Ole Miss was once the #1 team in the country early in the season. But the Rebels have lost their last four SEC series as they prepare to host USC this weekend. They are 8-8 over their last 16 games. And after a 6-0 SEC start, the Rebels have gone 4-8. They are 28-12 overall and 10p-8 in the SEC.
The Gamecocks, who are 25-12 overall and 11-7 in the SEC, are ranked higher than Ole Miss by D1Baseball, 13th vs 19th, and are coming off a series loss to Arkansas that snapped a streak of four straight series wins. The Gamecocks have won their last two SEC road series. They haven’t won three straight road series since 2012, and haven’t won three road series in a season since 2013.
Gamecock coach Mark Kingston said Thursday starting catcher Colin Burgess is still dealing with some injuries from that Arkansas series. He’s hopeful he can play, if not, Wes Clarke will catch. Josiah Sightler continues to deal with a groin injury that might relegate him to DH status, especially if Clarke is catching. That would mean Noah Myers would start in left field.
The Gamecocks will face some stiff pitching the first two days. Kingston said Friday starter righthander Gunnar Hogland (3-2 2.73) is a first rounder. Teams are hitting .183 against him. Saturday starter lefthander Doug Nikhazy (4-2 1.81) is holding hitters to a .161 average. Kingston said he will stick with his normal weekend rotation on the mound.
This will be the first meeting between the teams since 2018 when the Gamecocks took two of three in Columbia.