The South Carolina Gamecocks' pitching staff continued to carry the team this weekend against the Tennessee Volunteers (19-13, 2-10 SEC). In 27 innings of work, the Gamecocks (26-5, 10-2 SEC) held the Volunteers to just 1 run, 15 hits and earned their second consecutive SEC series sweep. The Gamecocks now lead the all-time series with Volunteers 46-33. As Andy Demetra of Gamecock Radio notes, Tennessee entered this weekend's series leading the nation in stolen bases with 64. They left the series with... drum roll, please... 64. The Gamecocks also committed 0 errors over the course of the weekend. It's hard to imagine the Gamecocks playing any better defensively.
The offense, though, was another story. Granted, with a pitching staff like the one Ray Tanner is trotting out to the mound on a daily basis, the Gamecocks don't have to put up a lot of runs to win games. Facing the 11th best ERA in the SEC (4.30) and the 10th best batting average against in the league (.278), only Jackie Bradley, Jr and Scott Wingo managed to record multiple hits in a game - and each only did it once. That kind of production might get us a sweep versus Tennessee, but we're going to need more runs as we fight to stay atop the SEC. We're still neck and neck with Florida and Vanderbilt, even though the Gamecocks do own the tiebreaker the Gators. And don't look now, but the Georgia Bulldogs seem to be finding their groove on the diamond as well. Christian Walker (.352), Adrian Morales (.333), and Scott Wingo (.320) now lead the team at the plate. That's well-deserved good news about Scott Wingo. In his senior season we might finally be seeing Wingo blossom into a complete player, just in-time to vault him into the top rounds of the MLB draft. He has long been known as one the best defensive second basemen to step foot at Carolina, and even with this historically low average he has always had a knack for getting on base.
Before the Gamecocks host Vanderbilt for first place in the SEC, Carolina will travel to Charleston to play the Citadel on Tuesday for the second time this year. As you recall, the Gamecocks took the first match-up with the shakoed dogs 6-4. You might also recall some chippiness in that game. Let's hope the 'Cocks don't give the Citadel anything to crow about. USC leads the all-time series 121-46-1.