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Top Ten Showdown On The Diamond at Swayze This Weekend

Colby Bortles  Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics
Colby Bortles
Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics

This evening, the sixth-ranked Diamond Rebels return to action as they host No. 10 South Carolina in a three-game Southeastern Conference tilt.

No. 6 Ole Miss (20-2, 2-1) enters the series after defeating University of Tennessee – Martin 8-2 on Tuesday afternoon. Three different Rebels belted home runs to secure the victory: Tate Blackman, Colby Bortles and Cameron Dishon.

Prior to the Rebels’ midweek game, Coach Mike Bianco’s club opened SEC play this past weekend up in Knoxville, Tennessee and Ole Miss won the series by taking the back-end of series. During last Friday night’s game, the Vols defeated the Rebels 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth.

Let’s take a closer look at the Gamecocks.

South Carolina enters the weekend with a 20-2 record after sweeping Arkansas at home. The Gamecocks are off to a strong start to the season, ranking 10th in the USA Today coaches poll. South Carolina is one the SEC’s leaders at the plate, hitting .325 as a team. John Jones tops the conference in batting average (.422), hits (35) and home runs (6). He was also named national player of the week and SEC Player of the Week for his weekend performance against Arkansas, batting .500 and hitting a pair of game-winning home runs.

On the mound, the Gamecocks boast the second-best ERA in the SEC at 2.25. The ace of the staff is sophomore right-hander Clarke Schmidt, who is 5-0 with a 1.27 ERA. Out of the bullpen, Josh Reagan leads the SEC with six saves and has not allowed a run in 16.2 innings. South Carolina is coached by Chad Holbrook, who is in his fourth year as head coach of the Gamecocks.

This weekend’s probable starters for South Carolina are Clarke Schmidt (Thursday), Braden Webb (Friday) and Adam Hill (Saturday). Coach Bianco will call on the arms Brady Bramlett, Chad Smith and the Saturday’s pitcher has not been announced.

The Rebels and the Gamecocks have faced one another 54 times on the diamond, with South Carolina holding a 32-22 game lead in the series. The last time this two clubs faced each other the Gamecocks took the series by winning 2-of-3.

Game times for this series are slated for Thursday and Friday to begin at 6:30 p.m. respectively and Saturday at 2 p.m. This Saturday’s game will be on SEC Network. Tonight’s and Friday’s games will be on SEC Network+, and as always, hear every pitch on the Ole Miss Radio Network.

Adam Brown is the sports editor for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at adam.brown@hottytoddy.com.

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Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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