Tough Weekend For All Gamecocks?

Ouch! What a tough weekend to chew it was for the entire Gamecock program. What happened? And is this a trend we should worry about? ...

You would have to see the official press releases that we receive to truly understand. Either someone over on campus enjoys using the word 'fall,' or someone ran out of ways to say the word 'lost.' It was not a good weekend for the Gamecock Athletics Program. One of the worst five day stretches in the program in years.

As we warned early Friday, Ray Tanner's Gamecocks faced a difficult task in Fayetteville over the weekend and were in risk of falling far behind in the SEC Baseball Crown race. The Yardcocks came away from the series with a 2-4 overall SEC record after losing another series. This is a blow to a team that some were calling one of the best at South Carolina in years if not decades. The only positive we can find from the series is the way that it ended. The Gamecocks blew-out Arkansas on day three, after allowing a comeback on day one and getting beat in the eighth inning in Game Two. Hopefully the 10-2 win on Sunday is a signal that this team is ready to turn it around and get back on a winning track.

Briefly, let's look at the very difficult road awaiting Tanner and his squad over the next two weeks. It is not going to be easy.

South Carolina travels to face the North Carolina Tarheels in Ft. Mill, S.C. (Knight's Castle), before going on the road to face a very good Vanderbilt team who has arguably the best pitcher in the league on their staff. It will be a must win series. After that they go to Clemson, and then finally return home for a key SEC series against a very good Florida team. Then, on the following Wednesday, they will welcome Clemson once again into the friendly confines of Sarge Frye Field. The next nine games for the Gamecocks are key. Anything less than a win over UNC, two wins over Clemson and 4-2 verses SEC teams will mean trouble. And consider this. Going 4-2 against Vandy and Florida will only bring the Gamecocks back to .500 ball in the SEC.

In other action involving Gamecock squads this past weekend:

USC Women's Golf Team Finishes 11th in Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic in Athens, Georgia over the weekend. A freshman by the name of Jennifer Person was medalist for the Gamecocks ... and she finished 40th overall in the tournament.

The University of South Carolina Equestrian team finished third in the Southern Equestrian Championships with a grand total of 805 points on Saturday, March 27 at Auburn University. The Gamecocks competed against the Auburn Tigers and the Georgia Bulldogs. That's THIRD out of THREE folks.

The vaunted South Carolina softball team (17-8, 6-6 SEC) fell short again on Sunday as they lost the third and final game of the series against the Auburn Tigers (26-4, 8-1 SEC) 6-5. It was the first time the Lady Gamecocks had been swept at home in years - and as a matter of fact prior to this series they had been unbeaten at home this season.

In Women's Tennis, The University of South Carolina women's tennis fell 5-2 to No. 4 Georgia on Sunday afternoon at the Maxcy Gregg Tennis Facility in Columbia. The loss dropped USC to 10-7 overall and to 3-5 in the SEC while the Bulldogs improved to 15-2 and to 7-1 in the SEC.

On a lighter note, the No. 12 Georgia men's tennis team beat the South Carolina Gamecocks 4-0 on the Henry Feild Stadium Courts at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex Sunday afternoon. The Gamecocks split the weekend's matches and look forward to facing archrival Clemson Wednesday at 2 p.m. Isn't it terrible when the lighter note is a split?

On the one positive note from the weekend, South Carolina's women won the 4x400m relay and the Gamecocks totaled seven NCAA automatic qualifying marks at the final day of competition at the Florida Relays. USC women finished as runner-up in both the shuttle hurdles relay and the 4x100m relay. No other men's or women's competitors won their event during the three day meet.

We will hereby refer to the past three days as "The Blue Weekend" for the Gamecocks. It was, to our knowledge, the worst weekend of overall competition in the SEC that the Gamecocks have experienced in at least the last five years that we were able to track.

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