South Carolina baseball: Kingston tweaking pitching rotation

South Carolina baseball adjust rotation ahead of Mississippi State series.

Things have not gone well for the South Carolina baseball team over the last two SEC series, with the Gamecocks dropping five of six matchups versus No. 1 Arkansas and No. 12 Ole Miss. The pitching rotation struggled in its worst collective performance against the Rebels last weekend, allowing 13 runs over 12 innings of work, walking 10 batters, and throwing five wild pitches. In an effort to find better results, it appears as though head coach Mark Kingston is going to mix up the starting rotation in its upcoming series with No. 4 Mississippi State.

Typical Friday night guy Thomas Farr has been moved to the Sunday slot, taking some pressure off the ace, who’s yet to win an SEC start. Farr is 0-5 since conference play began, with an ERA of 4.97. He’s also failed to get any run support in those appearances, with the Gamecocks scoring three runs or less in six of seven SEC series openers. The offense is hitting less than .170 as a team in Farr’s league starts. That combination has led to the team dropping six of those matchups, with the lone Friday night win coming in extra innings versus Florida.

With Farr’s move to Sunday, Brannon Jordan and Will Sanders will each move up one slot in the rotation. Jordan will get his first Friday night start, as he’s been the Gamecocks’ best option to this point in conference play. Jordan enters the weekend with a 3.38 ERA against league opponents, winning three of his five decisions in SEC action. His .162 opposing batting average ranks third in the conference in league play.

Sanders will move up to Saturday, where the freshman looks to pick up his seventh win of the season. He’s done well thus far in conference action, winning three of his five starts. He boasts a 3.99 ERA in league play, and will do his best to help the Gamecocks win their first series since mid-April.

There will also be changes to the South Carolina baseball lineup.

The rotation won’t be the only thing to look a little different in the series with Mississippi State. The coaching staff has been shuffling the lineup this week, too. Brady Allen moved back from the leadoff spot to the three-hole in last night’s midweek matchup with North Florida. The centerfielder has been the Gamecocks’ most consistent hitter, and the move will hopefully lead to a little more run production.

With Allen moving back, look for Braylen Wimmer to take over leadoff duties. He’s one of the fastest players on the team and will look to set the table at the top of the order. The move also bumps home run leader Wes Clarke back to the cleanup spot.

Other changes may see Joe Satterfield or Brennan Milone taking over for Jeff Heinrich at third base. Heinrich has struggled in conference play, seeing his batting average drop from .300 to .222 since SEC action began.

Hopefully, the changes will yield positive results as South Carolina looks to get back in the win column against a top five opponent.