March 13, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina (16-0) begins SEC play on Friday, March 14 beginning a three-game series with Ole Miss (16-2). First pitch for the opener is 7 p.m. at Carolina Stadium. The game can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station 107.5 FM, "The Game." It will also be streamed live on ESPN3 and the All Access Channel on GamecocksOnline. Saturday's game is 4 p.m. and will also be streamed on ESPN3 and GamecocksOnline. Sunday's series finale will be only streamed on GamecocksOnline and will have a first pitch of 1:30 p.m.
South Carolina is ranked No. 1 by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, the NCBWA and the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll as well as No. 3 by Perfect Game. Ole Miss is ranked No. 12 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll, No. 14 by the NCBWA, No. 16 by Collegiate Baseball, No. 21 by Baseball America and No. 24 by Perfect Game.
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PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
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A LOOK BACK
Freshman right-hander Taylor Widener earned his first career win in a predetermined split. He allowed just a hit and two walks in 3.1 innings. Trey McNickle, Josh Reagan, Reed Scott, Hunter Privette and Cody Mincey all had scoreless outings as well. The Gamecock bullpen has not allowed a run in 47.2 innings dating back to the first game of the season.
THE WEEK BEFORE
South Carolina did not allow a run in the entire Brown series with three shutouts. South Carolina outscored Brown 24-0 with victories of 13-0, 8-0 and 1-0.
SCOUTING OLE MISS
The Rebels have won all four weekend series this year with a weekend sweep at Stetson, a pair of wins vs. Georgia State and sweeps of UCF and Arkansas-Little Rock at home.
Ole Miss is one of the more experienced teams in the league this year with seven of nine projected position starters juniors or seniors. Ole Miss ranks second in the SEC in hitting with a .323 average at the plate. Junior outfielder Auston Bousfield leads the team with a .413 average and 16 runs scored. Senior catcher Will Allen owns a .338 average at the plate as well as 23 RBI, the second highest RBI total in the SEC. Senior second baseman Preston Overbey is hitting ..343 and senior third baseman Austin Anderson owns a .338 average.
Junior right-hander Chris Ellis leads the rotation with a 2-0 record and a 0.00 ERA in 27.2 innings. He has allowed just one unearned run in four starts. Sophomore left-hander Christian Trent is 2-0 with a .396 ERA with 25 strikeouts and junior right-hander Sam Smith sports a 3-0 record with a 1.61 ERA.
The Rebels did lose two starters from their weekend rotation last year as both Bobby Wahl and Mike Mayers were selected in the top five rounds of the 2013 MLB Draft. Wahl went 10-0 on the mound with a 2.03 ERA and Mayers finished 5-6 with a 2.83 ERA. Ole Miss also lost first-team All-America catcher Stuart Turner, who hit .374 with five homers and 51 RBI on his way to the Johnny Bench Award award.
LAST TIME VS. OLE MISS
South Carolina opened the series with a 6-1 win on Friday night. Michael Roth allowed just one run in eight innings of work to earn his 10th win of the season and was backed by an offense that tallied 14 hits as the top ranked Gamecocks defeated Ole Miss 6-1.Roth battled the entire night and limited Ole Miss to just six hits while striking out six batters and walking one. Senior reliever John Taylor pitched a perfect ninth inning to seal the win. Ole Miss starter Matt Crouse suffered the loss. He allowed five runs on nine hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Carolina's 14-hit evening featured a 3-for-4 day at the plate for Robert Beary with one run scored and one RBI. Scott Wingo went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI as well. Christian Walker, Adrian Morales and Evan Marzilli had two hits apiece also.
Ole Miss countered in game two of the series with a 10-2 victory behind a homer and four RBI from Alex Yarbrough. Ole Miss starting pitcher David Goforth worked six innings and allowed two runs on five hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
In Sunday's rubber game, Preston Overbey's RBI sacrifice fly to center field scored Matt Tracy with the winning run as Ole Miss defeated South Carolina 7-6 in a back and forth affair.
The game saw both teams trade leads before Ole Miss won it in the ninth inning. After a leadoff walk by Matt Tracy, the Rebels put runners on the corners on a one-out single by Miles Hamblin. That set the stage for Overbey, who drove the first pitch he saw from Gamecock reliever Matt Price into center field for a game-winning sacrifice fly clinching the game for Ole Miss.
AT THE HIT & IN THE FIELD
MONTGOMERY GETS IT STARTED
MOONEY LEADS IT OFF
Mooney has raised his season batting average to .316 (18-for-57). He has a .418 on-base percentage. Nine of Mooney's 10 RBI this year have come with two outs.
A BRIGHT SPOT
JACK OF ALL TRADES
Wynkoop pitched 7.1 scoreless innings and struck out a career-high 10 batters in a 2-0 win over Eastern Kentucky on February 22. He allowed just three hits and one walk.
SEDDON SEALS IT
Seddon has not allowed a run or a hit in 9.2 innings and owns five saves in eight appearances. He has 13 strikeouts on the year.
Greiner is hitting .370 (20-for-54) with 19 runs scored and 19 RBI. His .611 slugging percentage is the best mark on the team.
Greiner won the Tom Price award as the MVP for South Carolina in the weekend series vs. Clemson. Greiner hit .400 (4-for-10) for the weekend with four runs scored. His grand slam homer helped lift South Carolina to a 9-6 win. He had a team-high four walks on the weekend as well.
CROWE MAKES AN IMPACT
Crowe was honored twice by the Southeastern Conference in the first two weeks of the regular season. On February 24, he earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors after working 6.1 scoreless innings in a 6-0 win over Eastern Kentucky with just four hits allowed and one walk to pick up his second win of the season.
The previous week, Crowe was SEC Pitcher of the Week. He had an impressive debut as he hurled 6.1 hitless innings in his first career start. Crowe walked just one and hit one batter while finishing with five strikeouts to earn his first career win in a Gamecock uniform. Bucknell had just one runner reach second base and none reach third base while Crowe was on the mound. Crowe retired 13 consecutive batters in a row before coming out of the game as he reached his pitch count total.
A LITTLE BIT OF ENGLISH
He played well in the Clemson series as he went 2-for-3 with the game-winning double in Sunday's 5-3 win against Clemson. English also had a solo homer in the Friday night 9-6 win over the Tigers.
MINCEY MAKES AN APPEARANCE
Mincey has not allowed a run in a team-high nine relief appearances with just four hits allowed. He has 18 strikeouts in 11 innings pitched.
IN A PINCH WITH BRISON
FRESHMEN MAKE A STATEMENT
Several Gamecock position players earned their first career starts vs. Stetson and Brown. Freshman infielder Jordan Gore started at second in Sunday's 1-0 win with freshman Weber Pike at the designated hitter spot. Freshman catcher Logan Koch started the 4-2 win over Stetson on Wednesday.
HOME SWEET HOME
South Carolina is 169-32 in all-time games at Carolina Stadium, a winning percentage of .841. That is the best winning percentage of all 14 SEC schools since opening the facility.
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