SEC Tournament Day 4 Recap
Friday in Hoover started off with Game 12 between #1 seed Florida and #5 seed Mississippi State. The Bulldogs seemed in control through most of the game, carrying a 3-0 lead into the 8th inning, but the Gators scored 11 in the 8th and won 12-3 to advance to Saturday’s semifinals. Mississippi State was sent to a Friday night elimination game against Arkansas.
The second game of the day was the elimination game between #11 seed South Carolina and #3 seed Kentucky. The Gamecocks won 3-1 thanks to a pinch-hit home run from TJ Hopkins and a fantastic effort from the Carolina pitching staff. The win sent South Carolina to the semifinals to face #2 seed LSU and strengthened USC’s NCAA Tournament resume. However the Gamecocks are still far from safely in and could really use another win in addition to some luck with how the rest of the tournament field shakes out.
Game 14 was the final game of the day on Friday. It was an elimination game between #4 seed Arkansas and #5 seed Mississippi State and the Hogs beat the Bulldogs 9-2. The loss sent Mississippi State home, narrowing the field to the four teams playing in Saturday’s semifinals. Arkansas will face Florida Saturday afternoon at 4:30 for a chance to play for the SEC Tournament championship on Sunday.
SEC Tournament Game 15 Preview: South Carolina vs LSU
Friday’s win improved Carolina’s record to 35-24 and they will face a 41-17 LSU team. The Tigers took two of three from the Gamecocks a few weeks ago in Baton Rouge and LSU is hot right now, entering today’s game on a nine-game win streak. The SEC Tournament semifinals are single elimination, so even though LSU hasn’t lost in Hoover yet the loser of today’s game goes home while the winner plays tomorrow for the tournament championship.
The Carolina pitching situation is getting shaky, as this is the fifth game in five days for the Gamecocks and they were already short a regular weekend starter after losing Clarke Schmidt a few weeks ago. The four most frequent starters (Crowe, Hill, Morris, and Scott) started the first four games in Hoover. Holbrook said that freshman RHP Colby Lee (4.78 ERA) is likely to take the mound to start for the Gamecocks this afternoon. Most of Carolina’s pitchers have seen some action already this week, so things could get interesting as the Gamecocks work to get whatever innings they can out of available guys while limiting a strong LSU offense.
The Tigers will start senior LHP Jared Poche (3.40 ERA, 54 SO, 27 BB) against Carolina today. The Gamecocks only managed one run against Poche in seven innings in a loss to the Tigers during the regular season, so they’ll need a better effort against him today if they want a chance to get the win.
USC vs LSU Stats
(*Note: The stats in the table are through Day 3 in the tournament and do not include Carolina’s Friday game against Kentucky)
When: 1 p.m. ET
How to Watch: On TV on the SEC Network and online via Watch ESPN
How to Listen: 107.5 The Game & The Gamecock Radio Network