After a disheartening series loss in Kentucky, the Gamecocks will return to action in Columbia against the College of Charleston. The Gamecocks will face the Cougars on Tuesday night for the first of the six straight home games they will play over the next eight days. South Carolina leads the all-time series against the College of Charleston 47-6.
The College of Charleston Cougars have a 16-7 record this season. They opened the season with a series win against North Carolina, but most of their other wins have come against a pretty weak slate of teams. Their first series loss came last weekend when they were swept at Houston. That series included a heartbreaking loss in which the Cougars rallied to score the tying run in the ninth inning of game 2, then had that run nullified by an appeal because the runner did not touch 3rd base. The Cougars are hitting .264 with an on-base percentage of .345. They have an ERA of 3.39 and opponents are hitting .238 against them.
The Gamecocks are now 19-3 and are also coming off of their first series loss of the season, though they avoided getting swept with a nice win on Sunday. Despite a lackluster offensive performance in the first two games coupled with a very bad pitching performance on Friday, the polls were not too hard on the Gamecocks for dropping a tough SEC road series. South Carolina did not fall out of the top five in any of the major polls, though they also no longer occupy the top spot in any of them. Unsurprisingly, the offensive numbers for the Gamecocks continue to slip as they get deeper into conference play; they are now hitting .304 with an on-base percentage of .384. The pitching staff's ERA is now 1.87 and opponents are hitting .213 against them. The bullpen's streak of scoreless innings came to an end against Kentucky, but there are still nine Gamecock pitchers that haven't allowed an earned run this season.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Taylor Widener will start for the Gamecocks Tuesday night. This is Widener's second career start on the mound, though he has also started three games as designated hitter. Widener has not allowed an earned run this season. He has struck out nine, walked two, and allowed only six hits through his ten innings of work. A freshman right-hander will also start for the Cougars. Tyler Thornton has a 4.71 ERA through 21 innings with twelve strikeouts and six walks.
Start time: 7 p.m.
Location: Columbia, S.C. (Carolina Stadium)
The game can be streamed live at GamecocksOnline.com All-Access and heard on the radio at 107.5 The Game