Two out of three isn’t bad.
That was the outcome last week as the South Carolina Gamecocks (34-11, 12-9) hosted the Alabama Crimson Tide and came away winners in two of the three match ups. They haven’t swept an SEC series outright since taking down Tennessee a little over a month ago, but that could change this weekend as they hit the road to take on the struggling Georgia Bulldogs (21-22, 7-13). They’ll have to do it without a trio of wounded players: namely Max Schrock, Connor Bright and Elliott Caldwell.
This weekend’s set is especially pivotal for a couple of reasons: the Gamecocks are still in striking distance of Florida (three games ahead in the standings at 15-6). But that sound in the distance you hear is Vanderbilt (11-10 in league play) and their four-game winning streak, closing the gap between them and Carolina to one game.
Meanwhile, not a whole lot has gone right for the Dogs lately. They are currently on an eight-game losing streak and have averaged a grand total of 2.25 runs during that stretch (and that’s including the nine runs they put up against Vandy in a 12-9 loss). They are second to last in the league in batting average (.256), have the SEC’s worst team ERA (4.25), and have stuck out more times (338) than any of their conference brethren. On the flip side, the Gamecocks have the league’s lowest team ERA (2.05) and are fourth in batting average (.286). Hunter Cole (.314, 24 RBI, 2 HR) and Nelson Ward (.309, 29 RBI, 2 HR) shoulder the offensive load for Georgia.
Jordan Montgomery (6-3, 3.55), Jack Wynkoop (5-3, 2.14) and Wil Crowe (6-2, 2.60) are Chad Holbrook’s starters this weekend; Ryan Lawlor (3-4, 3.65), Robert Tyler (4-4, 2.85) and a pitcher to be announced get the call for first-year coach Scott Stricklin. Friday and Sunday’s game will be broadcast live on GeorgiaDogs.com ($$), while Saturday’s matchup is on CSS and ESPN3.
And check out this weather: