SEC Tournament Day 1 Recap
South Carolina beat Vanderbilt in the opening game of the SEC Tournament on Tuesday to advance to the next round of the tournament. It was a huge win for several reasons, not the least of which was that it snapped a four year streak of going winless in Hoover. It was a big win in the context of this season as well, since it kept South Carolina’s NCAA Tournament hopes alive. It also just felt good to watch the team win by holding on late in a close game and then winning in extras after so many losses this year involved blown late leads and/or rallies that felt short.
In Game 2, #10 seed Missouri upset #7 seed Texas A&M, eliminating the Aggies from the tournament. The Tigers won 12-7 after a lengthy game that started late because of the extra innings in Game 1 and had a weather delay in the 6th inning that lasted nearly two hours. Missouri will face #2 seed LSU in Game 6, which is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
The #8 seed Auburn won Game 3 on Tuesday night. Auburn beat the #9 seed Ole Miss Rebels 5-4. The Tigers will play the top-seeded Florida Gators in Game 7 on Wednesday night 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 6.
Game 4, between #5 seed Mississippi State and #12 seed Georgia, was not played on Tuesday due to the delays throughout the day (it would not have started until after midnight if it had been played). It was pushed back to the 10:30 a.m. ET slot on Wednesday. All the game scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday will be pushed back one time slot and three games will be played on Friday instead of two. The winner of Game 4 will face #4 seed Arkansas in Game 8, which is now scheduled for Thursday morning.
SEC Tournament Game 5 Preview: South Carolina vs Kentucky
The Gamecocks are the 11th seed in the tournament and will face the #3 seed Kentucky on Wednesday. The Wildcats took 2 of 3 from the Gamecocks in late April and finished second in the SEC East behind Florida with a 38-18 (19-11 SEC) record.
Chad Holbrook has said the Wil Crowe will not start Wednesday’s game, as he doesn’t want to risk Crowe’s health by using him on shorter rest after high pitch counts in his last two starts. Holbrook didn’t name a starter, but said that John Parke (5.96 ERA), Colie Bowers (1.73 ERA), and Cody Morris (3.53 ERA) are all in the mix to throw in Wednesday’s game. Kentucky is expected to start LHP Brad Schaenzer (3.21 ERA, 39 SO, 10 BB).
The Gamecocks will need strong performances from every player that takes the mound and from the defense behind them, as it will be difficult to limit the potent Kentucky offense. Carolina will also need to replicate the good offensive performance they had on Tuesday, preferably by continuing to hit lots of home runs.
USC vs Kentucky Stats
(*Note: The stats in the table are through the end of the regular season and do not factor in USC’s SECT game against Vandy)
Game 5 begins the double elimination portion of the SEC Tournament, so neither team will go home after today’s game. The winner will play in Game 11 against the winner of Game 6 (LSU vs Missouri), while the loser will play in Game 9, an elimination game against the loser of Game 6.
When: Probably about 2 p.m. ET (Game 5 will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 4, which is scheduled for 10:30 a.m.)
How to Watch: On TV on the SEC Network or online via WatchESPN
How to Listen: 107.5 The Game & The Gamecocks Radio Network