Head coach Mark Kingston and Gamecocks players Jack Mahoney and Cole Messina held a press conference ahead of their series against top-ranked LSU.
LSU (25-4, 6-3) will roll into Founders Park with a devastating lineup that sits at the top or near the top of several offensive categories. The Tigers rank first nationally in batting average (.336), first in on base percentage (.457), fourth in slugging percentage (.588) and second in runs/game (10.6). USC’s offense is also elite, averaging 9.8 runs/game and slugging .582 (5th). And the Gamecocks take a backseat to no one in the power department, having gone deep 72 times, first among all Division I teams.
Kingston wasn’t ready to release his rotation for the series, but he did indicate that he’s pleased with the results of Will Sanders’ “mental reset.” Kingston said, “Sometimes guys just need a chance to step back, whether it’s a hitter, whether it’s a pitcher, that can help a player. You clear your mind, you make a couple tweaks, if necessary. You’re fresher the next time you take the field. For all those reasons, I expect him to do well.”
Sanders opened the season as the club’s Friday night ace, but Kingston pulled him from the rotation last week as the righthander had not performed as expected.
Kingston didn’t have an update Noah Hall, saying “we’re still working through that process.” Hall exited his last start early after reportedly dealing with a back issue.
The Gamecocks (27-3, 8-1) and the Tigers will start their three-game series from Founders Park at 7 p.m., Thursday.