clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

#2 South Carolina Gamecocks at #3 Vanderbilt Commodores: Weekend Preview and How to Watch

The Gamecocks face another tough test on the road

TheBigSpur

The Gamecocks snapped their winning streak and fell to 23-3 (6-0 SEC) after a loss to College of Charleston in a sloppy midweek game that lasted until nearly midnight. The Gamecocks have an opportunity to quickly bounce back from the loss as they have another Thursday to Saturday series this weekend.

South Carolina is facing a highly-ranked SEC opponent for the third weekend in a row as they travel to Nashville to take on the Commodores at Hawkins Field. The Gamecocks are at the tail end of one of the toughest stretches of their schedule, with a likely postseason team in College of Charleston sandwiched between top ten SEC opponents on the road. As things stand right now, six of Carolina's ten SEC opponents are ranked and if none of them drop out then the Gamecocks will face another stretch of three consecutive ranked SEC opponents in early May. The Gamecocks are fortunate enough to get two of their remaining ranked opponents at home, but they will have to continue to play at a high level to remain atop the conference standings.

SEC East SEC West
South Carolina (6-0, 1.000) Alabama (4-2, .667)
Florida (4-2, .667) Mississippi State (4-2, .667)
Kentucky (4-2, .667) Texas A&M (4-2, .667)
Vanderbilt (4-2, .667) Arkansas (3-3, .500)
Georgia (2-4, .333) LSU (2-4, .333)
Tennessee (2-4, .333) Ole Miss (2-4, .333)
Missouri (0-6, .000) Auburn (1-5, .167)

The Commodores are 21-4 (4-2 SEC) and are coming off of a Tuesday night victory over Belmont. After opening SEC play with a series loss to Mississippi State and then losing a road midweek game to Middle Tennessee State, Vandy bounced back last weekend by sweeping Missouri in Columbia. Vandy's only loss prior to the beginning of SEC play was at Stanford.

The Gamecocks lead the all-time series against the Commodores 53-28, including a 26-10 record at Vandy. The series has been decidedly more even over the past decade, with the Gamecocks going 16-19 against Vandy since 2006. Though Carolina has a losing record over that stretch, they've only lost the regular season series four times because 6 of those 19 losses have been in the SEC Tournament in Hoover. Despite Vandy having their two most successful teams ever in the past two seasons, the Gamecocks won the series against the Commodores in both 2014 and 2015.

South Carolina Vanderbilt
Batting Average .313 .300
On-Base % .402 .407
Slugging % .441 .446
ERA 2.29 2.66
Strikeout-to-Walk Ratio 3.25 3.00
Fielding % .978 .978

Even after facing a couple of talented SEC teams, the Gamecock pitching staff still has some of the best numbers in the SEC and in the country. Carolina's three weekend starters are all in the top ten in the conference in ERA. The Gamecocks are 7th in the country in team ERA and lead the SEC.

The Gamecocks are sticking with their strong weekend rotation, beginning with Clarke Schmidt in the series opener on Thursday night. The sophomore RHP has a 1.29 ERA, 51 strikeouts and 6 walks. Freshman Braden Webb, who earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors for his performance against the Rebels, will take the mound Friday night. Webb has a 2.10 ERA with 42 strikeouts and 19 walks this year. Freshman Adam Hill will get the start in the series finale on Saturday. After a shaky start against Arkansas he pitched six scoreless innings against Ole Miss last weekend. His ERA is 1.91 and he has 41 strikeouts and 7 walks on the season.

Vanderbilt will start a pair of sophomore right-handers against the Gamecocks in the first two games of the series. First up will be Jordan Sheffield, who has a 2.21 ERA with 51 strikeouts and 17 walks. On Friday Kyle Wright will take the mound with a 1.37 ERA, 35 strikeouts, and 8 walks. The Commodores have not named a third starter.

Game 1, Thursday

When: 8 p.m.

How to Watch: ESPNU

How to Listen: 107.5 The Game

Game 2, Friday

When: 7:30 p.m.

How to Watch: SEC Network Plus

How to Listen: 107.5 The Game

Game 3, Saturday

When: 3 p.m.

How to Watch: SEC Network

How to Listen: 107.5 The Game