Baseball Hosts UMass Lowell to Open 2023 Season
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The University of South Carolina baseball team will open the 2023 season this weekend, hosting UMass Lowell for a three-game set. Opening Day is set for Friday, Feb. 17 at 4 p.m. Saturday’s game starts at 2 p.m. with the series finale Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
All three games will be streamed on SEC Network Plus. All games also will be broadcast on The Game 107.5 FM with Derek Scott, Tommy Moody and Stuart Lake on the call.
The Gamecocks come into the 2023 season ranked No. 23 in the D1Baseball.com Preseason poll. Carolina returns 17 players from last year’s squad, including six starters in the field and six pitchers. Will Sanders was named a Preseason All-America by three organizations and is on the Golden Spikes Award Watch List.
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. 17, 21, 22, 24 and 28 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. 17, 21, 22, 24, 28)
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: 2 p.m.
Stadium Opens: 1 p.m.
Business Lots Open: 12 p.m.
Lot 1, STDM, HDG PGDL Open: 12 p.m.
Bus Shuttle for Patrons: 12 p.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 UMASS LOWELL
The River Hawks were one game away from the NCAA Tournament in 2022, falling to Binghamton in the America East Conference Tournament championship game. UMass Lowell, who was picked second in the America East’s preseason poll, was 28-30 overall and 15-15 in the league last season, including a pair of wins over Central Michigan, a win over College of Charleston and a win against Boston College. The River Hawks finished seventh in the nation in stolen bases last year with 134, including 46 from current sophomore Jacob Humphrey. The River Hawks were led by Humphrey’s .337 batting average in 53 games last season, while Gerry Siracusa had 16 doubles, 10 home runs and 65 RBI. On the mound, lefty LJ Keevan had five wins and a 4.71 ERA.
SERIES VS. UMASS LOWELL
This is the first meeting between Carolina and UMass Lowell. The Gamecocks are 12-1 all-time against current members of the America East, going 6-0 against Albany and 6-1 against Maine.
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION (WITH 2022 STATS)
South Carolina Will Sanders (Jr. RHP) 7-3, 3.43 ERA, 89.1 IP, 31 BB, 91 SO
UML LJ Keevan (So. RHP) 5-5, 4.71 ERA, 80.1 IP, 21 BB, 60 SO
South Carolina Noah Hall (Sr. RHP) 3-5, 4.34 ERA, 76.2 IP, 31 BB, 78 SO
UML Brian Foley (Fr. RHP) First Year at UML
South Carolina Jack Mahoney (Jr. RHP) Did not pitch in 2022
UML Matt Draper (Gr. RHP) 3-5, 3.86 ERA, 39.2 IP, 8 BB, 32 SO
South Carolina is 89-41 all-time in season openers. This includes a 9-7 win over UNC Greensboro in 2022 as Andrew Eyster went 3-for-5 with three RBI and Michael Braswell had two hits and scored three runs. Will Sanders allowed just three hits in five innings to earn the win. Carolina is 21-3 in its last 24 lidlifters and has won 24 straight opening series including taking 2-of-3 from the Spartans last season.
Head Coach Mark Kingston will go with junior Will Sanders, senior Noah Hall and junior Jack Mahoney for the opening series this weekend vs. UMass Lowell.
Sanders, who gets the ball on Opening Day for the second straight season, was 7-3 with a 3.43 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 89.1 innings pitched as a sophomore in 2022. He was named to the Golden Spikes Award Watch List and is a Preseason All-American by three organizations. The righthander finished fifth in the SEC in innings pitched and 10th in both ERA and strikeouts. He tied a Founders Park record with 14 strikeouts against Clemson on March 4 and had 11 strikeouts in seven innings of work in a win over Vanderbilt on March 25. Sanders struck out 10 batters in the SEC Tournament game against Florida (May 24), allowing just four hits and an unearned run in seven innings of work.
Hall made 15 appearances with 12 starts in his first year at Carolina in 2022. The Appalachian State transfer pitched 76.2 innings, striking out 78 batters to go along with a 4.34 ERA. Hall’s numbers improved in SEC play, as he was 3-3 with a 3.18 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 62.1 innings pitched. He was a two-time SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week, garnering the award after wins over Alabama (April 29) and Kentucky (May 14). He allowed two hits while striking out eight in a win over the Wildcats and struck out eight in seven innings of work in a win over the Crimson Tide. Hall was selected in the 20th round of the 2022 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Mahoney will make his first appearance on the mound since May of 2021. The Arlington Hts., Ill., native did not pitch in 2022 after suffering an elbow injury his freshman season. Mahoney did play 15 games for the Gamecocks in the field, belting a pair of home runs with four RBI. As a freshman, Mahoney was 3-0 with a 1.62 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 33.1 innings pitched. He went a season long 7.2 innings against The Citadel (April 27, 2021), striking out six and allowing five hits and no runs in a win.
GAMECOCKS RANKED IN D1BASEBALL PRESEASON POLL
The University of South Carolina baseball team is ranked No. 23 in the D1Baseball.com preseason poll.
Carolina is one of nine SEC teams in the preseason poll as seven of the top 10 squads are from the league. LSU tops the D1Baseball.com poll, with Tennessee, Stanford, Ole Miss and Texas A&M rounding out the top five.
Carolina also is ranked 28th in the NCBWA preseason poll and 47th in the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll.
SANDERS NAMED TO GOLDEN SPIKES AWARD WATCH LIST
Junior righthanded pitcher Will Sanders has been named to the Golden Spikes Award Watch List, USA Baseball announced Feb. 10. Sanders is one of 55 players on the list, kicking off the process of identifying the nation’s top amateur baseball player for the 2023 season.
Sanders, who was named Preseason All-America second team by three different organizations, was 7-3 with a 3.43 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 89.1 innings pitched as a sophomore in 2022. The righthander finished fifth in the SEC in innings pitched and 10th in both ERA and strikeouts. Sanders enters 2023 with 13 career wins, a 3.47 ERA and 145 career strikeouts.