South Carolina senior left-hander Nolan Belcher will get the baseball Wednesday night to start the SEC tournament.
Even though it will require Belcher to move up a day for the second straight week, SC coach Chad Holbrook wanted to go with his ace if he was rested and ready. Belcher has posted a 7-5 mark with a 2.17 ERA in 99 1/3 innings over 14 starts this season.
“He’s been our Friday night guy all along, and he deserves the opportunity, having been in this program five years, to throw game one in the SEC tournament,” Holbrook said during Tuesday afternoon’s practice at Samford University.
“He’s had five days rest, which is plenty enough time, and he feels great. His bullpens have been great, his arm feels great, and he’s been our most consistent starter all year along.”
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Belcher is ready to go, especially since the team never went back to Columbia after the final series in Starkville, Miss.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “We’ve been up here a long time so I’m just ready to get on the field and start playing some games.”
He has experience pitching in the tournament at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium over his career. He lost a start as a freshman against LSU in 2009 and lost another start against Ole Miss the following season. He pitched in relief here against Florida last season.
But he hopes to finish with a bang.
“We want to win this whole thing,” Belcher said. “We want to win every game we can and just see what happens.”