The 2015 baseball schedule has finally been released and the Gamecocks will open the 2015 season on February 13th with the College of Charleston. The Cougars had an excellent season last year, capping off a 38-17 regular season by sweeping both the CAA tournament and the Gainesville Regional before being eliminated in the Lubbock Super Regional. It's certainly an exciting way to start the season, and playing what may be the best non-conference opponent on the schedule on opening weekend will provide a tough early test for the Gamecocks.
The annual rivalry matchup with Clemson will take place February 27th - March 1st. Friday's game will be played in Clemson, Saturday's game will be in Greenville at Fluor Field, and the series final will be held in Columbia on Sunday. Other notable non-conference opponents include Northeastern, Miami (Ohio) and Penn State.
As always, the conference schedule for the Gamecocks will be challenging. The SEC is one of the best conferences in college baseball and several teams besides the Gamecocks consistently recruit at an elite level. Last year a strong regular season for the conference landed ten teams in the postseason, a record for a single conference. Most of those SEC teams were casualties of a chaotic first weekend of the tournament. However, two SEC teams still ended up in Omaha and the national champions hailed from the SEC for the fourth time in six years.
This year the Gamecocks will be hosting the defending national champions, the Vanderbilt Commodores, and it will be the first time that the Gamecocks have met a defending national champion at home during the regular season since LSU in 2001. The last time a defending national champion visited Columbia at all was only a year after that, when the Gamecocks defeated Miami in the 2002 Super Regional. This will be the first time a team other than the Gamecocks has played in Carolina Stadium as the defending national champion. (Though the first game against Vandy will technically mark the 5th time a defending national champion has been the away team at Carolina Stadium due to the fact that the host team isn't always the home team in the NCAA tournament)
The Gamecocks open SEC play when Kentucky comes to Columbia on March 13th. The April conference schedule for the Gamecocks looks brutal, opening with road trips to Mississippi State and Florida in back to back weekends. That is followed by the Gamecocks hosting Vanderbilt before going back on the road to Tennessee. LSU will come to Columbia on May 14th for the regular season finale.
A breakdown of all the teams that the Gamecocks will face can be found here, and the full schedule is below.
|February 13-15||College of Charleston|
|February 27-March 1||Clemson (Clemson, Greenville, Columbia)|
|March 3||Charleston Southern|
|March 6-8||Miami (Ohio)|
|March 10-11||Penn State
|March 20-22||at Missouri|
|March 24||at Coastal Carolina|
|March 31||at The Citadel|
|April 3-5||at Mississippi State|
|April 7||Appalachian State|
|April 8||The Citadel|
|April 10-12||at Florida|
|April 21||at Furman (Fluor Field)|
|April 24-26||at Tennessee|
|May 8-10||at Texas A&M|
|May 12||USC Upstate|
|May 19-24||SEC Tournament|
|May 29-June 1||NCAA Regionals|
|June 5-8||NCAA Super Regionals|
|June 13-24||College World Series|