Baseball Preview: South Carolina

Fresh off a sweep at Missouri and win over Belmont, the No. 3 Vanderbilt Commodores host No. 2 South Carolina for a 3-game Thursday through Saturday SEC baseball series. Here is your VandyMania.com preview of the Gamecocks.

South Carolina, coached by fourth-year head coach Chad Holbrook, has been an a tear so far this season.  The Gamecocks have non-conference series wins over Charleston Southern and Penn State.  USC is perfect so far in conference play with sweeps over Ole Miss and Arkansas.

South Carolina has a strong batting lineup.  Designated hitter John Jones leads the Gamecocks in batting average hitting .384.  Jones, who was named SEC Player of the Week after the Arkansas series, also has 6 home runs. Outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams has four homers as does left fielder Alex Desino.  Right fielder Gene Cone and shortstop Marcus Mooney are also solid hitters for the Gamecocks.

Carolina, like Vandy, also has a stellar pitching staff.  Righty Clarke Schmidt, who was named SEC Pitcher of the Week a few weeks ago, is a perfect 3-0 so far this season with a 1.29 ERA. He's given up just six walks this season but has struck out 51.  Two freshmen, Braden Webb and Adam Hill, both righties, will pitch on Friday and Saturday.  Both have a fine walk to strikeout ratio.  

Comparing Vandy and South Carolina statistically, South Carolina leads in batting average, doubles, home runs, ERA and opponent runs allowed.  Vandy has the edge in triples, strikeouts, and opponent homers allowed. 

Looking at the series schedule, Thursday's game will start at 7 pm and Friday gets going at 6:30.  Saturday's contest will begin at 2 pm. Thursday's game will be shown on ESPN3.  Both Friday and Saturday's contest will be shown on the SEC Network plus. Listen online at VUCommodores.com or on your radio at 560 WNSR AM.


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