COLUMBIA – South Carolina will play its first game in the Southeastern Conference baseball tournament in Hoover, Ala., tonight against Vanderbilt. The teams will meet in the day’s fourth and final game, which is scheduled to begin 30 minutes after the 5:30 p.m. game ends.
USC is the No. 2 seed. Vanderbilt is the No. 5 seed and beat No. 8 Georgia 4-1 in Tuesday’s final game. Tonight’s game will be broadcast on Comcast Sports South and ESPN3.com.
The winner of USC-Vanderbilt will play No. 3 Florida in Thursday’s final game. The Gators defeated No. 10 Auburn 6-1 on Tuesday. The loser of USC-Vanderbilt will play in Thursday’s third game, at 5:30, against the winner of Auburn and Georgia, who play in today’s 5:30 game.
If the Gamecocks start 2-0, they will be off Friday and play in Saturday’s second semifinal, which will follow the 1 p.m. semifinal. The championship game is at 3:30 Sunday on ESPN2.
USC won two of three games at Vanderbilt in the regular season. Before that series, the Gamecocks were 1-5 in the SEC. They ended up with an 18-11 league record. Vanderbilt was 3-6 after the USC series (as were the Gamecocks). The Commodores wound up finishing 16-14 in SEC play. Since April 28, they are 11-2, 10-2 in league play.
Freshman left-hander Jordan Montgomery (4-1, 4.42 ERA) – who is no longer part of USC’s starting rotation because of his recent struggles – will start tonight and be opposed by right-hander T.J. Pecoraro (1-4, 3.57).