Baseball Hosts UNC Greensboro to Open 2022 Season
Opening Day is Friday at 4 p.m., at Founders Park.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The University of South Carolina baseball team will open the 2022 season this weekend, hosting UNC Greensboro for a three-game set at Founders Park. The season begins on Friday, Feb. 18 at 4 p.m. Saturday’s game is at 12:30 p.m. with Sunday’s contest at 1:30 p.m. All three games will be streamed on SEC Network Plus with Cade Crenshaw and Kip Bouknight on the call. All games also will be broadcast on The Game 107.5 FM with Derek Scott, Tommy Moody and Stuart Lake on the call. Carolina is coming off a 2021 season which saw the Gamecocks host the NCAA Columbia Regional. Carolina had a 34-23 overall record and a 16-14 mark in the Southeastern Conference. Carolina also had eight players selected in the 20-round MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Shuttle parking for the University of South Carolina baseball season will be operational at the Key Road Gravel Lot (1105 Key Road). Shuttle begins two (2) hours prior to first pitch and continues until 1 hour after the game.
For GPS purposes, the address for the Key Road Gravel Lot is 1105 Key Road, Columbia, SC 29201.
BUSINESS LOTS DURING AFTERNOON GAMES Business lot parking passes will be honored in Lot 1 ONLY for the Feb. 18, 22, 25 afternoon baseball games based on availability. The businesses at 405 (Lot 9) and 401 (Lot 10) Huger Street request that you begin parking at 5:30 p.m. on weekdays. Other business lots open at 5 p.m. on weekdays. Parking is allowed in Lot 8 (the Cregger lot) on the Williams St. side for the afternoon early games.
GAME DAY PARKING INFORMATION (including public game day lots (PGDL: $10/$5 per game). All gameday lots are cashless. Please have a debit card or credit card ready for payment upon entry into parking lots.
Weekday 4 p.m. Games (Feb. 18, 22, 25)
Game time: 4 p.m.
Stadium opens: 3:00 p.m.
Business Lots Open: 5/5:30 p.m.
Lot 1, STDM, HDG PDGL Open: 2 p.m.
Bus Shuttle for Patrons: 2 p.m.
Game Time: 7 p.m.
Stadium Opens: 6:00 p.m.
Business Lots Open: 5/5:30 p.m.
Lot 1, STDM, HDG PGDL Open: 5 p.m.
Bus Shuttle for Patrons: 5 p.m.
Game Time: 12:30 p.m.
Stadium Opens: 11:30 a.m.
Business Lots Open: 10:30 a.m.
Lot 1, STDM, HDG PGDL Open: 10:30 a.m.
Bus Shuttle for Patrons: 10:30 a.m.
Game Time: 1:30 p.m.
Stadium Opens: 12:30 p.m.
Business Lots Open: 11:30 a.m.
Lot 1, STDM, HDG PGDL Open: 11:30 a.m.
Bus Shuttle for Patrons: 11:30 a.m.
SCOUTING UNC GREENSBORO
The Spartans were 27-25 overall and 12-17 in the Southern Conference in 2021. Greg Hardison returns after hitting .312 last season for UNCG with 15 doubles and 36 RBI. Hogan Windish is a Preseason All-Southern Conference selection as he hit .280 with 10 home runs and 51 RBI. On the mound, Austin Parsley was 8-2 with a 3.30 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 60 innings pitched.
SERIES VS. UNC GREENSBORO
Carolina and UNC Greensboro will open the season for the second time in six years this weekend. The Gamecocks took 2-of-3 games against the Spartans on Feb. 17-19, 2017. Clarke Schmidt earned the win in the season opener that year, while TJ Hopkins had three hits and two RBI as the Gamecocks won, 7-1.
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION (WITH 2021 STATS)
South Carolina Will Sanders (So. RHP) 6-3, 3.54 ERA, 53.1 IP, 11 BB, 54 SO
UNCG Austin Koehn (Jr. RHP) 4-3, 5.11 ERA, 68.2 IP, 20 BB, 52 SO
South Carolina James Hicks (Jr. RHP) First Season at Carolina
UNCG Jared Mathewson (Sr. LHP) 3-3, 5.09 ERA, 23.0 IP, 14 BB, 21 SO
South Carolina Josiah Sightler (Sr. LHP) 1-0, 4.70 ERA, 7.2 IP, 2 BB, 8 SO
UNCG Austin Parsley (Sr. RHP) 8-2, 3.30 ERA, 60.0 IP, 8 BB, 62 SO
South Carolina is 88-41 all-time in season openers. This includes a 12-1 win over Dayton in 2021 as Thomas Farr struck out eight in six innings of work and the duo of Andrew Eyster and Wes Clarke drove in four runs apiece, with Eyster’s coming on a grand slam. Carolina is 20-3 in its last 23 lidlifters and has won 23 straight opening series including a series sweep of Dayton last year.
Head Coach Mark Kingston will go with sophomore Will Sanders, junior James Hicks and senior Josiah Sightler for the opening series this weekend vs. UNC Greensboro.
Sanders get the ball on Opening Day after going 6-3 with a 3.54 ERA in 22 contests with 10 starts his freshman season with the Gamecocks. Sanders struck out 54 batters in 53.1 innings pitched in 2021 and was named SEC Freshman of the Week last April 5 after pitching eight-plus innings in a win over Georgia. He was named to the Preseason All-SEC second team and named a Preseason All-SEC selection by Perfect Game.
Hicks comes to Columbia after two seasons at Crowder College in Neosho, Mo., and was 11-3 with 89 strikeouts and eight complete games for the Roughriders last season. He helped Crowder College to 55 wins last season and holds the school’s record for complete games and strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Sightler made five appearances on the mound last year, going 1-0 with a 4.70 ERA in 7.2 innings pitched. He had four strikeouts in three innings pitched in a win at Winthrop on March 2. Sightler is a two-way player who had 11 doubles, seven home runs and 31 RBI at the plate in 2021.
NO BREAKS IN THE GAMECOCKS SLATE
South Carolina will have 18 games against teams currently in the D1Baseball.com Top-25 poll during the 2022 season. Carolina has three-game series against No. 1 Texas, No. 3 Vanderbilt, No. 5 Ole Miss, No. 9 Florida, No. 16 Georgia, and No. 19 Tennessee this spring. This does not include the three-game set with in-state rival Clemson and a single-game against North Carolina in Charlotte.
The Gamecocks continue their homestand to start the 2022 season on Tuesday, Feb. 22 as Carolina hosts Winthrop. First pitch is at 4 p.m. and the game will be streamed on SEC Network Plus.