TD Ameritrade Park in downtown Omaha was a hotbed of activity Thursday on the eve of the College World Series. All eight teams got an hour of practice inside the stadium.
There were also the meetings with the media. Gamecock head coach Ray Tanner was grouped with the other head coaches in his bracket for a question and answer session. Tanner was joined by Scott Stricklin of Kent State, Dave Van Horn of Arkansas and Kevin O’Sullivan of Florida.
The pitching matchup for the USC-Florida game was officially set. Michael Roth will start for the Gamecocks against fellow lefthander Brian Johnson. Roth is 7-1 with a 2.50 ERA. He had a no decision against Florida on March 22nd allowing two runs and four hits in the Gamecocks’ lone victory over the Gators this season. Roth is 2-0 in his career against the Gators.
Johnson is 8-4 with a 3.56 ERA this season. He’s 2-0 against the Gamecocks this season and 2-2 in his career.
Tanner said catcher Grayson Greiner did some work behind the plate Wednesday blocking pitches to test out his surgically repaired knee. Tanner said Greiner is making progress and is hopeful he can play Saturday. But he said if there were a game Thursday night, Greiner could not go.
AUDIO: Coaches press conference [34:26]
After the primary news conference, Tanner and O’Sullivan talked more with reporters about their Saturday night matchup.
AUDIO: Ray Tanner [12:05]
AUDIO: Kevin O’Sullivan [3:18]
The games begin Friday afternoon at 5:00 PM with UCLA playing Stony Brook. Arizona and Florida State will follow in the nightcap.
Saturday Kent State plays Arkansas at 5:00 PM followed by USC and Florida.