South Carolina will face what is likely the best pitching staff it has seen all season this weekend against Arkansas, but the Gamecocks are confident coming off some impressive offensive showings.
USC scored 12 runs Tuesday against USC Upstate and 15 Wednesday against Davidson, while pounding a combined 35 hits in the two victories.
“I’m encouraged by what we’ve been doing offensively the last couple of nights, and hopefully we can carry that into the weekend,” Carolina coach Chad Holbrook said. “Obviously, we’re going to have to be at our best against the pitching staff we’re going to see starting on Friday.”
Shortstop Marcus Mooney has been the hottest hitter for the Gamecocks the past two games, going 8-for-9 with a home run, six runs and five RBIs.
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The senior said the entire lineup is ready to go entering SEC play.
“That gives us all the confidence in the world to go into this weekend knowing that we can hit the ball and just put the ball in play, whatever we’ve got to do,” he said.
Holbrook confident in freshmen pitchers
South Carolina will start a pair of freshmen in Braden Webb and Adam Hill on Saturday and Sunday this weekend.
Despite the two having never pitched in an SEC game before, Holbrook believes they are ready to perform well alongside sophomore Clarke Schmidt.
“I don’t look at them as freshmen, I’m throwing my three best pitchers. All of those three guys that are in our starting rotation have earned the right,” Holbrook said. “It’s not a new sport. It’s not a new game. It’s baseball. We’re going to ask them to throw strikes and work ahead and give our team a chance to win. The plan and what we ask from our starting pitchers isn’t going to change just because the opponent is changing.”
Arkansas eager to return to Founders Park
Razorbacks coach Dave Van Horn said playing at USC is always a fun place to play.
“It’s a great ballpark. Its surface is great, the atmosphere is great. I don’t know how you can’t get excited when you're playing in that ballpark,” he said.