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#8 South Carolina Gamecocks vs #13 Mississippi State Bulldogs: Weekend Preview and How to Watch

The Gamecocks host another ranked SEC team at Founders Park


South Carolina suffered a humiliating defeat against UNC on Wednesday to fall to 21-11 (7-5 SEC) on the season. The team doesn’t get much of a chance to catch their breath, as they host a very good Mississippi State team at Founders Park this weekend. The Gamecocks lead the all-time series 37-31 and are 20-7 against the Bulldogs in Columbia.

Despite having two SEC series losses through four weekends of SEC play, the Gamecocks are still second in the East standings. The Bulldogs, as one of the four teams tied at the top of the overall standings, are just one game up over Carolina.

SEC Standings

SEC East SEC West
SEC East SEC West
Kentucky (8-4, .667) Arkansas (8-4, .667)
South Carolina (7-5, .583) Auburn (8-4, .667)
Missouri (6-6, .500) Mississippi State (8-4, .667)
Florida (6-6, .500) LSU (7-5, .583)
Vanderbilt (6-6, .500) Ole Miss (6-6, .500)
Georgia (4-8, .333) Texas A&M (5-7, .417)
Tennessee (3-9, .250) Alabama (2-10, .167)

Mississippi State is 23-12 (8-4 SEC) after taking two of three from Kentucky last weekend and beating Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday. The Bulldogs were swept in their first SEC series by Arkansas, but they swept Tennessee and Ole Miss the next two weekends. Mississippi State is one of the top offensive teams in the SEC, so the strength of their team will be matched up against the strength of Carolina’s team in the pitching and defense. On the other hand, Mississippi State is near the bottom of the SEC in pitching, so a Carolina offense that has struggled at times this season may be able to have success against the Bulldogs.

Given State’s offensive prowess, it’s not surprising that they have three of the top ten hitters in the SEC. The Gamecocks will have to watch out for both Jake Mangum (.374/.439/.468) and Ryan Gridley (.348/.406/.511), but the standout player for the Bulldogs is Brent Rooker (.450/.547/.992). Rooker is having an absurdly good season and was named SEC Player of the Week after an impressive week that included three homers in one game against Kentucky. He leads the SEC in nearly every offensive category, including home runs (15), hits (58), RBI (56), and doubles (19). Rooker also leads the SEC in stolen bases with 15 in 19 attempts. He will obviously be tough for Carolina to contain and the Gamecocks will have to be at the top of their game to limit Rooker and the Bulldog offense as a whole.

USC vs Mississippi State Stats

Stat South Carolina Mississippi State
Stat South Carolina Mississippi State
Batting Average 0.276 0.299
On-Base % 0.358 0.375
Slugging % 0.414 0.463
ERA 3.25 4.41
Strikeout-to-Walk Ratio 2.89 2.02
Fielding % 0.979 0.976

The Gamecocks are finally getting back to the rotation they used at the beginning of the season, with junior RHP Clarke Schmidt (1.15 ERA, 57 SO, 14 BB) resuming his Friday night starting role. The Bulldogs will start a sophomore lefty, Konnor Pilkington (3.00 ERA, 65 SO, 19 BB).

Junior RHP Wil Crowe (3.33 ERA, 52 SO, 16 BB) is back in his typical Saturday starting spot. Sunday’s Carolina starter will be sophomore RHP Adam Hill (2.23 ERA, 48 SO, 17 BB), who has continued to be valuable for the Gamecocks in that third weekend spot. Mississippi State has not announced a starter for the Saturday or Sunday game.

Game 1: Friday, 7 p.m.

Game 2: Saturday, 4 p.m.

Game 3: Sunday, 4 p.m.

Watch: The Friday and Saturday games will be available online via SEC Network Plus. Sunday’s game will be televised on SEC Network.

Listen: All three games will be one the radio at 107.5 The Game & The Gamecock Radio Network.