Baseball Hosts Texas A&M Starting Thursday

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By Sports Department

COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) -- South Carolina (19-6, 2-4 SEC) continues SEC action beginning a three-game series on Thursday night with Texas A&M (18-8, 5-1 SEC) at Carolina Stadium. First pitch for the opener is 7:30 p.m. with the game televised live on ESPNU as the SEC Game of the Week. Dave Neal and Kyle Peterson will have the call. Friday’s contest is scheduled for 7 p.m. with Saturday’s series finale at 1:30 p.m.


All three games can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game,” with Andy Demetra and Tommy Moody behind the microphone. Friday and Saturday’s games will be streamed live at GamecocksOnline.com on the All Access Channel.




PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
Thursday
South Carolina - Evan Beal (So. RHP) 2-1, 4.12 ERA, 19.2 IP, 7 BB, 27 SO
Texas A&M - Grayson Long (Fr. RHP) 3-0, 2.35 ERA, 23.0 IP, 12 BB, 24 SO


Friday
South Carolina - Nolan Belcher (Sr. LHP) 4-2, 1.45 ERA, 43.1 IP, 1 BB, 42 SO
Texas A&M - Kyle Martin (Sr. RHP) 2-3, 4.33 ERA, 35.1 IP, 7 BB, 32 SO


Saturday
South Carolina - Jack Wynkoop (Fr. LHP) 4-0, 2.25 ERA, 24.0 IP, 5 BB, 17 SO
Texas A&M - Daniel Mengden (So. RHP) 4-1, 1.79 ERA, 40.1 IP, 6 BB, 34 SO

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SERIES HISTORY
Overall: South Carolina leads 1-0
Date Winner Score Site
6/19/11 SC 5-4 Omaha


THE OPPONENT
Texas A&M enters in a tie for first place in the SEC with Vanderbilt and LSU after two weeks of action. The Aggies swept a three-game series at home vs. Georgia and won two of three games last week at Ole Miss. Head coach Rob Childress is in his eighth season as head coach for the Aggies.


Carolina has met Texas A&M once on the baseball diamond. The Gamecocks defeated Texas A&M 5-4 at the College World Series in 2011 at TD Ameritrade Park.



GAMECOCKS IN THE RANKINGS
South Carolina is ranked for the seventh consecutive week. The Gamecocks are No. 14 by Collegiate Baseball and in the USA Today coaches’ poll with a No. 17 ranking by Baseball America. Texas A&M enters this weekend’s series ranked No. 13 by Collegiate Baseball.


A LOOK BACK
Colby Holmes worked 7.1 innings and allowed just one run on four hits with a season-high eight strikeouts and 14th ranked South Carolina scored twice in the first inning on the way to a 3-1 win over College of Charleston on Tuesday evening at Patriots Point.


Holmes was in control from the opening pitch as he scattered just four hits throughout his outing. His eight strikeouts are the most since he tallied a career-high nine last year in the NCAA Regional vs. Manhattan. Holmes earned the win and is now 2-2 on the year. Both relievers Vince Fiori and Patrick Sullivan struck out both the batters they faced and senior left-hander Adam Westmoreland hurled a perfect ninth inning to pick up his second save of the season.


Carolina wasted no time getting on the scoreboard with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. With one out and Chase Vergason on first base, the Gamecocks executed the hit and run as Joey Pankake knocked a base hit through the right side putting runners on the corners. The Gamecocks then kept attacking as LB Dantzler jumped on the first pitch from Helvey for a double to right field scoring Vergason, South Carolina would go ahead 2-0 on a Grayson Greiner RBI groundout to the third baseman.


College of Charleston cut Carolina’s lead to one run in the bottom of the third inning. Morgan Phillips drew a leadoff walk. With two outs and Phillips on second base, Tyler Jackson laced a first pitch from Holmes to the gap in right-center for a double and the Cougars’ first run of the game.


The Gamecocks manufactured a run in the top of the sixth inning to go ahead 3-1. College of Charleston reliever Drew Freie entered and struggled with his control early as he hit both Max Schrock and Connor Bright to open the frame. The two hit by pitches were the first two of the season for Freie. After a sac bunt by Erik Payne moved up both runners, Dante Rosenberg drove in Schrock with a sac fly to right field.

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