The Gamecocks had an awful game on Wednesday against College of Charleston and fell to 28-20 (13-11 SEC), but they have a chance to bounce back this weekend as they host Missouri in Founders Park. Carolina is 11-6 against the Tigers all-time and has not lost a game to Missouri at home.
Carolina’s strong second half of SEC play has put them in a good position heading into the final stretch of the season. The Gamecocks are third in the East and tied for fourth in the overall conference standings. With a good weekend they have a chance to gain on Georgia, as the Bulldogs are only two games up on USC and play at Florida this weekend. South Carolina also has a chance with a series win against Missouri to guarantee a .500 record in SEC play, which as Kingston pointed out a few weeks ago has historically meant a team will make the NCAA Tournament. The Gamecocks are projected to make the tournament right now, but need to finish out well to make sure that happens.
|SEC East||SEC West|
|SEC East||SEC West|
|Florida (18-6, .750)||Arkansas (14-10, .583)|
|Georgia (15-9, .625)||Ole Miss (13-11, .542)|
|South Carolina (13-11, .542)||Auburn (13-11, .542)|
|Kentucky (11-13, .458)||Texas A&M (12-12, .500)|
|Vanderbilt (11-13, .458)||LSU (12-12, .500)|
|Tennessee (10-14, .417)||Mississippi State (11-13, .458)|
|Missouri (9-15, .375)||Alabama (6-18, .250)|
The Tigers are 30-18 (9-15 SEC) and are well-rested after having a Thursday to Saturday series, then not playing a midweek game this week. Last weekend they were swept by Georgia for their fifth SEC series loss of the season. The Tigers have won conference series against Vandy, Auburn, and Mississippi State this year.
Missouri is strong defensively and their pitching staff is in the top half of the SEC, leading the conference in strikeouts. Their offense is not as good though, and the Tigers have not displayed a lot of power this year. They only have 33 home runs this season, well behind Carolina’s 61. But they are good at drawing walks to get on base and are second only to Vandy in terms of aggression on the base paths, with 63 stolen bases in 80 attempts this season. The Carolina pitching staff will need to be careful, given their tendency to allow baserunners, especially by issuing walks. But if the Gamecocks play as well as they have over the past few weekends they should be able to handle the Tigers.
USC vs Missouri Stats
South Carolina’s Friday night starter will be freshman RHP Logan Chapman (4.72 ERA, 41 SO, 25 BB). Missouri will start sophomore LHP TJ Sikkema (3.81 ERA, 61 SO, 16 BB).
On Saturday junior RHP Adam Hill (4.58 ERA, 70 SO, 35 BB) will take the mound for Carolina. Junior LHP Michael Plassmeye (2.79 ERA, 91 SO, 13 BB) will start for the Tigers.
The Sunday starter for USC will be sophomore RHP Cody Morris (4.74 ERA, 59 SO, 22 BB). Missouri has not announced a starter for the series finale.
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 on SEC Network Plus
Listen: 107.5 The Game & The Gamecock Radio Network