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Schedule set, starters announced for Columbia Regional

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The road to Omaha begins on Friday.

The South Carolina Gamecocks will start their NCAA Tournament journey in the friendly confines of Founders Park, although the hosts were given the No. 2 seed in the regional’s pecking order.

The Yardcocks open play against third-seeded Virginia (29-21, 18-18 ACC), which is coming off a deep ACC Tournament run that saw the Cavaliers fall to eventual champion Duke in the semifinals. USC will send junior righty Brett Kerry (5-1,1.90 ERA, 9 BB, 83 SO) to the mound, where he will be opposed by Cavaliers ace and senior southpaw Andrew Abbott (8-5, 2.63 ERA, 28 BB, 136 SO).

The last time these teams met, South Carolina beat Virginia twice on its way to the 2011 College World Series championship.

Should the Gamecocks advance, they will face the winner of top-seeded Old Dominion and No. 4 Jacksonville. The winner of the Columbia Regional will be paired against the winner of the Fort Worth Regional.

First pitch is set for Friday at noon on ESPN2.