By Adam Brown
No. 19 Ole Miss returns to the diamond of Swayze Field on Friday to start a three-game series tilt with the No. 11 South Carolina Gamecocks. The first pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network+.
Ole Miss (28-12, 10-8 SEC) is coming into the weekend off a series loss to the LSU Tigers. The Rebel’s right-handed starter Gunnar Hoglund missed his start against the Tigers.
“Gunnar will start tomorrow (Friday) night,” head coach Mike Bianco said to the media on Thursday. “He had some stiffness in the bicep tendon. Monday he played catch and no stiffness left, threw a bullpen on Tuesday was excellent and look like he has looked for 11 straight weeks.”
The Rebels captain Tim Elko took batting practice on Wednesday after taking part in a simulated game on Tuesday.
“He is doing well. Swung without pain (on Wednesday), hit three opposite-field home runs right over the clock and a line drive up the center was his last swing,” Bianco said. “(Elko) looks terrific. I think he is getting close.”
South Carolina (26-12, 11-7 SEC) will roll into town following a 9-5 win over The Citadel and a series loss to No. 1 Arkansas.
“They are very good,” Bianco said. “Their starting pitching and bullpen with power right-handed arms that have given a lot of people trouble this year. They strike out a lot and a low opposing BA against right and left-handers.
“Offensively they hit homers and have a great offensive presence,” he said.
Ole Miss will send to the mound, Hoglund (Friday), Doug Nikhazy (Saturday) and Drew McDaniel (Sunday).
Game times for this series are set for Friday at 6:30 p.m., Saturday at 6 p.m. (SEC Network) and Sunday at 11:30 a.m.