The #4 Volunteers will be on the road for the final series of the regular season to take on the #21 Gamecocks. Both teams are playing great baseball at this point in the season and both teams have a lot to play for this week.
Tennessee is hoping to bounce back from a hard fought, very close series loss to the #1 Razorbacks. The Vols did take game 2 of the series and held leads in all 3 games, but could not hold off the explosive Arkansas lineup on Friday and Sunday. Tennessee, this week, has had great pitching from Will Heflin and Blade Tidwell, and has seen a lot of offensive production from Max Ferguson and Jordan Beck. The Vols also became the first team to win 40 games with a midweek win over Belmont on Tuesday.
South Carolina has seemingly hit its stride in recent weeks, with a clean series sweep at Kentucky last weekend. The Gamecocks have pitched well over the last 4 games, only allowing 12 runs with 2 shutouts. Combine that with a great offense lead by Wes Clark, Brady Allen, Josiah Slighter, and George Callil, you get a very talented, very dangerous ball club. South Carolina has been very good (21-6) on their home turf. Founders park will also be at full capacity for this weekends series.
Where to watch:
Thursday: 7:00pm SECN+
Friday: 7:00pm SECN+
Saturday: 12pm SECN
What’s at stake:
If Tennessee can win the series in Columbia this weekend, they will reach the coveted 20 conference wins and claim the SEC East Title over Vanderbilt, and the #2 seed in the SEC tournament. The win will essentially guarantee Tennessee a top 8 seed in the NCAA tournament, which means Tennessee will play in Lindsey Nelson Stadium for the regional and super regional.
If South Carolina can pull out the upset win at home, this will lock them in as a regional host. The Gamecocks are a bubble team for hosting, and could potentially host as a #2 seed depending on the finish of other bubble teams. A series win would also clinch the 3rd place finish in the SEC East, provided Florida drops their series at #1 Arkansas.
With so much at stake, don’t expect either team to pull any punches. This will be a scrappy, hard fought series heading into the post season. Founders Park is a tough place to win on the road, setting the stage for an exciting showdown in Carolina.