Mark Kingston and his new-look South Carolina baseball coaching staff are staying hot on the recruiting trail. New pitching coach Matt Williams and new assistant hitting coach/assistant recruiting coordinator Joey Holcomb have fit right in with associate head coach Monte Lee as Kingston’s assistants, and their early efforts at retooling the roster have paid off in a big way.
After losing six players from last year’s roster (Jack Mahoney, Will Sanders, Noah Hall, Braylen Wimmer, James Hicks, and Cade Austin), one incoming transfer (Matt Duffy), and two incoming freshmen (George Wolkow and Raudi Rodriguez) to the 2023 MLB Draft, the Gamecocks needed an influx of talent in Columbia.
Future recruiting has also been going well, but that does not mean that the Gamecocks aren’t still looking for immediate impact players. They may have found one in junior college product Brendan Sweeney.
While most parents were “sorting” their kids’ Trick-or-Treat candy (definitely not eating some of it), Sweeney made a public commitment to the program.
A product of Blinn College and Eastern Oklahoma State College, Sweeney is an imposing figure on the mound. The right-hander from Oklahoma stands at 6’6″ and can top out in the mid-90s. He still has up to three more years of eligibility to play in garnet and black.
Sweeney’s big fastball and heavy change-up make for a difficult-to-hit combination for opposing hitters. His arm slot remains consistent with both pitches, and his slider doesn’t look any different, either, until its big break causes it suddenly to fall away from right-handed hitters.
Once Coach Williams gets his hands on Sweeney, South Carolina baseball fans can expect him to reach his high strikeout potential. The swing-and-miss ability will make him a nice bullpen piece for the Gamecocks, but he does have experience as a starter if things go well for him in garnet and black.