South Carolina Baseball: Gamecock bats stay hot in mid-week as Alabama series is next

South Carolina baseball scored 18 runs on Tuesday against Prebyterian but hope their pitching looks better when they face the Alabama Crimson Tide this weekend.
South Carolina baseball catcher Dalton Reeves
South Carolina baseball catcher Dalton Reeves / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

South Carolina baseball coach Mark Kingston and his team swept the Vanderbilt Commodores last weekend, outscoring the self-proclaimed "Vandy Boys" 26-9 over the three-game set. The offensive outburst (and great starting pitching efforts from Eli Jones and Tyler Pitzer) fueled a massive leap in the national rankings for the Gamecocks.

The USC fanbase is hopeful that the offensive fireworks can continue as South Carolina baseball has one of the hardest schedules in the nation waiting for them the rest of the way.

Through one game, that was the case.

In a game that lasted over 4 hours and felt even longer with a brief rain delay and countless pitching changes, the Gamecocks knocked off the Presbyterian Blue Hose 19-14. No, that was not a typo; South Carolina and Presbyterian combined for 33 runs on Tuesday night in a game that was much less than pitcher-friendly.

For the Gamecocks, six balls left the yard. Ethan Petry and Dalton Reeves both smacked 2 longballs and drove in 11 total runs, while Parker Noland and Kennedy Jones also added homers. Reeves, Petry, and Blake Jackson reached base three times, while Jones got on all six times he came to the plate. The last time on base for Jones came on a scary pitch that hit the outfielder in the head. He appeared to be fine, but he left the game as a precaution.

Though it was a tough day on the mound for Matt Williams' staff, relievers Connor McCreary, Parker Marlatt, and Chris Veach had good showings. In total, the Gamecocks walked 13 batters and hit 4 more with pitches, both season-high numbers.

With a ranked opponent in Alabama waiting on the Gamecocks this weekend, the offense will need to keep up the strong work, and the pitching will need to return to its pre-Presbyterian form.


Alabama is a good team for first-year head coach Rob Vaughn, though, the team's SEC results have been mixed through two series. After beating top-5 Tennessee two games out of three in Tuscaloosa, The Crimson Tide turned around and got swept on the road against the Georgia Bulldogs

The offense has carried the load for the Tide this season as they are averaging 9 runs per game this season, and they have scored fewer than 5 runs just twice all year. 5 Bama bats are hitting for OPS numbers north of .900, including a remarkable 1.347 OPS for leadoff man Gage Miller. Miller and 2-hole hitter TJ McCants have each hit 11 home runs, and 8 primary starters for the team hold OBPs above .400.

In contrast, though, the pitching in Tuscaloosa has been less-than-stellar as Greg Farone is the only starter who has been good consistently. The whole staff strikes out a lot of batters, but walks have been a problem for a number of pitchers wearing crimson and white.

Since the calendar flipped to March, the Tide are giving up 6.5 runs per game and 7.5 runs per game in SEC play, while their offense has slowed down some to just 5 runs per game in SEC contests.

Rob Vaughn's squad is 14-1 at home this year, though, with their only coming to Tennessee, while Mark Kingston's club has only played 4 true road games, losing 3 of them.

Because of Easter, the series will begin on Thursday and run through Saturday instead of the typical Friday to Sunday format. Thursday's game 1 will begin at 8:00 PM EST and will be shown on the SEC Network. Game 2 is an SEC Network+ broadcast on Friday and will start at 7:00 PM EST. The series finale will be played on Saturday at 2:00 PM EST and will be on the SEC Network+.

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