COLUMBIA - Jordan Montgomery said this afternoon he expected to learn his next pitching assignment sometime Friday.

Turns out, South Carolina's ace didn't have to wait that long.

The junior lefty will start on the mound when the Gamecocks open their NCAA tournament run 7 p.m. Friday against No. 4 seed Campbell at Carolina Stadium. The team announced Montgomery's assignment over Twitter on Wednesday night.

South Carolina coach Chad Holbrook had talked about the possibility of starting No. 2 pitcher Jack Wynkoop on Friday, saving his ace for a potential game against a higher seed Saturday. Holbrook also said he has the utmost respect for Campbell, one of two No. 4 seeds in the tournament that won at least 40 games this spring. Clearly, that respect won out.

Montgomery has a 7-5 record and 3.52 ERA this season. He's struck out 86 batters with 29 walks in 92 innings. More importantly, the southpaw has a history of big-time performances in the postseason.

Last season, Montgomery tossed his first career complete game and shutout in an 8-0 win at North Carolina in the NCAA Super Regional. He was also a member of the NCAA Regional All-Tournament team the past two seasons.