Notebook: Saiko could return; Montgomery still out

Virus makes its way through SC clubhouse

nwhite@thestate.comMarch 27, 2013 

USC left-fielder Graham Saiko

C. ALUKA BERRY — caberry@thestate.com

The Gamecocks are looking forward to a healthier weekend.

Junior left-fielder Graham Saiko could return to the field if he continues to show progress with his injured left wrist. He has missed seven games after straining ligaments in the first game of the Missouri series.

It will boil down to how much pain he feels when he’s swinging the bat.

“I’m hopeful he’ll be able to play,” USC coach Chad Holbrook said. “If he’s comfortable and he’s able, we’ll put him in there.”

Ace left-hander Jordan Montgomery remains out for the Texas A&M series as he recovers from an arm injury. He tossed for the first time Monday and Tuesday, but Holbrook will know more about his recovery progress when he throws a bullpen session Friday. If he tolerates the pain, he could be in line to return for the Tennessee series next weekend, although not likely in a starting role.

The team continues to have an issue with a virus. Last weekend, second baseman Max Schrock missed one game and played the other two in a weakened state, while outfielder T.J. Costen was able only to pinch-run in Sunday’s game. This week, pitcher Curt Britt is feeling the bug’s effects, and his status is uncertain for the series against the Aggies.

Omaha flashback

The Gamecocks and the Aggies have met once, but the meeting was memorable. It was their first game of the 2011 College World Series, and both teams scored four runs in the first inning. It quickly settled into a pitchers’ duel between A&M’s Ross Stripling and USC’s Michael Roth, as neither team scored over the next seven innings.

Scott Wingo delivered a bases-loaded single off the wall in the bottom of the ninth — his fourth hit of the night — for a 5-4 USC win. That made a winner of reliever Matt Price and began the run that culminated in the team’s second consecutive national championship.

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