On Tuesday, the South Carolina baseball team delivered heartbreaking news. Friday night ace Clarke Schmidt will miss the rest of the season after an MRI revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
The junior will have surgery to repair the tear, but the date has not been determined.
“This is obviously tough news for Clarke and everyone associated with our baseball program,” said South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook in a statement. “Clarke is a special kid with a bright future in front of him and our program will be with him every step of the way. He has been an incredible representative of our university and baseball program and I'm sure he will make a full recovery. I have no doubt he will achieve his goal and dream of pitching in the Major Leagues."
Schmidt left his start at Florida on Thursday with what was then described as "forearm tightness." An MRI later discovered the tear that ended Schmidt's season, and possibly his South Carolina career. Schmidt was projected to be a high first round pick in the upcoming MLB Draft, and it's still possible he'll be drafted high despite the injury. The Acworth, Georgia native has one year of eligibility left with the Gamecocks if he doesn't enter the professional draft.
The Gamecocks return to action on Friday when they welcome in Kentucky for a weekend series. The Wildcats lead the SEC East with a 12-6 conference record, and South Carolina is three games behind in the standings.
**Story by Kyle Heck/photo by Allen Sharpe**