Update: When the lineups were released Sunday night, Max Schrock was in his customary No. 2 hitting spot. He will DH against Maryland, trying to add another chapter to what has already been a remarkable season.
COLUMBIA - Max Schrock's back still screams at him. He can't pull up at a bases full speed, choosing instead to slow down gradually. There is no sliding.
It's a wonder how he swings the bat.
Schrock still hasn't played second base in weeks. He's overcome a stress fracture just to play in the NCAA Columbia Regional this weekend. At the plate, it's hard to tell he's anything less than 100 percent - but his back is remains in rough shape.
South Carolina coach Chad Holbrook said his star sophomore may be unavailable tonight when the Gamecocks try to avoid season-ending elimination against Maryland.
"I don't know if he's going to be able to (play) or not," Holbrook said. ". We've got two more hours to see. It's a flip of a coin. I'll just go on what Max tells me. He was awfully sore today, but he still came up big with two hits."
Schrock was 2-for-2 and helped lead No. 1 South Carolina to a 9-0 win against No. 4 Campbell in an elimination game Sunday before a crowd of 5,986 at Carolina Stadium. His two-out, two-RBI double ripped open the game in the fourth inning, part of a four-run frame.
The sophomore second baseman is 7-for-12 at the plate in three regional games. His seven hits are more than any player among the four teams competing in the Columbia Regional.
Schrock exited the game after his double, replaced by a pinch runner. Holbrook said Schrock was sent to the trainer's room, where he worked to get his back loose.
"I got him out of there thinking our only chance to get him to go tonight was to get him in the training room and get him some treatment, see if (the trainer) could loosen that thing up some," Holbrook said.
Holbrook has until 6:05 p.m. to turn in his lineup card for Game 2. He said he'll probably use every available minute.
"You get a glimpse of the player we know that we have in Max Schrock," Holbrook said of Schrock's performance in this regional. "It's just unfortunate this year, he's been banged up the whole year. Even though his numbers are decent, they could be better. A healthy Max Schrock puts up All-American numbers, but he's been battling all year.
"He's giving his heart and soul for the team. He's trying to get out there and help us, he knows how important he is to our team. He's doing the best that he can, but he's not healthy. Kudos for him for sucking it up, and not only sucking it up playing, but producing as well."
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