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No. 12 South Carolina vs. Georgia: Series Preview, Game Times, How to Watch and more

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The Gamecocks look to get back on track as they host the Bulldogs this weekend

TheBigSpur

South Carolina will enter this weekend's series against Georgia with an 18-7 (4-2) record. The Gamecocks have had a rough stretch of games over the past week and a half, losing four of their last five with three of those losses coming in extra innings. Despite the struggles of the last few games, the Gamecocks are still ranked in the top 15 of every major poll.

The Gamecocks have the lead the overall series with the Bulldogs 62-51. The Gamecocks lost the series in Athens last season and Georgia has not won a series in Columbia since 1994.

The Bulldogs are 16-10 (3-3) this season. They won a series against Florida State earlier this season, but were swept by Georgia Southern the next weekend. Georgia was swept at home by Missouri to open conference play and then swept the Vols in Tennessee last weekend. After dropping a midweek game to Mercer for the second Tuesday in a row, the Bulldogs bounced back to get a win over Kennesaw State on Wednesday.

South Carolina Georgia
Batting Average .262 .280
On-Base % .355 .369
Slugging % .375 .433
ERA 2.64 3.81
Strikeout-to-Walk Ratio 2.41 2.14
Fielding % .969 .972

The Gamecocks only have two players hitting over .300 (Caldwell at .405 and Martin at .380) and three regular starters are hitting below .200. The lack of consistency on offense is continuing to hurt the Gamecocks and some of the players at the bottom of the order are going to have to improve their production in order to fix that problem. In contrast to Carolina, the Bulldogs don't have anyone hitting as well as Caldwell or Martin, but they don't have any regular starters hitting below .250 either. The Bulldogs also lead the SEC in home runs with 26, so they have the power to make things difficult for Carolina's pitchers. The Gamecocks will likely need the bullpen to settle down from their struggles of the past couple of weeks and limit the Bulldog offense in order to have a chance to win the series.

While Holbrook said in his Thursday press conference that one SEC series shouldn't really be seen as more important than another, it's hard to not call this home series against an SEC East opponent a must-win. The Gamecocks have a brutal April schedule ahead (at Mississippi State, at #4 Florida, vs #2 Vanderbilt, at Tennessee) and need to take advantage of the opportunity to play at home against a team that's not in the top five.

Wil Crowe, who has a 2.58 ERA, will start for the Gamecocks Friday night. The sophomore RHP is now second in the SEC in strikeouts with 47. He has walked just 12 batters this season. Junior lefty Jack Wynkoop will take the mound on Saturday. His ERA is 2.16 and he has 33 strikeouts and 6 walks this season.

Georgia's Friday night starter will be senior lefty Jared Walsh. He has a 0.96 ERA, which is the best ERA among the SEC's weekend starters. Walsh has 24 strikeouts and 11 walks this year. The Saturday starter for the Bulldogs will be Ryan Lawlor, another left-hander. The junior has a 2.84 ERA with 34 strikeouts and 14 walks.

Neither team has announced a starter for Sunday's game. Holbrook wants "all hands on deck" for the first two games and is leaving all options available in the bullpen by not naming a Sunday starter in advance.

Game 1, Friday

Start Time: 7 pm

How to Watch: SEC Network Plus

How to Listen: 107.5 The Game and Gamecock Radio Network affiliates

Game 2, Saturday

Start Time: 4 pm

How to Watch: SEC Network Plus

How to Listen: 107.5 The Game and Gamecock Radio Network affiliates

Game 3, Sunday

Start Time: 1:30 pm

How to Watch: SEC Network Plus

How to Listen: 107.5 The Game and Gamecock Radio Network affiliates