USC-Vanderbilt finale canceled; makeup opponent sought

nwhite@thestate.comMay 5, 2013 

— South Carolina’s game Sunday against Vanderbilt was canceled due to wet weather conditions at Carolina Stadium.

That meant the No. 2 Commodores left town with their first series sweep of USC – albeit a rain-shortened one – in the history between the two programs. They defeated the No. 15 Gamecocks, who lead the overall series 49-25, by scores of 3-2 and 5-2 in the first two games to clinch the series victory.

USC coach Chad Holbrook was disappointed his team didn’t get the opportunity to salvage the final game of the series.

“When you have to make a decision to cancel a conference game, it’s not just my decision or Coach (Ray) Tanner’s decision or our administration’s decision,” he said. “It’s the SEC’s decision. (Vanderbilt) Coach (Tim) Corbin plays a part. The umpires play a part because the 30 (conference) games are awfully important. I don’t feel good at all saying we had a game canceled. It’s no fun to lose an SEC game.”

The Gamecocks (33-14, 13-10 SEC) and the Commodores (41-6, 21-2 SEC) will now play 29 conference games if they are able to complete the last two series of the regular season.

There were some discussions about playing a doubleheader Saturday because of the rainy forecast, but USC decided against it.

Holbrook cited six or seven players, including pitcher Jordan Montgomery, catcher Grayson Greiner and shortstop Joey Pankake, having Saturday final exams at 8 a.m. after playing Friday night’s game and before the noon start Saturday.

“They’re working on two or three hours sleep. For me, as their coach, and our administration agreed with me completely, to ask them to play 18 innings after three hours of sleep because we’re in finals wasn’t fair to our players,” Holbrook said. “We were hoping that we would be able to get in the game today, but it just didn’t work out. The field conditions got a little bit hazardous, and after talking with Coach Corbin, it wasn’t in their best interests either.”

SEC rules prevent a series from being extended to Monday.

Holbrook still hopes to find a non-conference opponent so his team can fill out its 56-game regular-season schedule. The Gamecocks play Wofford at home Wednesday night, but Holbrook would add a Tuesday game against an in-state opponent if he can find one that also has had a canceled game.

“Maybe somebody will come play Tuesday,” he said. “I’d be up for it.”

Tickets to Sunday’s canceled game will be honored at any remaining home game.

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