Josh Kendall

Ryan Hilinski making appearance at Major League Baseball game this weekend. Here’s why

South Carolina quarterback Ryan Hilinski, the highly regarded freshman who joined the team in time for spring practice this year, will throw out the first pitch Saturday before the Seattle Mariners game against the Oakland A’s.

Hilinski will be at the game as part of his role with Hilinski’s Hope, a foundation established by the family after Ryan’s older brother Tyler committed suicide in 2018 while a member of the Washington State football team.

Ryan Hilinski and his family have been very involved with mental health awareness issues since that time, and Hilinski’s Hope has partnered with the NCAA Sport Science Institute to increase mental wellness support for NCAA athletes.

Ryan Hilinski, who was rated the No. 2 pro-style quarterback prospect in the country when he signed with the Gamecocks, is battling with Dakereon Joyner for the backup position this fall.

Saturday’s Mariners game has a 10:10 p.m. Eastern start time.

Projected QB depth chart

No. 1: Jake Bentley

No. 2: Ryan Hilinski

No. 3: Dakereon Joyner

The staff has been clear that Bentley is the guy until otherwise proven. Perhaps that happens with a fantastic offseason and August camp from Hilinski and more inconsistency from Bentley. But for the moment, a 2 1/2 year starter who posted one of the most prolific seasons in program history is likely to hold onto that spot until games are played.

The one to watch: Hilinski. He mostly worked the short game during the spring game, but he’s accurate and learning the playbook at a rapid rate.

SOUTH CAROLINA 2019 SCHEDULE

Aug. 31 — North Carolina (2-9 last season)* 3:30 p.m., ESPN

Sept. 7 — Charleston Southern (5-6) noon, SEC Network

Sept. 14 — Alabama (14-1) 3:30 pm, CBS

Sept. 21 — at Missouri (8-5)

Sept. 28 — Kentucky (10-3)

Oct. 12 — at Georgia (11-3)

Oct. 19 — Florida (10-3)

Oct. 26 — at Tennessee (5-7)

Nov. 2 — Vanderbilt (6-7)

Nov. 9 — Appalachian State (11-2)

Nov. 16 — at Texas A&M (9-4)

Nov. 30 — Clemson (15-0)

*in Charlotte

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