Former Greenbrier High School baseball star Nolan Belcher made his first start of the season for two-time defending champion South Carolina on Tuesday.
Belcher, who missed all of last season with Tommy John surgery, had appeared in 10 of the team’s first 22 games coming out of the bullpen, but started Tuesday vs. The Citadel.
It should come as no surprise that one of the top pitchers in Georgia prep history rose to the occasion. He allowed just three hits, while striking out seven in 5⅔ innings of work. Also, he yielded just one base on balls. South Carolina shut out the Bulldogs 8-0.
The Gamecocks are currently ranked No. 9 in the country with a record of 24-10. Belcher has been a big lift for the team out of the bullpen. In 11 appearances he has a record of 2-1 with a tremendous ERA of 1.53. The lefty has two saves and has struck out 18 batters in 17⅔ innings of work. For his career he has now struck out 126 batters in 130 innings.
I have a feeling Belcher will play a major role for the Gamecocks as they make a push for their third consecutive national title.
Greenbrier girls tennis still undefeated
Greenbrier is building quite a program in girls tennis. Led by former Greenbrier basketball standout Brittany Jackson, the squad is 7-0 on the season and has won 32 matches and lost just three this season. The team currently is ranked No. 8 in AAAA in the state.
This is not the first season that the Lady Wolfpack have been among the state’s best. Greenbrier has been to the state Final Four three consecutive seasons. Next Sunday, I will have a detailed look at the program, to include Jackson’s great run as head coach and a look at this year’s top players.
More rankings for the ’Pack
Several other Wolfpack teams have earned Top 10 rankings this spring.
In the most recent www.gasports.com coaches’ polls, three more Greenbrier teams are among the Top 10 in the state. The baseball team is 17-2 so far this season, and they currently reside in the top spot in the AAAA rankings. The boys soccer team is 12-1-1 and boast a No. 4 Ranking in Class AAAA. The girls soccer team is ranked ninth.