USC baseball notes

nwhite@thestate.comFebruary 20, 2014 

Junior pitcher Evan Beal will miss approximately three weeks because of a stress reaction in his back.

The injury kept Beal, who has compiled a 6-5 record with five saves and a 4.18 ERA in his career, primarily in the bullpen, from throwing in the opening series against Bucknell. The right-hander threw once during the three weekends of scrimmages leading into the season.

“We’ll get him reevaluated on a weekly basis,” USC coach Chad Holbrook said. “He’ll be OK. Hopefully, he’ll be ready and healthy for conference (play) when Ole Miss comes to town (Mar.14-16).”

Pitching possibilities

Expect no changes in the order of the weekend rotation of junior left-hander Jordan Montgomery, sophomore left-hander Jack Wynkoop, and freshman right-hander Wil Crowe, even though Crowe threw 61/3 hitless innings against Bucknell.

Holbrook cited the leadership and experience provided by his two lefties at the front of the rotation last season.

“Jordan and Jack have been very consistent in their starts, and they’ve done it for more than just one time,” Holbrook said.

Third thoughts

Over the first four games, Holbrook has used junior Joey Pankake and sophomore DC Arendas two times each as the starting third baseman. Pankake played left field the other two starts, while Arendas served as the designated hitter in his other starts.

This weekend should be more of the same.

“I’m going to play Joey there, and I’m going to play DC there,” Holbrook said. “I’m not close to settling on one player there.”

He likes how their versatility to play other spots besides third gives him flexibility to work different players into the lineup in left and at DH. He’ll continue to mix and match depending on the opposing starting pitcher.

“We can tweak some things,” he added.

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