USC gets another Mooney at shortstop

nwhite@thestate.comJuly 1, 2013 

USC's Peter Mooney watches his home run in the sixth inning during game two of the 2011 College World Series best-of-three final series against Florida at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, NE, Tuesday, June 28, 2011. South Carolina won their second NCAA baseball title by beating the Gators 5-2.

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com

The South Carolina baseball team could have a very familiar name playing shortstop next season.

Marcus Mooney, the younger brother of former USC shortstop Peter Mooney, has decided to leave Palm Beach State, a Florida junior college, after his freshman season to join the Gamecocks this fall.

The 5-foot-9, 155-pound Loxahatchee, Fla., native had a banner 2013 season for Palm Beach State, which reached the JUCO World Series championship game, by batting .327 with 30 RBIs and 18 stolen bases while playing stellar defense.

With USC’s Joey Pankake, the two-year starter at shortstop moving to third base, Mooney will jump right into the mix for playing time at short along with returning sophomore DC Arendas and incoming freshman Jordan Gore.

Mooney follows both of his brothers into the SEC. Peter Mooney started at shortstop for USC in the 2011 championship season – batting .280 with four homers and 37 RBIs -- before being drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 21st round after that season. He’s now playing in the Class A Florida State League. Oldest brother Michael Mooney played at Florida and was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 23rd round of the 2009 MLB draft.

Marcus Mooney, who’s known for having the strong defensive ability of his brothers, tweeted out the following message Monday afternoon: “So excited to start a new chapter in my life in a new state with new players, coaches and fans that all share the same goal. #omaha #CWS.”

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