USC Gamecocks Baseball

South Carolina-Valparaiso baseball opener suspended to Saturday

Mark Kingston: Pitching ‘not good enough’ in Gardner-Webb loss, rotation changing

South Carolina baseball coach Mark Kingston talks about his team's loss to Gardner-Webb on Wednesday, the Gamecocks' pitching staff and what the rotation will look like for the weekend series against Valparaiso.
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South Carolina baseball coach Mark Kingston talks about his team's loss to Gardner-Webb on Wednesday, the Gamecocks' pitching staff and what the rotation will look like for the weekend series against Valparaiso.

South Carolina’s Friday series opener with Valparaiso has been suspended until Saturday.

The Gamecocks were leading the Crusaders, 4-1, in the fifth inning Friday when teams agreed to leave Founders Field. A heavy batch of rain was the reason.

The game will resume at 2 p.m. Saturday. Game two of the series will begin 40 minutes after the end of the first game.

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Who: No. 24 South Carolina (10-3) vs. Valparaiso (2-7)

When: 6:02 p.m., Friday, March 8

4 p.m., Saturday, March 9

1:30 p.m., Sunday, March 10

Where: Founders Park

Watch: Streaming online on SEC Network Plus via WatchESPN

Radio: 107.5 FM in Columbia area

Forecast: A chance of showers late Friday, with a high of 63 degrees and a low of 47. Slight chance of rain in the morning Saturday, changing to overcast with a high near 70. Scattered rain and thunderstorms on Sunday but warm, high in the mid-70s.

Starting pitchers (Friday): USC — Fr. RHP Wesley Sweatt (1-0, 1.35 ERA); Valpo — R-Sr. RHP Mike Kornacker (0-1, 6.08 ERA)

Starting pitchers (Saturday): USC — Jr. RHP Reid Morgan (2-0, 1.74 ERA) vs. Valpo — Jr. RHP Jon Tieman (1-1, 6.32 ERA)

Starting pitchers (Sunday): USC — TBA; Valpo — Fr. RHP Colin Fields (0-1, 6.14 ERA)

Player to watch (Valparaiso): Redshirt senior left fielder Blake Billinger is Valparaiso’s top bat, leading the team in RBIs, home runs, slugging percentage and walks. He’s also tied for the most doubles, triples and hits — almost all of the Crusaders’ power comes from him.

Players to watch (South Carolina): Freshman Wesley Sweatt will make his first collegiate start on Friday night. While the coaching staff has been high on him since fall practices and he has been effective in relief appearances so far, it will still be a huge challenge and test to see if he can bring some much-needed stability to the rotation alongside Reid Morgan.

Greg Hadley is the beat writer for South Carolina women’s basketball and baseball for GoGamecocks and The State. He also covers football and recruiting.


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