College Baseball SEC Tournament Day 4 Preview: South Carolina vs. Florida

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South Carolina picked up their first win in the SEC tournament on Wednesday night against Auburn. The Tigers were eliminated from the tourney and possibly the post season.  The Gamecocks get to play Florida for the 4th time this season and 9th time in the last two seasons.

First pitch will be 30 minutes after the end of the first game of the day.  That game begins at 4 Eastern.  6:30 to 8 is probably the best guess as to when the game will start.  It will be on CSS again, so the same channel as the last two days.

How'd they Get here?  Florida beat Auburn in the first round game and received a bye until last night.  Then they lost to Vanderbilt to set up this elimination game.

Who's pitching?  USC gets to use their #2 starter Colby Holmes.  Florida employed a similar rotation strategy and also has their #2 pitcher, Brian Johnson, starting.  Johnson has faced the Gamecocks 4 times, including 3 starts the past 3 years.  Here are his numbers.

Year     App     IP   H       R   ER   BB   K   bavg

2010     1       1.0   2      1     1      0     1   400

2011     2       6.1  11      7     6      2    7  .367

2012     1       6.0   5      2     2       2    4   .217

Total     4      13.1  18    10   9       4    12  .310

Who are the good Florida batters, again?  Catcher Mike Zunino is their best hitter.  He was the SEC player of the year last year.  Preston Tucker and Brian Johnson are consistent hitters who have some power.  Nolan Fontana and Daniel Pigott can come up at big times as well.

Are we going to win?  Good question.  Here are some things to consider.

* Florida took two of three against the Gamecocks in Columbia.  The deciding game came down to the 9th inning, so it was close, just like the LSU and Vandy series.

* South Carolina is 3-1 all time against Florida in Hoover.

* South Carolina probably needs a win to secure a national seed.

* Florida is a lock for a national seed and doesn't really need the win.

* Florida has hit 66 home runs this year, best in the NCAA.  The ball park doesn't give up many home runs, so that power advantage could be negated.

* When Colby Holmes gets in trouble, it is often with the long ball.  Again the park should help.

* South Carolina is batting .310 against Brian Johnson for his career.

Get more great South Carolina analysis over at Leftover Hot Dog.


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