What is it? The USC Batting Machine.
Since Gamecocks coach Mark Kingston began dictating taking the machine on the road, Carolina’s offense has sky rocketed.
“It certainly helped,” said Kingston. Since we got back to that back to the basics approach we’re averaging almost 10 runs a game. It doesn’t guarantee anything in the future, but that back to the basics approach with what we believe in and how we prepare out guys.
“We took it on the road to Vanderbilt and, once again, we scored a ton of runs there, possibly many more than you used to score on the road against Vanderbilt with the quality of pitching a school like that has so it hasn’t hurt.”
Some players didn’t believe in the machine or see the reason for taking it on the road in the beginning, but have changed their minds.
“That has been a really big key in our at-bats,” said TJ Hopkins. “Just our overall hitting from an offensive standpoint, He was right when he said our bats got slow, reactions, all that stuff.
“I really believe in that. I love hitting off the machine. I wish I would have learned that two years ago. I’m a really big believer in the machine.”
Teammate Jacob Olson agrees.
“If your swing is long, you’re not going to hit that machine,” said Olson. “It teaches you to stay short. I think it’s good for us.”
With the machine’s resurgence, has come popularity. It’s twitter account has grown to 185 followers, although many are members of the baseball team.
“Olson doesn’t have a twitter,” jokes Hopkins. “I think that’s what happened. He’s been telling people he doesn’t like twitter, doesn’t believe in it. I think he got that account.
“I think it is Jack and Hack or something. It’s really funny.”