South Carolina Baseball: Gamecocks clap back at USC legend's harsh words

Players on the current South Carolina baseball team clapped back at USC legend Kip Bouknight after his harsh words for the team.
South Carolina baseball catcher Cole Messina
South Carolina baseball catcher Cole Messina / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

South Carolina baseball's season continues to be a roller coaster. Sitting just on the "good side" of the Regional hosting line, the Gamecocks have had some nice highs this year (sweeping Vanderbilt, knocking off Kentucky) and some ugly lows (losing 5 of 8 series against teams from power conferences, including a 2-0 sweep against the rival Clemson Tigers).

When the lows have hit, frustrations have mounted within the fanbase, and a prominent voice in the world of USC baseball gave a frank assessment of the team recently.

South Carolina baseball pitching legend Kip Bouknight (the 2000 Golden Spikes Award winner and All-American) criticized the way the pitching has been handled this year and had some harsh words to say about the Gamecock offense in an appearance on the Inside the Gamecocks podcast last week.

The words about the offense caused a bit of a stir within Gamecock Nation.

Bouknight told hosts Jamie Bradford, JC Shurburtt, and Phil Mullinax that he would "not be concerned" if he had to face a team like the Gamecocks because there are "way too many strikeouts." According to Bouknight, Mark Kingston's team often has poor approaches at the plate with two strikes, and the end result is the reality that USC has the 2nd-most strikeouts in the SEC.

Frankly, Bouknight's take was reasonable and accurate, but, understandably, it didn't go well with the current Gamecocks.

After a big weekend from the offense (and a really nice pitching performance from Dylan Eskew in the series clincher), several Gamecocks took to social media to respond to Bouknight. The most direct was from Carolina catcher Cole Messina. In response to a tweet that quoted Bouknight, Messina replied with, "I guess not too much this weekend."

The Gamecocks still struck out a lot against the Wildcats, but they also scored 29 runs in the three-game set.

The outrage over this exchange (on either side) is a little silly. Kip Bouknight was 100% right in his assessment of the Carolina offense. Cole Messina and his teammates were 100% right to use the comments as motivation and even, as competitors, to respond when they "proved wrong" those comments.

There is still a lot of season left to play, and even with some major struggles, the Gamecocks have a very real chance to host a Regional at Founders Park again this season.

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