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#6 South Carolina Gamecocks vs #21 Vanderbilt Commodores: Weekend Preview and How to Watch

The Commodores visit Founders Park for an early weekend series

Clarke Schmidt Pitching TheBigSpur

South Carolina beat Furman on Tuesday to improve to 20-8 (6-3 SEC) and is quickly back in action, as the series with Vanderbilt this week runs from Thursday to Saturday. The Gamecocks lost to the Commodores last year in Nashville, but beat them two years ago at home and have a 54-30 overall record in the series.

The Gamecocks slipped from the top of the SEC standings with last weekend’s series loss to Auburn, so they are now one game back from first in the overall standings and second in the East behind the Kentucky Wildcats. The Gamecocks have their work cut out for them over the next few weeks of SEC play, as the Commodores are only the second of five consecutive ranked teams on the schedule.

SEC Standings

SEC East SEC West
SEC East SEC West
Kentucky (7-2, .778) Arkansas (7-2, .778)
South Carolina (6-3, .667) Auburn (7-2, .778)
Florida (5-4, .556) Mississippi State (6-3, .667)
Missouri (4-5, .444) LSU (5-4, .556)
Vanderbilt (4-5, .444) Ole Miss (3-6, .333)
Georgia (3-6, .333) Texas A&M (3-6, .333)
Tennessee (1-8, .111) Alabama (2-7, .222)

The Commodores are 19-11 (4-5 SEC) and are coming off of an 11-0 win on Tuesday over Tennessee-Martin. Vandy opened SEC play with a series loss to Ole Miss, then beat Texas A&M, then lost a series to Kentucky last weekend. The Commodores have struggled some this season, but they still have plenty of talent. One player that the Gamecocks will have to watch out for is Jeren Kendall (.323/.414/.653), who leads the SEC in home runs with 10 and is third in the league in stolen bases, with 11 successful steals in 13 attempts. The ‘Dores also have a dangerous hitter in Julian Infante (.364/.453/.559), who is tied with Will Toffey (.318/.450/.518) for second on the team in homers with five.

South Carolina will still be without closer Tyler Johnson this weekend, as Holbrook said on Tuesday that Johnson would be out for another week. The Gamecocks have had some late-game issues without Johnson available, but the pitching staff has been very strong overall, even in his absence. Carolina’s 2.72 ERA is the best in the SEC and the 11th best in the country.

USC vs Vandy Stats

Stat South Carolina Vanderbilt
Stat South Carolina Vanderbilt
Batting Average 0.279 0.280
On-Base % 0.363 0.396
Slugging % 0.418 0.432
ERA 2.72 3.26
Strikeout-to-Walk Ratio 3.09 2.48
Fielding % 0.979 0.972

The Gamecocks are sticking with last weekend’s rotation, sending junior RHP Wil Crowe (3.00 ERA, 47 SO, 14 BB) to the mound in the series opener on Thursday. The Commodores will start sophomore RHP Patrick Raby (2.47 ERA, 42 SO, 13 BB).

Clarke Schmidt (0.90 ERA, 46 SO, 13 BB) will start on Friday. The junior RHP’s 0.90 ERA is the tenth best in the country. Vandy will also send a junior right-hander to the mound, as Kyle Wright (5.59 ERA, 38 SO, 16 BB) will get the start for the Commodores.

On Saturday sophomore RHP Adam Hill (2.36 ERA, 37 SO, 12 BB) will start for the Gamecocks. Vanderbilt will start freshman RHP Drake Fellows (2.00 ERA, 37 SO, 9 BB).

Game 1: Thursday, 7 p.m.

Game 2: Friday, 7 p.m.

Game 3: Saturday, 12 p.m.

Watch: All three games of the series will be on TV. Thursday’s game will be on SEC Network, Friday’s game will be on ESPNU, and Saturday’s game will be on ESPN2.

Listen: All three games will be on 107.5 The Game & The Gamecock Radio Network.