What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend than by cozying up to the Yardcocks we’ve been missing for the past several months? College baseball’s opening day is here, and South Carolina takes on Holy Cross in a three-game series to start things off for a fresh campaign in Columbia.
Coach Mark Kingston enters a somewhat critical Year 3, with the Gamecocks having overachieved and reached the Supers in 2018 only to stumble to an injury-riddled and disappointing 28-28 finish last season. (Still beat Clemson tho!) South Carolina missed the postseason for the third time in five years, and also compiled a woeful 8-22 mark in SEC play — the worst conference record in program history, and the first overall non-winning record in more than 20 years.
So, what’s in the forecast for 2020? Well, depending on the outlet, the Gamecocks were picked to finish either fourth or fifth in the SEC East, so outside observers aren’t too confident. With 16 newcomers, including a couple grad transfers in Bryant Bowen and Dallas Beaver expected to contribute immediately, fans will have plenty of names and faces to learn. A few stalwarts from last season’s squad return, though, notably pitchers Carmen Mlodzinski and Brett Kerry, along with second baseman Noah Campbell.
As for Holy Cross, the Crusaders are coming off a 22-32 (15-10 Patriot League) performance in 2019, although pitcher Liam Dvorak was chosen as the Patriot League’s preseason pitcher of the year.
The Gamecocks will send the right-handed Mlodzinski to the mound this afternoon, where he’ll oppose Holy Cross right-hander Garret Keough. Right-handed Kerry will start Saturday opposite lefty Luke Dawson, and righty Bannon Jordan rounds out the rotation on Sunday against Crusaders ace Dvorak.
Game 1: Friday, 4 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, 2 p.m.
Game 3: Sunday, Noon
Watch: All three games will be streamed on SEC Network Plus.
Listen: All three games can be heard on 107.5 The Game.