South Carolina Baseball: Heading into opening weekend, Coach Kingston updates injuries, starting rotation

South Carolina baseball coach Mark Kingston provided an injury update and a projected starting rotation for this weekend's series against Miami (OH).

South Carolina baseball coach Mark Kingston
South Carolina baseball coach Mark Kingston / TODD SHANESY / Greenville News / USA

South Carolina baseball coach Mark Kingston spoke to the media on Thursday about his team's opening series against the Miami (OH) Redhawks. Some of the topics of conversation included injuries and the starting rotation.

When asked specifically about injuries to pitchers Matthew Becker, Roman Kimball, and Garrett Gainey, Coach King provided an even bigger update to his team's injury report.

Matthew Becker, who left a scrimmage with an injury, was grouped in with fellow pitcher Roman Kimball as "dealing with minor lat issues." It's a positive update on Becker as may speculated that his exit from the scrimmage was indicative of a worse issue. Kingston said that Kimball is ahead of Becker in his recovery and should be able to go this weekend, while Becker will not pitch. The issues were described as "nothing serious or long-term."

The update on Gainey was short but positive: "Gainey appears to be fine."

Kingston continued his injury update by speaking about his first base situation. Gavin Casas and Tyler Causey (the two most powerful left-handed bats on the team) have been battling "minor issues...nagging issues" while they battled each other for the starting job at first base. Kingston added that he and his coaching staff are hopeful that both guys will be available this weekend. He name-dropped Ethan Petry when discussing a potential replacement if the two lefties are out.

Three other pitchers were mentioned, as well, as Kingston was asked specifically about Ricky Williams (Tommy John), Michael Polk (Tommy John), and Jake McCoy (back). He responded that he believed each player will help the team "sooner rather than later," but that he isn't sure when the players will be "fully ready for game action."

After walking through his team's bumps and bruises, he revealed his starting rotation for the opening weekend. Eli Jones, Dylan Eskew, and Roman Kimball (assuming health) are the three guys who will take the bump for South Carolina baseball this weekend.

Kingston said that the coaching staff felt as if Jones had "earned it" with his showing last season and this offseason. He also called Eskew the team's "most improved pitcher," and he applauded Kimball's performances in intra-squad scrimmages. Matthew Becker, before his setback, was in the mix for one of the spots in the rotation, as well.

He did not mention relief pitcher Chris Veach, perhaps a good sign that he is 100% after dealing with a hip issue last year and into this offseason.

Kingston hinted at the fact that guys who "are used to starting playing time" at the college level who will begin the season coming off of the bench, something he argues speaks to the improved depth of the South Carolina baseball program, especially in the outfield. He did not indicate whether the starters-turned-bench players are new faces from the transfer portal, if they are returning players, or if there will be a mixture of both.

You can watch Kingston's media availability below.

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