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What We Learned: USC vs A&M baseball

Well, it looks like our Gamecocks have some fight left in them after all. In a series that was alluded to as a last stand of sorts for this team, our Gamecocks responded in a big way. Marcus Mooney did his best Derek Jeter impression, the entire Gamecock offense pulverized Mr. Rawlings, and in general this team just did not quit.


Guys, I don't think we can state enough how big of a series victory this was. This season has been tough, no doubt. But I don't think anyone wants to see our postseason streak come to an end. And despite how poorly Carolina has played this season, they still have a chance to play themselves into a NCAA regional.

Who Are You and What Have You Done with Marcus Mooney?: Mooney went 7-10 this weekend and had 1 homerun, 2 doubles, 5 RBI's, and scored three times. At one point during the series he reached base nine straight times. And this is with him not only hitting below .200 on the year before Friday night, but he also hadn't played in 3 weeks because of a hamstring injury. The best thing about Mooney's game is his defense. The Carolina defense is just better when he is in. And for the first time all year, they made no errors in a weekend series. But if Mooney can continue this hot streak through the end of the season, he can help make the bottom of the lineup finally look like a legitimate threat.

Where has this offense been all year?: Wow. Just wow. The offense exploded for over 30 runs this weekend. The usual suspects continue to lead the team; Kyle Martin killed the baseball again, Caldwell continued to get on and clean up the basepaths, and Max did a good job of helping set the table for the middle of the order. But the big difference this weekend is the contribution Carolina received from the entire lineup. Mooney, Destino, DC Arendas, Clark Scolamiero...all those guys had great weekends. The result? USC hung 31 total runs on the #2 team in the country and took 2 out of 3 from them. Did it help that A&M's stadium plays a little like the field used for the Little League World Series? Yea, probably. But I'm not complaining.

Fight Like Gamecocks: I'm not going to buy into it yet. We've shown some grit and determination at times this year, (the Vanderbilt series) and then proceeded to fall flat on our face (the Furman game in Greenville comes to mind). But for this weekend at least, Carolina reminded me of that "Gamecock spirit" that the baseball program is known for. All 3 games were back and forth affairs, but Carolina didn't fold. They didn't collapse, and they didn't quit. If Carolina can play with that kind of energy the rest of the year, with the way the year has gone, I would like our chances this coming week. Hopefully they don't fall flat against USC Upstate and Carolina Stadium will be rocking for a HUGE series against #1 LSU.