The 14th ranked USC baseball (17-4, 3-0) team will put its 11 game winning streak on the line tonight as they begin a three game SEC series at Auburn. The Gamecocks have not lost since their March 7th home game against Clemson. Carolina skipper Ray Tanner knows it will be a challenge on the road this weekend.
USC coach Ray Tanner previews Auburn
Playing on the road is always tough, especially in the conference. Auburn is no pushover either, the Tigers are 16-5 and 3-0 in the SEC. The Gamecocks do have history on their side in this series. USC holds a 32-17 all0time record against Auburn and they have defeated the Tigers in ten consecutive series dating back to the 1998 season.
USC’s 11 game winning streak has been impressive for a lot of reason. First, it is their longest winning streak since 2005 and its their best start in SEC play since 2001. Second, it proves the team has some meddle for not letting the wheels rattle off after dropping two consecutive series’ against East Carolina and Clemson. Third, and perhaps most notably, they have managed to win these games despite the fact Tanner has had to juggle his lineup repeatedly because of injuries, academics and slumps.
First baseman Nick Ebert missed the start of the season because of an academic issue and he has struggled at the plate since his return. He’s confident that he will break out of his slump soon.
Nick Ebert talks about his slump, facing Auburn
The Gamecock offense isn’t putting up the staggering offensive numbers we have grown used to under Tanner. The team has only hit 20 home runs this season. In years past Tanner’s teams have hit well over 100 home run, but he said Thursday he doubt if this team even makes it to 100. That has to be hard for Tanner to say, home runs to him are what throwing for 400 yards is to Steve Spurrier.
Tanner, like chicks, digs the long ball. But he digs winning even more and this team has been doing a lot of that lately.
Senior right hander Blake Cooper (3-0, 2.90) will start on the mound for USC tonight. Junior righty Sam Dyson (1-0, 5.40) will start Saturday. Freshman lefty Tyler Webb (1-1 2.53) will start on Sunday. Tonight’s game will start at 7:30 at Plainsman Park. You can follow the action here.