The month of April has not been fun for the Gamecocks, and their struggles continued as they lost to an unimpressive PC team earlier this week. Carolina is now 20-17 (6-9 SEC) and desperately needs to turn things around over the last month of the regular season. Their opportunity to do that begins Friday night as they start a series against LSU at Founders Park.
This week marks the halfway point of SEC play and the Gamecocks are three games below .500 after only winning one series through the first five weekends of conference play. The remainder of Carolina’s conference schedule isn’t easy, as all but one of the teams are ranked, but USC has already faced the two best teams in the SEC and plays three of the remaining five series at home. With the Gamecocks finally getting some players healthy again and with the toughest stretch of the schedule behind them, Carolina has a chance at a stronger second half of conference play.
|SEC East||SEC West|
|SEC East||SEC West|
|Florida (12-3, .800)||Arkansas (10-5, .667)|
|Georgia (9-6, .600)||LSU (9-6, .600)|
|Vanderbilt (9-6, .600)||Ole Miss (8-7, .533)|
|Kentucky (7-8, .467)||Texas A&M (8-7, .533)|
|Missouri (6-9, .400)||Auburn (6-9, .400)|
|South Carolina (6-9, .400)||Alabama (5-10, .333)|
|Tennessee (5-10, .333)||Mississippi State (5-10, .333)|
The Gamecocks are 26-37-1 against LSU all-time and last won a series against the Tigers in 2013. LSU beat Carolina in a series in Baton Rouge last year and then again when the teams met in Hoover in the SEC Tournament.
The Tigers are 24-14 (9-6 SEC) and are coming off of a midweek loss to Tulane. LSU swept Tennessee last weekend and has SEC series losses to Texas A&M and Vandy. The Tigers don’t have an offense quite as good as what the Gamecocks have seen over the last couple of weekends, but their bats are still pretty strong. LSU doesn’t hit a ton of homers (they have 32 this season, while Carolina has 49), but they hit well and they have the fewest strikeouts of any team in the SEC. They’re also good on the basepaths, with 46 stolen bases in 55 attempts this season. LSU’s top two batters, Antione Duplantis (.364/.429/.503) and Brandt Broussard (.345/.400/.405), are both among the top 15 hitters in the SEC statistically. The Gamecock pitching staff should still be in good shape if they can have another strong performance like they did last weekend against Arkansas, but they’ll need run support from the offense this time for Carolina to have a shot at getting the series victory.
USC vs LSU Stats
The Gamecocks are sticking with the switched up pitching rotation they used last weekend. Freshman RHP Logan Chapman (3.93 ERA, 34 SO, 18 BB) will start Friday night. Sophomore RHP Zach Hess (3.71 ERA, 68 SO, 25 BB) will start for the Tigers.
Junior RHP Adam Hill (4.65 ERA, 60 SO, 26 BB) will get the Saturday start for the Gamecocks. LSU will send freshman RHP Ma’Khail Hilliard (1.75 ERA, 47 SO, 15 BB) to the mound.
On Sunday sophomore RHP Cody Morris (3.61 ERA, 50 SO, 18 BB) will take the mound for Carolina in the series finale. LSU has not named a third starter.
Game 1: Friday, 7 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, 4 p.m.
Game 3: Sunday, 1:30 p.m.
Watch: All three games will be available online on SEC Network Plus.
Listen: 107.5 The Game & The Gamecock Radio Network