Mark Kingston on 2019 Gamecocks Baseball: We’re back in Chapter 1
South Carolina baseball released its 2019 schedule on Wednesday, with the Gamecocks’ slate including nine opponents who advanced to last season’s NCAA tournament.
Mark Kingston’s second season at USC will begin on Feb. 15 with an opening weekend matchup against Liberty. In 2018, the Flames advanced to the semifinals of the Big South tournament, falling to eventual champion Campbell.
The Gamecocks’ other nonconference weekend series will come against Valparaiso, Utah Valley and the program’s annual rivalry series with Clemson, which will feature one game in Columbia, one in Clemson and a neutral-site contest in Greenville.
Valparaiso and Utah Valley finished a combined 34-71 in 2018. Clemson was a national seed in the NCAA tournament but was upset by Vanderbilt, missing out on the Super Regionals.
USC is slated to play in minor league stadiums four times in 2019 — twice at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, N.C., once at SRP Park in North Augusta, S.C. and once at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C.
Those two midweek contests in Charlotte will come against nationally prominent programs in North Carolina and North Carolina State. Other potentially challenging midweek contests include home games with North Carolina A&T, an NCAA tournament team in 2018, and Charlotte.
Kingston’s conference slate features home series with Vanderbilt, Auburn and Texas A&M, all of whom earned berth’s in last year’s NCAA tourney, and two road trips to 2018 College World Series participants — Florida and Mississippi State.
The Mississippi State series will be the last one of the regular season, with the SEC tournament in Hoover, Alabama, beginning just a few days later.
SOUTH CAROLINA BASEBALL 2019 SCHEDULE
Feb. 15-17 — Liberty
Feb. 19 — Winthrop
Feb. 20 — Presbyterian
Feb. 22-24 — Utah Valley
Feb. 26 — Appalachian State
March 1 — Clemson
March 2 — Clemson (Fluor Field, Greenville, S.C.)
March 3 — at Clemson
March 5 — The Citadel
March 6 — Gardner-Webb
March 8-10 — Valparasio
March 12 — at The Citadel
March 15-17 — Georgia
March 19 — at Furman
March 22-24 — at Tennessee
March 26 — North Carolina A&T
March 29-31 — Auburn
April 2 — North Carolina State (BB&T Ballpark, Charlotte, N.C.)
April 5-7 — at Alabama
April 9 — Charlotte
April 12-14 — at Florida
April 16 — North Carolina (BB&T Ballpark, Charlotte, N.C.)
April 19-21 — Texas A&M
April 23 — Charleston Southern (SRP Park, North Augusta, S.C.)
April 26-28 — at Missouri
May 3-5 — Vanderbilt
May 8 — Furman
May 10-12 — Kentucky
May 14 — USC Upstate
May 16-18 — at Mississippi State
May 21-26 — SEC tournament (Hoover, Ala.)
*Home games are in bold, neutral-site games are in italics