University of South Carolina starting catcher Grayson Greiner sustained a lateral meniscus tear to his left knee during Wednesday’s practice for this weekend’s NCAA Baseball Regional in Columbia and will miss the event.
The school said Greiner, a freshman from suburban Blythewood, will undergo arthroscopic surgery on Thursday.
Grayson, named to the Southeastern Conference all-freshman team earlier this week, started 42 games at catcher and played in 55 games overall.
He was hitting .236 (41-for-174) with 6 home runs and 31 RBI. He also was a valuable member of USC’s defense. He threw out 17 of 39 baserunners attempting to steal against him and didn’t commit a passed ball until he had one in each of the final two games of the regular season.
Greiner, whose father Mark played basketball at USC, has been selected to play for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team this summer.
The loss of Greiner will mean greatly increased playing time for backup Dante Rosenberg. Rosenberg has played in 24 games, starting the 15 Greiner did not start at catcher. He has a .255 (13-for-51) batting average.
Rosenberg played in just three games in May and has started only one game since April 28 as Greiner’s skill at controlling opposing would-be basestealers developed.
Rosenberg has thrown out four of 15 runners on steal attempts this season.
Manhattan, USC’s first-round opponent Friday, is 81-for-103 in stolen bases in 58 games. Clemson (63-for-81) and Coastal Carolina (87-for-114), the other teams in the regional, also can be expected to challenge Rosenberg if given the opportunity.
Rosenberg’s backup is likely to be either Erik Payne or Patrick Harrington – neither of whom has played catcher this season. Brison Celek was a catcher in high school but has not played it at USC. He was left off the travel roster for the Southeastern Conference Tournament last week so the Gamecocks could carry an additional pitcher.