This isn’t your typical midweek game.
South Carolina and North Carolina will meet in Charlotte at BB&T Ballpark Tuesday night at 7 p.m. with the Gamecocks looking for payback after being embarrassed by the Tar Heels a season ago.
UNC defeated South Carolina 15-0 last season in Charlotte in front of a sellout crowd of more than 10,000 fans, as well as a national TV audience.
It was the worst loss for South Carolina since 2007.
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“Every game is big, but we definitely want to get some revenge on those guys,” USC second baseman LT Tolbert said. “That’s a little bit more motivation.”
Gamecocks outfielder Alex Destino, a North Carolina native, has several friends on UNC’s team and would like to make amends for last year’s loss.
“They beat us up pretty good last year,” Destino said. “So it’s a big game for us and our whole program. It’s going to be very exciting. BB&T is one of my favorite ballparks. I love that game.”
In addition, USC coach Chad Holbrook played at North Carolina and was an assistant on the Tar Heels’ staff for several years.
Cody Morris will get the start for No. 17 USC (21-10, 7-5) and Holbrook mentioned Colby Lee, Graham Lawson, John Parke and Tyler Johnson as other pitchers likely to throw on Tuesday.
“We’re not going to extend our bullpen too much,” Holbrook said Monday on 107.5 FM. “We’ll throw some young guys out there tomorrow and get them some experience and also give our main bullpen guys a little bit of a break.”
Catcher Chris Cullen and outfielder TJ Hopkins have been in and out of the lineup while battling injuries.
Cullen has had knee soreness, while Hopkins has been dealing with a strained quad, but both have been feeling better as of late.