Baseball Travels to Starkville for Mississippi State Series
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The University of South Carolina baseball team visits Starkville, Miss., for a three-game series at Mississippi State from Thursday, March 30 to Saturday, April 1. Thursday and Friday’s games start at 7 p.m. EDT (6 p.m. CDT) while Saturday’s game will begin at 3 p.m. EDT (2 p.m. CDT).
Thursday’s game will be televised on SEC Network with Mike Ferrin and Todd Walker on the call. Friday and Saturday’s games will be streamed on SEC Network Plus. All games also will be broadcast on The Game 107.5 FM with Derek Scott and Tommy Moody on the call.
The Gamecocks are coming off a 13-2, 7-inning win at The Citadel on Tuesday night. Gavin Casas and Caleb Denny both homered in the win while Cole Messina doubled twice as this Carolina team is tied with the 1975 team for the best start in program history after 26 games.
SCOUTING MISSISSIPPI STATE
The Bulldogs beat Samford 9-4 on Tuesday night in Starkville. Hunter Hines and Dakota Jordan had three hits apiece. Bryce Chance leads Mississippi State with a .353 batting average while Hines has 10 home runs. On the mound, Bradley Loftin is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 24 innings pitched.
SERIES VS. MISSISSIPPI STATE
Carolina leads the all-time series with Mississippi State, 40-37. The Gamecocks last played the Bulldogs in 2021, winning the series finale, 4-3, in 11 innings on a David Mendham walk-off double. The last time the two teams met in Starkville, Carolina also won the series finale, 10-8, behind Brett Kerry’s 6.1 innings of two-run, five-hit pitching.
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
South Carolina Eli Jones (So. RHP) 4-0, 1.77 ERA, 20.1 IP, 4 BB, 24 SO
Mississippi State Jurrangelo Cijntje (Fr. BHP) 3-1, 4.37 ERA, 22.2 IP, 15 BB, 30 SO
South Carolina Noah Hall (Sr. RHP) 5-0, 2.35 ERA, 38.1 IP, 8 BB, 41 SO
Mississippi State TBA
South Carolina Jack Mahoney (Jr. RHP) 3-0, 2.87 ERA, 31.1 IP, 8 BB, 35 SO
Mississippi State Nate Dohm (So. RHP) 3-3, 3.28 ERA, 24.2 IP, 6 BB, 26 SO
GAMECOCKS IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
The University of South Carolina baseball team is ranked in all six major polls after the week of March 27. The Gamecocks are ranked No. 9 in the D1Baseball poll, the first time Carolina has been ranked in its top-10 since March 27, 2017. Carolina also is second in Collegiate Baseball, seventh in the NCBWA poll, eighth in the USA Today Coaches’ poll, and 10th in both Baseball America and Perfect Game polls.
HALL, PETRY EARN SEC HONORS
Righthanded pitcher Noah Hall and outfielder Ethan Petry of the University of South Carolina baseball team were named the Southeastern Conference’s Pitcher and Freshman of the Week, the conference office announced this afternoon (Monday, March 27). Hall and Petry helped the Gamecocks sweep Missouri this past weekend.
Hall moved to 5-0 on the season by going seven innings and scattering just five hits and a run while walking one and striking out 10. He retired 11 straight Missouri Tigers to end his outing and achieved double-digit strikeouts for the third time in his Carolina career. He allowed just one runner past second base to lower his season ERA to 2.35. Hall is fifth in the SEC in ERA, ninth in strikeouts and first in both wins and innings pitched.
Petry continues his tear in his rookie campaign, homering in each of the wins against Missouri and producing the game-winning hit in a 5-4, 12-inning win on Saturday night against the Tigers. Petry homered in the third inning and added a single in the fifth, but it was his reaching on a strikeout-wild pitch in the ninth that allowed Carolina to come from behind and defeat Missouri, 9-8. Petry homered in the first in the 8-1 win in game one on Saturday. He reached base three times in that game as Carolina secured the series. His biggest game was the finale, where he homered in the eighth to tie the game at four. Then, with the bases loaded in the 12th, his single up the middle gave Carolina its second walk-off win of the weekend. Petry leads Carolina with a .446 batting average and 37 RBI to go along with 12 home runs. In the SEC, Petry is third in batting average, sixth in hits, third in home runs and sixth in RBI.
Hall was named SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week after the Penn game and Petry earns back-to-back Freshman of the Week honors.
With 26 games in the books, it’s time to start looking at the RPI. The Gamecocks currently are third in those rankings, one of three SEC teams in the top five. Carolina currently is a perfect 18-0 at home and 5-2 on the road. Carolina has three-game series remaining against No. 1 Kentucky, No. 4 Arkansas, No. 5 LSU, No. 9 Vanderbilt and No. 11 Florida.
GAMECOCKS IN THE NCAA RANKINGS
The Gamecocks lead the nation with 66 home runs this season. Gavin Casas is tied for third in the nation with 14 home runs … USC is third in the nation with 261 runs scored … Carolina is fourth in the nation in drawing walks with 169 and fifth in the country with 64 hit by pitches … The Gamecocks’ .441 on-base percentage is seventh in the country … On the mound, Carolina is fourth in earned-run average at 2.81 … Ethan Petry is ninth in total bases (80) and tied for eighth in home runs (12) … The .923 winning percentage is best in the nation.
Carolina makes a second trip to Truist Field in Charlotte, N.C., to face North Carolina Tuesday night (April 4) at 7 p.m.