COLUMBIA - South Carolina outfielder Connor Bright was in a Columbia hospital until early Saturday morning with an unknown sickness, coach Chad Holbrook said Saturday afternoon.
Bright was struggling with an elbow injury entering this weekend's series against Alabama, but it's not the reason he left Friday night's opener in the fifth inning. Holbrook said the junior from Mount Pleasant had "a reaction to something last night, we don't really know." He left the game "very sick" and was in the emergency room until the early hours Saturday morning.
"He was shook up last night," Holbrook said. "I hate to say somebody's health was in danger, but Connor was shook up, and I was shook up looking at him. Last four or five innings, I really couldn't concentrate on the game because I was worried about him, but he turned the corner from a sickness standpoint. He looked good today. He was a little bit refreshed and relieved.
"Today, I just didn't think with what happened last night, it was fair to ask him to play."
Holbrook said he doesn't know if Bright will be in the lineup Sunday when No. 11 South Carolina closes its series against the No. 8 Crimson Tide.
Along with the recovering sickness, Bright's elbow has yet to heal. Bright wore a sling to South Carolina's game against Alabama on Saturday, which ended with a 2-1 loss.
Bright has been one of the most productive players in South Carolina's lineup this season. His .336 batting average is second highest on the team. He's added 23 RBIs and 25 runs with a team-high 10 doubles.
"Hopefully we can get him back," Holbrook said. "I hope like crazy he knocks on the door begging me to put him in (Sunday)."
Bright's absence forced junior Elliott Caldwell into the lineup. Caldwell played despite having a stress fracture in his back. Holbrook said Caldwell wouldn't have played if Bright was available.
The Gamecocks also are without starting second baseman Max Schrock, who has missed time with a back injury among other ailments.
Catcher Grayson Greiner had an injury scare earlier this week when he was injured sliding into a base. Greiner passed a concussion test and has been in the lineup.
Right now, Holbrook said the most important thing for South Carolina is to simply get more players healthy.
"We've got a week ahead of us, and I think we've got a chance to be a great team if we can get our guys back," Holbrook said. "If we can get Schrock and Bright in there, we become a little bit more offensive. I think our pitchers are going to be there the rest of the year, I think we're tough to handle. Hopefully, this week in front of us, we can get some of our guys healthy."
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