Matt Connolly

USC’s projected starting lineup for Opening Day

RF: TJ Hopkins – The speedy sophomore is expected to be one of the most improved players on the team.

LF: Jacob Olson – The transfer was impressive in the preseason and should earn a spot in the Opening Day lineup.

DH: Alex Destino – The leading returning hitter for the Gamecocks, Destino should be primed to have a big junior year.

C: Chris Cullen – The sophomore added more than 20 pounds to his frame this offseason and should be near the top of the team in slugging percentage.

1B: Matt Williams – The left-handed hitter impressed during the fall and preseason scrimmages to earn the starting job at first base.

SS: Madison Stokes – The Columbia native played exceptionally well in the preseason while making the move to shortstop.

3B: Jonah Bride – Perhaps the best defender on the team, Bride was also a solid contributor offensively for the Gamecocks in 2016.

2B: LT Tolbert – The sophomore played well at the end of 2016 and will look to build on that this season.

CF: Danny Blair – One of the fastest players on the team, Blair is very good defensively and can cause problems on the bases with his speed.

P: Clarke Schmidt – The junior will once again be the Gamecocks’ ace.

Opening weekend

Who: USC vs. UNC Greensboro

When: Friday, 4 p.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m.; Sunday, 1:30 p.m.

Where: Founders Park

Radio: 107.5 FM

Watch: The games are not on TV but can be streamed through SEC Network Plus on the WatchESPN app

Probable Pitchers: Friday, Clarke Schmidt vs. Jack Maynard; Saturday, Wil Crowe vs. Bryce Hensley; Sunday, Adam Hill vs. Matt Frisbee

Of note: Late USC fan Bill Golding will be honored with a moment of silence and an “Oot Oot” before the first pitch. A flag with “Oot Oot” will be in the outfield and some hardhat helmets will be given away.

Clear bag policy: USC is encouraging fans to not bring any type of bags inside Founders Park during games, but certain bags will be allowed. Those that will be allowed in the stadium include: One bag that is clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and does not exceed 12x6x12 inches, a one-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar), or small clutch bags that do not exceed 4.5x6.5 inches (approximately the size of a hand). An exception may be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection (Gates 1 & 3).

Shuttle changes: Parking shuttle changes have been made for this year. The baseball shuttle to Founders Park will now be operational at the Key Road Gravel Lot (1105 Key Road) and in Lot B of the Colonial Life Arena parking lot. Shuttles will begin running two hours prior to game time. USC is recommending fans use the baseball shuttle from Key Road to Founders Park over the CLA shuttle for the convenience, spacious parking and less congestion than at the arena. The shuttle will no longer be run at Capital City Baseball Stadium.

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