Mark Kingston updates bevy of South Carolina injuries

On3 imageby:Collyn Taylor05/06/23


South Carolina isn’t healthy by a long stretch, but the Gamecocks are inching closer to being fully healthy as the regular season comes to an end. 

They’re without three starting infielders right now: Talmadge LeCroy, Will McGillis and Braylen Wimmer. But two of those guys are nearing a return in some capacity soon. 

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Mark Kingston said LeCroy is not “week-to-week” anymore but “day-to-day” dealing with that hamstring injury and is available right now in pinch-hit situations. 

LeCroy, who’s missed the last two series and the opener against Kentucky, is the Gamecocks’ everyday starter at third base and hasn’t played there since the Vanderbilt series. 

Kingston said there’s a chance LeCroy could be in the lineup and play defensively this weekend in Lexington but the coaching staff isn’t going to rush him back. 

“It’s possible but I still think we have to play the long game,” Kingston said. “We have to make sure when all is said and done and we get ready for the postseason we have all our horses. We’re not going to do anything to risk it.”

McGillis showed some positive signs pregame at Kentucky, not wearing the bulky brace he had been in for the last few weeks after breaking a bone in his arm against Missouri. 

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He’s not ready yet to swing a bat in a game. But McGillis has been taking hacks during batting practice and is available to pinch-run this weekend. He was also taking reps at second base during batting practice Friday afternoon. 

“He’s not as close as LeCroy but he’s as close as he’s been in a little while,” Kingston said. “He’s been hitting the ball well in batting practice and he’s getting closer.”

McGillis was brought in to be a key piece to the Gamecocks’ offense this season and was slashing .297/.480/.770 before the injury with 10 homers. The graduate transfer second baseman started SEC play hitting 7-for-12 with three homers and nine RBI. 

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“He swung the bat pretty well. He was available to pinch run tonight if we needed it. He’s not ready to pinch-hit like LeCroy is, but he’s getting better,” Kingston said. “At some point, we’ll have all of our reinforcements back in the game for the Gamecocks.”

The Gamecocks will also be without Braylen Wimmer this weekend as the team’s starting shortstop deals with a hamstring injury. 

Wimmer made the trip to Lexington. But, like LeCroy, South Carolina isn’t going to rush him back and diminish his chances of being ready for June. 

“Next weekend we’ll see,” Kingston said. “But we’re going to play the long game and make sure we have these guys ready for the postseason.” 

Noah Hall (back) is out indefinitely as well. He hasn’t pitched since the third weekend in SEC play.

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South Carolina has a bit of a cushion to deal with some of these injuries, jumping out to a 13-5 start to SEC play and a 36-9 start overall. 

Dealing with injuries, the Gamecocks dropped last week’s series to Auburn and lost Friday’s opener to Kentucky 7-3. 

Game two of that series kicks off at 2 p.m. ET on SEC Network Plus. 

“No one is going to feel sorry for us. We’re not going to feel sorry for ourselves,” Kingston said. “We just have to keep trying to find ways to win.” 

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