Stuart McNair

Alabama baseball on road at No. 7 South Carolina

Alabama was swept, while South Carolina swept UT in last week’s SEC series

So far, so good. But Alabama’s baseball team going on the road for the first time this year to UAB (and getting a 4-1 victory) is one thing. This weekend the Crimson Tide of Coach Greg Goff is in Columbia to meet seventh-ranked South Carolina in the second Southeastern Conference series of the year.

It’s not necessarily about location, though. Alabama was home last weekend for the start of SEC competition and dropped three games to Missouri.

The Crimson Tide and Gamecocks are scheduled for a 6 p.m. CDT (7 Eastern time) start on Friday followed by a 3 p.m. CT first pitch Saturday, and 12:30 Sunday at Founders Park.

South Carolina is 15-5 overall and 3-0 in SEC play after sweeping Tennessee in Knoxville to start conference competition. The Gamecocks are on an eight-game winning streak and have an 11-4 home record. Alabama is 11-10 overall, 0-3 in the league.The Crimson Tide will once again use its trio of weekend starters in sophomore left-hander Dylan Duarte, and righties Nick Eicholtz and Jake Walters. The rotation will remain the same as last weekend, with Walters, a junior, taking the hill on Friday. Duarte Saturday, and senior Nick Eicholtz Sunday.

The Gamecocks are scheduled to use a trio of right-handers – Adam Hill Friday, Wil Crowe Saturday, Clarke Schmidt Sunday.

Alabama and South Carolina will meet for the 60th time in series history on Friday evening. The Gamecocks hold a 34-25 all-time advantage, including a 19-8 mark in Columbia. The last 10 contests favor SC, 9-1, with the Gamecocks riding a four-game winning streak. The teams met in the final regular-season SEC series of the 2016 season, with SC sweeping Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The most recent meetings in Columbia came from April 25-27, 2014, with South Carolina winning games one and three.

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