The Times and Democrat from Orangeburg, South Carolina on June 7, 2014 · 9
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The Times and Democrat from Orangeburg, South Carolina · 9

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Orangeburg, South Carolina
Issue Date:
Saturday, June 7, 2014
Page:
9
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THE TIMES AND DEMOCRAT WWW.THETANDD.COM SPORTS SATURDAY, JUNE 7, 2014 Bl COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON Thornton wants baU with season Former Gamecock standout inks deal with Texans the line on By RYAN WOOD The Post and Courier 1 si " ,?V., 1 COLUMBIA - Jadeveon Clowney's massive payday finally came Friday, less than a month after he was drafted first overall by the Houston lexans. The former South Carolina defensive end signed a four-year contract worth a guaranteed $22,272 million, including a $14,518 million signing bonus, according to the Houston Chronicle. Clowney was the first overall pick in the NFL Draft on May 8 and has been in Houston going through rookie training. Clowney's rookie contract guarantees more money than the rookie sal- aries of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck ($22,107,998) and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton ($22,025,498). Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins - the fourth pick in last month's draft - signed a four-year contract worth a guaranteed $19,935,603. With a hefty salary come great expectations. Clowney isn't backing down from the pressure. "rmreadytoliveupto(theexpectations),"ClowneytoldESPNre- porter Suzy Kolber moments after he was drafted. "It doesn't matter what people say about me. I know how I am. I know I can approach this game the way I want to. I'm just going to take my game to the next level. Go out there, learn the game, and just play." Clowney was a two-time Ail-American at South Carolina, only the third Gamecocks player to ever accomplish that feat. He and former Heisman Trophy running back George Rogers are the only South Carolina players to ever be selected No. 1 in the draft. In three seasons, Clowney amassed 24 sacks and 47 tackles for loss. He finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting as a sophomore in 2012 after finishing with a school-record 13 sacks and 23.5 4 7 I X It v tackles for loss. Clowney is making a transition from defensive end to outside linebacker in Houston's 3-4 defensive scheme. He's already impressed his new position coach, former New England Patriots linebacker and three- time Super Bowl champion Mike Vrabel. "I think his attitude, much like all of our guys, their attitude has been great," Vrabel told ESPN.com last week. "They've come in, they've tried tobe vocal in the meeting rooms, not always right, but at least they have See CLOWNEY, B2 By ANDREW MILLER ' The Post and Courier ' LUBBOCK, Texas - If College of Charleston pitcher lylerThornton doesn't get to throw against Texas Tech in their NCAA super regional here, that's OK with him. The way Thornton figures it, if he's not given the ball on Monday for Game 3 of the best-of -three series, it probably means the Cougars have wrapped up an appearance in the College World Series and are on their way back to Charleston. But if a spot in the College World Series is on the line Monday, the Cougars might not have a better series closer than Thornton. Twice in the last two weeks Thornton has been masterful when the Cougars' season was at stake. In the clinching game of the Colonial Athletic Association tourna- -ment May 24, Thornton threw eight shut -out innings against William & Mary for a 6-4 victory that sent the Cougars to the Gainesville Regional. This past Monday, Thornton threw a complete-game four-hitter against Long Beach State for a 4-2 victory that put the Cougars in this weekend's super regional. "As a pitcher, you want the ball in those situations," said Thornton, who is 7-5 this season with a 3.03 earned run average. "I like having the ball with the season on the line. I want to be out there." It is just that kind of attitude that has helped the true freshman thrive in those pressure situations over the last couple of weeks, said College of Charleston baseball coach Monte Lee. At Wade Hampton High School, Thornton was the Generals' go-to pitcher. It's a role he relished in high school and hoped to duplicate in college. "Tyler was used to being the guy, so we knew he was capable of filling that role for us at some point during his career with us," Lee said. "When he was senior at Wade Hampton he set the state record for strikeouts. He threw over 100 innings. He grew up being the guy and we felt like he could do that here with us, I just didn't think it would be during this true freshman season." Thornton has come a long way since February. In his first collegiate appearance against nationally ranked North Carolina, . the Tar Heel batters rudely welcomed Thornton to college baseball. He lasted just an inning, giving up seven runs, four hits and walking two batters. It wasn't exactly the start Thornton had been hoping for. "It was definitely humbling," Thornton said. Lee continued touse Thornton out of the bullpen, and the 6-5, 240-pound righthander had mixed results. "Tyler was having a typical freshman season," Lee said. "He would have some good outings and then he'd struggle. We knew it was going to take some time for him to figure it out. I was confident that once he did, he'd be a very good pitcher for us." Thornton was eased into the mid-week starting role, throwing well in back-to-back starts against South Carolina and Jacksonville. ' - ' When the CAA scheduled rolled around, Lee had seen enough to give Thornton the opportunity to win the Cougars' Sunday See COUGARS, B2 Wii )' ny ti."amrmr?ni w: mm my ci..iMim.-iii , .M. mm,,,, unwm. j mi .... r, vVAt.. t. , v-' .Warwu. I-"' - " ' "7 "i''V- -. .,. "Vhm.i'. '" - .": .," )h.v ' v 1 f USC, Clemson players named to Steele's All-America team "Jf l 0 ) Clemson's Beasley, Anthony CLEMSON - Clemson defensive stalwarts Vic Beasley and Stephone Anthony were both named to All-America teams by noted college football analyst Phfl Steele today when he announced his preseason teams for 2014. Beasley was named a first-team All-American by Steele and Anthony was a fourth-team selection. Steele's preseason All-ACC team included Beasley, Anthony and defensive tackle Grady Jar-rett on the first team. Clemson and Florida State were the only See CLEMSON, B2 Gamecocks Cann, Davis COLUMBIA - University of South Carolina offensive guard A. J. Cann and running back Mike Davis were named preseason Ail-Americans, while ten Gamecocks received mention on the 2014 preseason All-SEC teams, according to Phil Steele's 2014 College Football Preview. Cann, a 6-4, 311-pound offensive guard from Bamberg, S.C., was named to Steele's first -team All-America and first-team All-SEC squads. A team captain and leader of the offensive line, Cann .: , See CAROLINA, B2 TRAVIS BEUSIDEUNECAROUNA South Carolina's A.J. Cann was named an Ail-American by Phil Steele in his 2014 College Football Preview. Post 4 collects second win of season Leggett likely returning as Tigers coach By AARON BRENNER The Post and Courier 9 . "' Jt . V r:, By THOMAS GRANT JR. T&D Senior Sports Writer After four straight losses marredby defensive lapses, Orangeburg Post 4 finally benefited Friday from the fielding miscues of its opponent. Grant Petrey's errant throw to first base on a two-out grounder by Justin Ridgeway in the 10th inning by Justin Ridgeway allowed Noah Cason to score the winning run in Orangeburg's 3-2 victory over West Columbia Post 109. The second win of the season over West Columbia, both at Mirmow Field, snapped a four-game losing streak for Orangeburg (2-4). It was also one of the team's best defensive performances as they had just one error compared to four for West Columbia (1-5). While calling the win a "complete game," there was still some tinge of dissatisfaction in the voice of head coach Frank Leysath. This stemmed from watching Post 4 squander a potential game-winning opportunity in the ninth inning with baserunners on second and third and no outs. "We won the ball game, that's what matters the most to me," he said. "We won a ball game. That should be a confidence-builder for us because we go right back to West Columbia next Monday." I-eysath was pleased with the pitching of Tucker McGee. The Calhoun Academy graduate allowed five hits in 10 innings, holding CLEMSON - Jack Leggett is likely to remain the head coach of Clemson baseball; under what stipulations or with which staff remains to be determined. "The evaluation is continuing and thorough," a high-ranking spokesman within the athletic department told The Post and Courier on Friday morning. That statement comes on the heels of Thursday night's report by The Clemson Insider that Leggett would definitively return for his 22nd season. TCI reported Leggett met with athletic director Dan Ra-dakovich Wednesday, and the meeting was "productive." The spokesman couldn't confirm nor deny the TCI report, though he added there will be further updates next week on the structure of the baseball program. It would seem improbable for Leggett, six days after the conclusion of the Tigers' disappointing 36-25 season ending in an NCAA regional for the fourth consecutive See LEGGETT, B2 CHRISTOPHER HUfTT&D Orangeburg Post 4's Hoble Dennis steals third against West Columbia In the second Inning of Friday night's game at Mirmow Field. Im more photo of tho gam at ThoTandD.com. his own against Petrey, who struck out three pitched super. He threw 108 pitches. Pretty in nine innings before switching positions good. The last time he got on the mound was with Dickerson in the fateful 10th. "The kid pitched good," Leysath said. "He See LEGION, B2

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