May 19, 2005
Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina baseball team (34-19, 13-14 SEC) concludes conference play this weekend hosting Kentucky (29-24, 7-19 SEC) in a three-game series beginning on Friday night at Sarge Frye Field. First pitch for Friday’s game is set for 7 p.m. with Saturday’s game at 4 p.m. ET and Sunday’s finale scheduled for 1:30 p.m. All three games are available on the South Carolina Radio Network and uscsports.com with Mike Morgan and Tommy Moody calling the action. Live gametracker stats are also available.
The series dates back to 1959 and the two rivals met five times before the Gamecocks joined the SEC in 1992. South Carolina won four of those five. The rivalry has been continuous since 1992 and in SEC games – including four games in the conference tournament – South Carolina holds a 23-20 advantage for a 27-21 lead in the overall series. However, Kentucky won two of three games last year at Lexington. Prior to that South Carolina had defeated Kentucky nine consecutive times.
The logjam continues into the final week of Southeastern Conference play. South Carolina (13-14) enters the final three games in a three way tie for sixth place in the conference with Vanderbilt and Arkansas, but the Gamecocks lost the tie breaker to both because Vanderbilt and Arkansas won the season series two games to one. Florida (17-10) has a half-game lead on Tennessee (16-10) for the Eastern Division crown with the Gamecocks and Vanderbilt tied for third. Georgia is still a mathematical possibility to make the SEC tournament with a conference record of 11-15, but the Bulldogs would have to sweep Tennessee. In the West, LSU (16-11) has a one game lead over Alabama and Mississippi (both 15-12) and trails Florida by one game for the overall championship. Mississippi State (12-14) and Auburn (12-15) are still in the tournament picture. Kentucky (7-19) is the only team mathematically eliminated, but the Wildcats could be a spoiler for the Gamecocks. The top two teams in each division plus the four with the next best records qualify for the tournament, which begins Wednesday (May 25) at Hoover, Ala.
Depending upon final weekend results South Carolina could finish anywhere from a tie for fourth to tenth place in the SEC regular season race, so the Gamecocks have some work to do before qualifying for the conference tournament. If the Gamecocks sweep Kentucky they will be in. If they win two of three they will be in unless Mississippi State sweeps LSU and Arkansas and Vanderbilt win two of three from Auburn and Florida, respectively.
South Carolina: Aaron Rawl RHP, Sr. (8-5, 2.89 ERA)
Kentucky: Kalen Gibson, RHP, Jr. (4-3, 5.84 ERA)
South Carolina: Zac McCamie, RHP, Sr. (8-3, 2.94 ERA)
Kentucky: Aaron Tennyson, LHP, Jr. (6-1, 4.26 ERA)
South Carolina: Arik Hempy, LHP, So. (1-0, 2.20 ERA)
Kentucky: Andrew Albers, LHP, Fr. (4-5, 5.04 ERA)
The Gamecocks will honor the senior class before Saturday’s game with the Wildcats. South Carolina has six seniors that will play their final regular season games of their career at Sarge Frye Field this weekend; Cliff Donald, Jason Fletcher, Zac McCamie, Steve Pearce, Aaron Rawl, Brendan Winn