Gamecock infielder no longer an invited walk-on after DUI arrest
COLUMBIA, SC (TheBigSpur.com) - South Carolina had nine players in the 2011 infield class but head coach Ray Tanner will be down to eight when skill work begins Monday afternoon. Junior college transfer Casey Smit was arrested on Sunday and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, according to TheBigSpur.com.
As of 9:30 a.m. on Monday morning, police records detailing the arrest were not available. However, a USC official confirmed the arrest and that Smit would no longer be allowed to walk on.
The Gamecocks will begin preparation for their second straight national title defense this afternoon. Skill work begins in which four players can be on the field with the coaches at a time.
Smit, who projected as a second baseman, is one of four junior college infielders recruited to replace a trio of infielders that left the program after the 2011 season. Third baseman Adrian Morales and second baseman Scott Wingo both graduated while shortstop Peter Mooney elected to sign with the Toronto Blue Jays.
During his sophomore season at College of Central Florida, Smit hit .328 with eight doubles, two home runs, 48 runs scored, and 27 RBIs in 177 at-bats. He also had 15 stolen bases in 22 attempts.
The three other infield candidates from the junior college ranks include Tanner Lovick, LB Dantzler, and Chase Vergason. Lovick projects as a shortstop or second baseman. Dantlzer is a third baseman and Vergason will likely start his career at second.
South Carolina also has five freshmen players with eyes on infield spots – TJ Costen, Joey Pankake, Mikal Hill, Connor Bright, and Joel Seddon. Third baseman Erik Payne and middle infielder Jake Watson are back with the team as sophomores this year.
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