Gamecocks, LSU rained out; USC moves into 1st place

COLUMBIA — It’s still a mega-SEC baseball series with a classic opening pitching match-up, but it will start a little later than scheduled. The first game of the three-game South Carolina-LSU series originally set for Thursday was postponed.

The No. 4 Gamecocks and No. 9 Tigers will play a split doubleheader Friday, at 2:30 p.m. (no television) and 7 p.m. (Cox Sports Television in Lousiana). Game 3 on Saturday is still set for 1 p.m. (ESPNU).

Tickets for Thursday night’s game will be honored at the Friday afternoon game with the Friday night game a separate ticket.

The Gamecocks while idle Thursday night moved percentage points into first-place in the SEC East. South Carolina is 38-13 overall and 17-9 in the SEC. Kentucky lost the first game in a three-game series at Mississippi State, 3-1, to fall to 41-13 overall and 18-10 in the SEC.

LSU is 40-13 overall and 17-10 in the SEC and clinched first place in the SEC West Thursday night with Vanderbilt’s 3-0 victory over Ole Miss.

Scheduled Game 1 pitcheres are two of the best in college baseball: South Carolina senior right-hander Michael Roth (5-0, 2.60 earned run average) and LSU sophomore right-hander Kevin Gausman (6-1, 2.95 ERA).

The SEC does not want the teams to play on Sunday with the SEC tournament set to start in Hoover, Ala., on Tuesday.

Thursday’s series opener between Coastal Carolina and Charleston Southern was postponed due to inclement weather.

The two teams will play a doubleheader today, with Game 1 starting at 11:30 a.m. Game 2 will start 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 1.

Gene Sapakoff