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South Carolina vs. The Citadel: Preview

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The Bulldogs come to Carolina Stadium for the second matchup of the season

TheBigSpur

The Gamecocks are 22-11 (6-6) after blowing out Appalachian State Tuesday night in a game that was called in the 8th due to severe weather. The Gamecocks fell out of nearly every major poll this week after their third-straight SEC series loss last weekend. Only the NCBWA (which has USC ranked 20th) and the USA Today Coaches' Poll (21st) still have Carolina in the top 25.

The Gamecocks face The Citadel at home tonight after beating the Bulldogs 2-0 in Charleston last week. That win improved South Carolina's overall record against the Bulldogs to 127-48-1. The Citadel is now 15-15 (1-5) on the season following a home series loss last weekend to Mercer that included a 17-0 whipping in the rubber game on Saturday.

South Carolina The Citadel
Batting Average .267 .270
On-Base % .362 .369
Slugging % .382 .386
ERA 3.02 4.82
Strikeout-to-Walk Ratio 2.26 2.99
Fielding % .970 .949

The Gamecocks scored a combined 24 runs over the last two games, the most runs they've scored in consecutive games all season. While Carolina can't be expected to score in double digits every game, they need more games like these with significant contributions from up and down the lineup. The Gamecocks got at least one hit or one RBI (often both) from every starter in each of the last two games. South Carolina needs to find a way to manufacture similar offensive performances against more talented pitchers in order to break out of the slump they've been in for the past month.

This team can't fix their issues overnight, and stringing a few wins together won't mean everything is better, but a win tonight feels important as the Gamecocks head into a very tough stretch of SEC games to finish out the season. South Carolina hasn't won three games in a row since the sweep of Kentucky in mid-March and from a confidence standpoint it would be great to head into this weekend's series in Gainesville on the longest win streak in over a month rather than coming off of another midweek loss.

The Gamecocks will start freshman RHP Clarke Schmidt tonight. Schmidt has a 3.72 ERA with 30 strikeouts and 13 walks this season. He has been the Sunday starter for the Gamecocks for the last five weeks, so while this is his sixth start of the season it's his first in a midweek game.

Start Time: 7 pm

Location: Carolina Stadium

How to Watch: SEC Network Plus

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