Baseball Closes Regular Season with Home Series vs. Tennessee
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The University of South Carolina baseball team wraps up the 2021 regular season this weekend as the Gamecocks host No. 4 Tennessee at Founders Park. The series starts on Thursday night (May 20) at 7 p.m. The series continues on Friday, May 21 at 7 p.m. and closes on Saturday, May 22 at 12 p.m. Thursday and Friday’s games will be streamed on SEC Network Plus while Saturday’s game will be on SEC Network with Tom Hart and Chris Burke on the call. Every Gamecock contest will be on the Gamecock Radio Network with Derek Scott and Tommy Moody on the call. Carolina is coming off a 2-0 win over Appalachian State on Tuesday night. Wes Clarke belted his 20th home run of the season and four Gamecock hurlers combined for a three-hitter.
PARKING INFORMATION For the 2021 season, there will not be shuttles from either the Key Road Gravel Lot or the Colonial Life Arena parking lot. There will be passes at lot 1 available for $10 apiece.
Parking Lot Openings 7 p.m. Games - Gates open at 6 p.m., all lots open at 5:30 p.m. 12 p.m. Games - Gates open at 11 a.m., all lots open at 10:30 a.m.
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
South Carolina Brannon Jordan (Sr. RHP) 5-4, 3.66 ERA, 43 BB, 90 SO
Tennessee Chad Dallas (Jr., RHP) 8-1, 4.25 ERA, 15 BB, 91 SO
South Carolina Brett Kerry (Jr. RHP) 4-1, 1.80 ERA, 9 BB, 75 SO
Tennessee Will Heflin (Sr., LHP) 2-2, 4.20 ERA, 10 BB, 57 SO
South Carolina Thomas Farr (R-Jr. RHP) 3-5, 3.68 ERA, 34 BB, 79 SO
Tennessee Blade Tidwell (Fr., RHP) 6-3, 3.60 ERA, 25 BB, 66 SO
The Volunteers are coming off a 11-2 win over Belmont on Tuesday night. Jordan Beck had three hits and drove in six in the win. Tennessee is the first team in Division I to get to 40 wins on the season. Liam Spence leads the Tennessee offense, hitting .374 with 54 runs scored. Beck has 12 doubles and 13 home runs while Max Ferguson had 14 stolen bases. On the mound, Blade Tidwell is 6-3 with a 3.60 ERA and 66 strikeouts.
SERIES VS. TENNESSEE
Carolina holds a 65-38 series advantage on Tennessee heading into the weekend. The Gamecocks have won 19 of the last 23 games against the Vols, but Tennessee took 2-of-3 games from Carolina in 2019 in Knoxville. In the 3-2 win on March 23, 2019, part of a Gamecock sweep over Tennessee, Chris Cullen drove in a pair of runs and Brett Kerry struck out five in the final two innings to pick up the save.
SENIOR DAY ON SATURDAY
Carolina will recognize eight seniors on Saturday afternoon before the Tennessee game. Current fifth-year seniors Jaret Bennett, George Callil and Joe Satterfield will be recognized on the field prior to the noon contest. The Gamecocks also will honor the 2020 seniors in Dallas Beaver, Bryant Bowen and Graham Lawson as well as managers Brian Capobianco and Gavin Pence.
SEC STANDINGS UPDATE
Carolina currently is in fourth in the SEC East Division and seventh overall heading into this weekend’s series against Tennessee. The Gamecocks’ 15-12 record is one game back of No. 6 Ole Miss while Carolina is 2.5 games ahead of Alabama and three games ahead of Georgia for the seventh spot.
KERRY’S FIRST START OF 2021 WAS A MEMORABLE ONE
Brett Kerry was dominant in the 9-0 win over Kentucky on Saturday afternoon (May 15), pitching Carolina’s first complete-game shutout since 2014 in a 10-strikeout, no-walk performance. Kerry, in his first start of 2021, scattered four hits in the win and allowed just one runner to reach second base or further. He threw 94 pitches in the win, 67 for strikes, and had just three three-ball counts in the game which led to an SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week award. He improved to 4-1 on the season and now has a 1.80 ERA with 75 strikeouts in 45 innings pitched. The last South Carolina complete-game shutout was in the 2014 Columbia Regional as Wil Crowe defeated Campbell, 9-0.
EYSTER’S GRAND SLAM PART OF A GREAT WEEKEND
Andrew Eyster went 8-for-12 with four runs scored, four walks and nine RBI in the three-game road sweep of Kentucky this past weekend. He had a grand slam and drove in five, going a perfect 3-for-3 in the 9-0 win on Saturday. Then on Sunday, Eyster drove in four runs, going 4-for-5 with a double and a run scored in the 11-6 victory. Eyster had a .591 on-base percentage and a .750 slugging percentage on the week and was named the SEC Co-Player of the Week.
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