The Gamecocks whipped The Citadel Tuesday night in Charleston, winning 15-1 and improving to 18-6 (5-1 SEC). Carolina travels to Plainsman Park in Alabama to take on the Auburn Tigers this weekend. The Gamecocks lost the series when they last faced the Tigers in 2015, but they have a 44-22 record against Auburn all-time and a 21-10 record in Auburn.
This weekend’s series is an early matchup of SEC leaders, as Carolina and Auburn are tied with two other teams at the top of the SEC standings. The SEC is off to a bit of an unexpected start, with the preseason favorite in each division near (or at) the bottom of the standings. Those favorites, Florida and Texas A&M, were both swept in the opening weekend of conference play by one of the teams currently at the top of the standings (Auburn and Kentucky). Things may begin to fall back into a more expected order as the season progresses, but if the Gamecocks can continue to win this weekend in Auburn they have a good opportunity to extend their lead in the standings over their traditional division rivals.
|SEC East||SEC West|
|SEC East||SEC West|
|Kentucky (5-1, .833)||Arkansas (5-1, .833)|
|South Carolina (5-1, .833)||Auburn (5-1, .833)|
|Missouri (4-2, .667)||LSU (4-2, .667)|
|Vanderbilt (3-3, .500)||Mississippi State (3-3, .500)|
|Florida (2-4, .333)||Ole Miss (3-3, .500)|
|Georgia (1-5, .167)||Alabama (1-5, .167)|
|Tennessee (0-6, .000)||Texas A&M (1-5, .167)|
The Tigers are 21-6 (5-1 SEC) and are coming off a midweek non-conference win over Alabama. Auburn has not lost a series this season and began SEC play with a sweep of Florida that included a 14-3 blowout in the series opener. The Tigers kept their strong SEC start going with a series win at Georgia last weekend, winning a Sunday rubber game after dropping Saturday’s contest.
Like the Gamecocks, the Tigers are in the middle of the pack in the SEC offensively. The weird standout in their offensive numbers is their low number of home runs, as they only have eight so far this season (the next lowest number for an SEC team is 18 and there are four players in the SEC that have 8 home runs). Auburn’s overall pitching numbers don’t really jump out, but they lead the country in shutouts with 7 so far this season. They also have one of the top pitchers in the SEC in Keegan Thompson (0.70 ERA), though he will not start in his usual Friday spot and may not pitch at all due to shoulder soreness.
USC vs Auburn Stats
The Gamecocks will switch up their regular weekend rotation again this weekend, sending junior RHP Wil Crowe (2.75 ERA, 41 SO, 13 BB) to the mound on Friday night in the series opener. The Tigers will also depart from their typical weekend rotation, as sophomore RHP Casey Mize (0.98 ERA, 51 SO, 6 BB) will get his first Friday night start in the series opener.
Junior RHP Clarke Schmidt (1.12 ERA, 36 SO, 10 BB) will start for Carolina on Saturday. Auburn will send Davis Daniel (4.44 ERA, 36 SO, 6 BB) to the mound on Saturday. The right-hander is coming off of a six-inning shutout of Georgia that earned him SEC Freshman of the Week honors last weekend.
Sophomore RHP Adam Hill (2.15 ERA, 34 SO, 11 BB) will be back in his regular spot as a Sunday starter this weekend against Auburn. The Tigers have not named a starting pitcher for Sunday’s contest.
Game 1: Friday, 7 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday 6 p.m.
Game 3: Sunday, 2 p.m.
Watch: On Friday and Sunday the game will be available online via SEC Network Plus. Saturday’s game will be televised on ESPNU.
Listen: Because both the Friday and Saturday games are at the same time as South Carolina’s Final Four games (Final Fours! Two of them!), the first two baseball games of the series will be on 1320 AM The Fan. Sunday’s game will be on 107.5 The Game.