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South Carolina at No. 3 Texas A&M: Series Preview, Game Times, How to Watch and more

The Gamecocks travel to College Station for the first time in program history to take on a great Aggie team

TheBigSpur

The Gamecocks beat Wofford on Wednesday to improve to 28-21 (10-14) on the season. That victory means that for the first time in nearly a month the Gamecocks will not head into their weekend series coming off of a loss and, more importantly, that the team will not finish the regular season with a losing record.

The Gamecocks have faced the Aggies only four other times in program history and they won all four of those previous meetings. The first game between the two teams was in Omaha in 2010, and in 2013 the Aggies came to Columbia for a series. The trip to College Station this weekend will mark the first time that the Gamecocks have played a baseball game in the state of Texas.

SEC East SEC West
Vanderbilt (17-7, .708) LSU (16-7, .696)
Florida (15-9, .625) Texas A&M (16-7, .696)
Missouri (14-10, .583) Arkansas (14-10, .583)
Kentucky (11-12, .478) Auburn (12-12, .500)
South Carolina (10-14, .417) Ole Miss (11-13, .458)
Georgia (7-16, .304) Alabama (8-16, .333)
Tennessee (7-17, .292) Mississippi State (8-16, .333)

At this point it's pretty clear that unless something miraculous happens, the Gamecocks will not finish with a conference record of .500. Rather, the Gamecocks need to set their sights on making it to the SEC Tournament. Obviously Hoover has rarely been kind to the Gamecocks, but it's been nearly two decades since USC last missed the conference tournament and it would be nice to keep at least a couple of streaks alive this year. The SEC Tournament takes 12 teams, and as it stands right now the Gamecocks are 10th in the overall conference standings. However, three of the four teams below USC have the head-to-head tiebreaker and none are more than three games back. At the very least the Gamecocks likely need to avoid being swept in either of their remaining series.

Texas A&M is 41-7 (16-7) and enters the weekend ranked 2nd in the NCAA RPI. The Aggies began the year with a 24 game winning streak that wasn't snapped until the second weekend of conference play. They lost series against Arkansas and LSU in consecutive weeks, but bounced back last weekend with a sweep of Tennessee.

South Carolina Texas A&M
Batting Average .251 .315
On-Base % .346 .410
Slugging % .361 .467
ERA 3.73 2.74
Strikeout-to-Walk Ratio 2.27 3.34
Fielding % .970 .967

The Aggies are in the top ten in the country in both batting average (6th) and ERA (9th). They also lead the conference in batting average in SEC games (.312) and are 3rd in the SEC in conference ERA (3.68). On the other hand, the Gamecocks are 13th in the SEC with a conference batting average of .240 and 10th in the SEC with a conference ERA of 4.89.

This series will feature two of the best hitters in the SEC. Texas A&M's Logan Taylor is leading the SEC with a conference batting average of .414, while USC's Kyle Martin leads in slugging (.795) and on-base percentage (.509) in league play. Martin and Taylor are tied for RBIs in conference play at 27.

The Aggies have great hitting up and down their lineup, with six players batting over .300 and every player with a significant number of at-bats hitting over .200. Meanwhile, the Gamecocks have only six players hitting over .250 and will likely start at least two players that are hitting below .200. To make the offensive disparity even worse, the Gamecocks will likely be missing one of their best hitters, as Holbrook said on Wednesday that he wasn't sure Max Schrock would be able to play this weekend. Last weekend his status was questionable due to an Achilles injury, but he was able to play. Now he also has a "significant hand injury" that is causing him a lot of pain and may prevent him from playing.

Jack Wynkoop will take the mound for the Gamecocks on Friday night with a season ERA of 2.45 and 74 strikeouts and 11 walks. The junior lefty has been on another level in his last three starts, (25.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 BB, 27 K) but will face a tough test against one of the best offenses the Gamecocks will see this season. The Saturday and Sunday starters for the Gamecocks have not been announced.

The Aggies will send junior right-hander Grayson Long to the mound on Friday night. He has a 2.93 ERA, 76 strikeouts and 28 walks on the season. The Saturday starter for Texas A&M will be Ryan Hendrix. The sophomore RHP has a 2.61 ERA with 38 strikeouts and 10 walks. The Aggies have not named a starter for Sunday's game.

Game 1, Friday

Start Time: 7:35 pm

How to Watch: SEC Network Plus

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

Game 2, Saturday

Start Time: 3:05 pm

How to Watch: SEC Network Plus

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

Game 3, Sunday

Start Time: 2:05 pm

How to Watch: SEC Network Plus

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