Stadium as they host Auburn in a 3 game series.