USC Baseball Begins 3-Game Series At Bama

Tuscaloosa, Ala. - With a one and one-half game lead in the SEC East, the South Carolina baseball team returns to the field Friday night in the first of a three-game series at Alabama. South Carolina owns a 32-17 overall record and a 13-11 mark in the SEC heading into this weekend's contest while the Crimson Tide enter at 32-16 and an identical 13-11 mark in the SEC. South Carolina is fresh off a three-game sweep of Kentucky last weekend. First pitch for Friday night is set for 6:30 p.m. CT ...

Left-handed pitching will be featured in the first two games of the series with southpaws taking the hill for both teams. Friday night's game features Carolina senior LHP Steven Bondurant (4-3, 4.01 ERA) vs. Alabama sophomore LHP Brent Carter (8-4, 3.40 ERA). In Saturday afternoon's game, the Gamecocks will send junior LHP David Marchbanks (11-2, 2.13 ERA) to the hill with Alabama countering with sophomore LHP Taylor Tankersley (6-3, 4.73 ERA). The Crimson Tide will start junior RHP Seth Johnson (6-3, 3.28 ERA) on Sunday. South Carolina's starter for the final game of the series is to be announced.

Several Carolina players enter the weekend among the SEC leaders in batting and pitching. Junior LHP David Marchbanks leads the SEC and is tied for the nation lead in wins with 11 and has won in seven consecutive appearances made for USC. Marchbanks has pitched an SEC high 97 innings compiling a conference best 2.13 ERA and has 72 strikeouts and 14 walks. Senior 3B Brian Buscher is the SEC leader in hitting with a .400 batting average and has 10 HR and 51 RBI on the year. Carolina has also received offensive output from junior catcher Landon Powell who is batting .335 with 4 HR and 40 RBI as well as a team-high 19 doubles. Powell leads the SEC in walks with 37 on the year. Junior 1B Bryan Triplett also owns a sizzing bat for Carolina and was named SEC Player of the Week following his 11-for-18 performance last week. Triplett is batting .311 on the season with six HR and 39 RBI.

Alabama leads the overall series with Carolina 15-13. Since the SEC rivalry began in 1994 each team has won 11 times. South Carolina won a three-game series in Columbia last year two games to one with Alabama evening the season series with a win in the championship game at the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala.

Carolina has won 10 of the last 13 games played and 12 of the last 18 SEC games. Saturday's game will be broadcast on SEC-TV and FOX Sports Net South with first pitch at 3 p.m. CT. Dave Neal and Larry Conley will call the action. Sunday's series finale will begin at 2 p.m. CT. Live audio broadcast and live stats will be available at USCSPORTS.COM.

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