South Carolina has been one of the most successful baseball programs in America in recent years.
However, that success has not been present in the SEC tournament.
Since 2007, the Gamecocks own a 4-12 record in Hoover. To put that record in perspective, South Carolina has only lost 10 games in the NCAA tournament since ’07. The Gamecocks haven’t won multiple games in the conference tourney in seven years, despite capturing two national titles, playing for a third and making the NCAA tournament every year in that span.
Part of the problem has been slow starts. South Carolina has only won its first game in Hoover twice in the last six years. In their four opening game losses, the Gamecocks have averaged 2.3 runs per game. In 2009 and 2011, when South Carolina won its first games in the SEC tournament, the offense pounded out nine and seven runs, respectively.
After taking two of three from Vanderbilt over the weekend, the Gamecocks will arrive in Hoover as the #4 seed in the tournament and won’t take the field until Wednesday, when they will face one of the league’s Bulldogs. South Carolina’s opponent will be either 5th-seeded Mississippi State or 12th-seeded Georgia. The Gamecocks dropped a road series against Georgia earlier in May and did not play Mississippi State this season. However, South Carolina hasn’t fared well against either team in Hoover. The Gamecocks haven’t beaten Mississippi State or Georgia in the SEC tournament in over a decade. Georgia knocked off the Gamecocks in 2006 and 2011, while Mississippi State defeated South Carolina in 2005 and last year. Georgia and Mississippi State both lost to South Carolina in the 2001 tournament.
The Gamecocks have only one SEC tournament championship in school history, which came in 2004. South Carolina’s opening game will be televised on CSS and will be the last game played on Wednesday.