USC Gamecocks Baseball

NCAA baseball Columbia Regional schedule, team breakdown

SCHEDULE

Friday, June 3

Game 1: No. 2 UNC Wilmington vs. No. 3 Duke, 1 p.m. (ESPN3)

Game 2: No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 4 Rhode Island, 7 p.m. (ESPN3)

Saturday, June 4

Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2, Noon (ESPN3)

Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, 6 p.m. (ESPN3)

Sunday, June 5

Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4, Noon (ESPN3)

Game 6: Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 4, 6 p.m. (ESPN3)

Monday, June 6

Game 7: If necessary, 6 p.m. (ESPN3)

TEAM BREAKDOWNS

1. South Carolina

Record: 42-15 (RPI 8)

Coach: Chad Holbrook (fourth season)

NCAA experience: This marks USC’s 31st NCAA Tournament appearance, and the Gamecocks will be hosting a regional for the 17th time. The Gamecocks won national titles in 2010 and 2011.

Player to watch: First baseman Madison Stokes is 10-for-17 (.588) with three doubles in the past five games.

Comment: South Carolina won the SEC East title, and is back in the tournament after missing out in 2015. The Gamecocks were in the conversation for a national seed but going 0-2 in the SEC tournament likely kept them from getting one.

2. UNCW Seahawks

Record: 39-17 (RPI 33)

Coach: Mark Scalf (25th season)

NCAA experience: It’s the eighth NCAA Tournament appearance for UNCW, all since 2003.

Player to watch: Sophomore catcher Nick Feight leads the team with 21 home runs and 90 RBIs, and is one of four Seahawks with double-digit dingers. The 90 RBIs are the most in the nation.

Comment: UNCW earned an at-large bid after falling to William & Mary in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament’s title game.

3. Duke Blue Devils

Record: 33-22 (RPI 26)

Coach: Chris Pollard (fourth season)

NCAA experience: Duke is making its sixth NCAA Tournament appearance. The Blue Devils have been to the College World Series three times (1952, 1953 and 1961).

Player to watch: Freshman outfielder Jimmy Herron has reached base in 49-of-54 games this season, and leads the Blue Devils in hits (66), doubles (22) and stolen bases (24).

Comment: The Blue Devils hold an all-time 55-34-1 advantage against the Gamecocks, but the foes haven’t met since 2000. Duke earned series wins over national seed Clemson and regional host Florida State.

4. Rhode Island Rams

Record: 30-25 (RPI 113)

Coach: Raphael Cerrato (second season)

NCAA experience: This will be Rhode Island’s second appearance at the NCAA Tournament. The Rams also made the field in 2005, when they were eliminated in the regional round.

Player to watch: Rhode Island ace Tyler Wilson is 12-1 with a 2.08 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 95 1/3 innings.

Comment: The Rams won seven of their eight Atlantic 10 Conference series – including three weekend sweeps – and won the Atlantic 10 regular-season title. Wilson, a lefty, will start against the Gamecocks Friday night.

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