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Baseball Visits Auburn for Three-Game SEC Set
Baseball  . 

Baseball Visits Auburn for Three-Game SEC Set

by Kent Reichert

The Gamecocks head to Plainsman Park for the first time since 2017.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The University of South Carolina baseball team visits Auburn for the first time since 2017 this weekend (April 22-24) at Plainsman Park. The series starts Friday night at 7 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. Central) and continues Saturday at 3 p.m. Eastern (2 p.m. Central). The series concludes Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. Eastern (1 p.m. Central). All three games will be on SEC Network Plus. All games also will be broadcast on the Gamecock Sports Network with Derek Scott and Tommy Moody on the call. The Gamecocks are coming off a 5-2 win over Winthrop. Talmadge LeCroy had a pair of RBI, including the game-winning hit in the top of the eighth inning.

The Tigers took a pair of midweek wins, defeating Alabama State (6-5 in 10 innings) and Kennesaw State (14-1). Nate LaRue had the game-winning single in the bottom of the 10th in the win over Alabama State. Sonny DiChiara leads the Tigers with a .434 batting average to go along with 15 doubles, 11 home runs and a conference best .858 slugging percentage. On the mound, Joseph Gonzalez is 5-0 with a 2.01 ERA in 40.1 innings pitched.

Carolina holds a 46-26 series advantage over Auburn heading into Friday’s game. The two teams last met in 2019, with Auburn winning 2-of-3 games on March 29-31. Carolina won the middle game, 4-0, behind seven shutout innings from Reid Morgan and a two-run home run from Ian Jenkins. The last time the series was played in Auburn was in 2017. The Tigers won 2-of-3 with Carolina winning the Saturday game, 7-0, as Clarke Schmidt struck out 10 in seven innings in the win and Carlos Cortes drove in five runs.

South Carolina Brett Thomas (Jr. RHP) 0-0, 6.75 ERA, 6.2 IP, 5 BB, 9 SO
Auburn  Hayden Mullins (Jr. LHP) 2-1, 3.58 ERA, 27.2 IP, 22 BB, 36 SO
South Carolina Noah Hall (Jr. RHP) 2-4, 4.91 ERA, 47.2 IP, 18 BB, 48 SO
Auburn Trace Bright (Jr. RHP) 2-4, 4.17 ERA, 45.1 IP, 21 BB, 51 SO
South Carolina Will Sanders (So. RHP) 5-1, 3.51 ERA, 56.1 IP, 17 BB, 60 SO
Auburn  Joseph Gonzalez (So. RHP) 5-0, 2.01 ERA, 40.1 IP, 7 BB, 30 SO
Jalen Vasquez’s sacrifice fly to center scored Talmadge LeCroy and gave Carolina a 9-8 walk-off win over Ole Miss on April 16, clinching a series win over the Rebels. It is Vasquez’s second career RBI, first in SEC play. The win was Carolina’s second walk-off win of the season as the Gamecocks walked off UNC Greensboro, 8-7 in 10 innings, on Feb. 20.

Noah Hall pitched a career-best 7.2 innings in a 4-2 win over Ole Miss on April 15, He struck out five while not walking a batter, allowing six hits and a pair of runs. Hall has 48 strikeouts in 47.2 innings pitched on the season and in his last three starts, has struck out 19 batters compared to just two walks in 21.2 innings pitched.

Carolina takes the midweek off for final exams and returns to the field Thursday night (April 28) against Alabama for a 7 p.m. first pitch. The game will be televised on SEC Network.