The USC baseball team arrived in Hoover Monday afternoon and beat the early evening round with their practice round. Rain is in the forecast for Tuesday morning as well when the Gamecocks are scheduled to visit Georgia at 10:30 AM Eastern in the first game of the elimination round.
USC swept Georgia in the regular season in Athens, but Tuesday they will face the same pitcher they saw in early March in game one of the series, lefthander Jaden Woods. In seven innings that day, Woods gave up three runs on seven hits while striking out 11. This will be his first start since April 15 against Florida due to elbow tendinitis. He is 3-2 with a 5.59 ERA but with 61 strikeouts in 46.2 innings.
USC will counter with righthander James Hicks. He is 6-1 with a 4.09 ERA working mostly out of the bullpen. This will mark his fourth start of the season. He faced Georgia twice earlier this year in relief and did not allow a hit and struck out one in 1.1 innings. He earned the save in the first game victory.
Both teams are among the nation’s leaders in home runs. The Gamecocks have 109 which ranks seventh best in the country. They hit 94 of those homers over the first three months of the season, and 15 so far in May. Georgia has 101 home runs with Charlie Condon setting an SEC freshman record with 25 round trippers.
The Gamecocks will go into the game with a 38-17 record and an RPI of 6. Georgia is 29-26 with an RPI of 37.
Prior to Monday’s practice at the Hoover Met, Gamecock coach Mark Kingston previewed the matchup with SportsTalk.