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No. 12 South Carolina vs. Miami (Ohio): Series Preview, Game Times, How to Watch and more

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The Gamecocks host the Miami RedHawks on the last weekend before conference play begins

TheBigSpur

After bouncing back from the Clemson series loss with wins over Charleston Southern and High Point, the 9-3 Gamecocks will face their final non-conference weekend opponent as the Miami University RedHawks come to Carolina Stadium.  Friday's game will be only the fifth time that the Gamecocks and the RedHawks have met on the baseball field. The RedHawks won the first meeting in 1973, but South Carolina has won all three games since then.

The RedHawks are 2-5 on the season with both of their wins coming against teams from South Carolina. They defeated USC Upstate 7-0 in the second weekend of the season and Furman 4-3 last Saturday. The RedHawks had to cancel both their Sunday and Tuesday games this week, so they enter the series against the Gamecocks after nearly a week off.

South Carolina Miami (Ohio)
Batting Average .290 .281
On-Base Percentage .387 .345
Slugging Percentage .399 .346
ERA 2.94 3.51
Strikeout-to-Walk Ratio 2.81 1.87
Fielding Percentage .968 .966

The biggest area of concern for the Gamecocks so far this season has been the offense, so back to back games with double digit scores by the Gamecocks was certainly good to see and is hopefully a sign of progress. But while blowing out midweek opponents is fun to watch, it's not enough to prove that the Gamecocks will be able to muster the offense they'll need to compete in their SEC games. The Gamecocks need to continue to improve their ability to utilize their strengths at the plate and get runners home once they do reach base.

The most encouraging development of the past two games has been Max Schrock contributing to the offense again. Schrock was hitting just .161 and had 2 RBIs this season prior to the game against Charleston Southern. After big games against CSU and High Point he is hitting .243 and has 7 RBIs. Schrock was expected to have a key role in the Gamecock offense this season and consistent contributions from him at the plate are an important part of the success of this team.

Another area of concern for the Gamecocks over the last several games has been errors. After only having three errors in the first six games, Carolina has had 12 errors in the last six. The infield defense in particular was expected to be a strength of this team, so it's disheartening to see those players struggle. Holbrook suggested after the High Point game on Wednesday that the constantly shifting lineup, which has not allowed most of the infielders to settle into any one position, may be partially to blame for the defensive struggles. Regardless of the reason for the increasing number of errors, it's something that the Gamecocks will need to improve quickly as the conference schedule looms.

The Gamecocks will send Wil Crowe to the mound for the Friday night start for the second week in the row. The sophomore right-hander has a season ERA of 4.96 with 23 strikeouts and four walks. Junior lefty Jack Wynkoop will start on Saturday for the Gamecocks. His ERA is 2.84 and he has 18 strikeouts and four walks. Like last weekend, South Carolina has not yet announced a Sunday starter.

The Friday starter for the RedHawks will be senior right-hander Ryan Powers. He has an ERA of 6.43 with 15 strikeouts and seven walks. On Saturday sophomore right-hander Jacob Banks will start for the RedHawks. His ERA is 4.24 and he has 14 strikeouts and eight walks. The Sunday starter will be another right-handed pitcher, senior Nathan Williams. In his three innings pitched this season he has struck out six batters, walked one and allowed no earned runs. This will be his first start of the season.

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: WISW AM 1320 The Fan

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