Matt Connolly

What the postponement of USC-UNCW means for pitching staffs

The final game of the Columbia Regional between South Carolina and UNCW has been postponed until Tuesday.
The final game of the Columbia Regional between South Carolina and UNCW has been postponed until Tuesday. Special to The State

The postponement of the winner-take-all game between South Carolina and UNCW in the Columbia Regional benefits both pitching staffs, but probably helps the Seahawks more than USC.

USC’s pitching staff is much deeper than UNCW’s, and the Gamecocks had critical arms available to pitch at least an inning or two on Monday. Clarke Schmidt, Braden Webb, Taylor Widener, Reed Scott and Josh Reagan were available for the Gamecocks.

UNCW was scheduled to start ace Ryan Foster on two days rest, but he likely would not have been able to pitch many innings. Now the senior gets an extra day to rest after throwing 114 pitches Friday afternoon.

The Seahawks have two pitchers with an ERA under 4 in their bullpen that are used regularly in Austin Magestro and Austin Easter. Magestro threw 66 pitches Saturday night, while Easter threw 39. The two should be available for at least a couple of innings Tuesday.

In addition to benefiting with added rest for its pitchers, UNCW also could get the advantage of facing the Gamecocks during the week in a midday game when several fans will be at work.

The game will be played at 2 p.m. Tuesday, and the crowd might not be as lively as it would have been had USC played Monday night.

But the extra day should help South Carolina’s pitching staff as well. Webb, who led the SEC in strikeouts during the regular season, only threw 54 pitches Saturday afternoon and should have another 50 or so left in him.

Schmidt has had three days rest since throwing 89 pitches on Friday, and Widener has also had three days rest after throwing 48 pitches Friday.

Scott, who has been used in long relief at times this year, only threw seven pitches over the weekend, while Reagan, who has been used at the backend of the bullpen for most of the year, has thrown 65 but will have had two days to rest.

The winner of Tuesday’s game will face Oklahoma State next weekend. South Carolina will host the Super Regional with a win, while the Cowboys will likely host UNCW should the Seahawks win.

Columbia Regional

Who: USC vs. UNCW

When: Tuesday, 2 p.m.

Where: Founders Park

Up next: Winner will face Oklahoma State in the Super Regional.

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