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May 13, 2014

Preview: The Citadel at USC

THE CITADEL (20-31) at NO. 17 SOUTH CAROLINA (39-13)

When: 7 p.m.
Where: Carolina Stadium
Tickets: Available at the box office
TV: None
Probable starting pitchers
South Carolina TBA
The CitadelNate Brecklin (So. LHP) 0-0, 6.48 ERA, 16.2 IP, 13 BB, 10 SO The last time: Despite homers from Brison Celek and DC Arendas as well as seven hits and 10 walks at the plate, South Carolina fell to The Citadel 10-8 on April 16, 2014 in non-conference action at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park.

Kyle Martin went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a pair of RBI to lead the Gamecocks at the plate. Celek was also 2-for-4 and Arendas reached base five times with a homer, three walks and a hit by pitch. The Citadel belted out 12 hits and benefited from eight walks and three Gamecock errors to score double-digits on South Carolina, just the second time this season the Gamecocks have allowed 10 or more runs. Mason Davis went 3-for-4 with three runs, a homer and a pair of RBI. Tyler Griffin added two hits and three RBI with Drew DeKerlegand also with a homer.

Austin Livingston earned the win for The Citadel. He allowed five runs, four earned, on three hits with four walks and eight strikeouts in five innings of work. Skylar Hunter earned a save with a scoreless ninth inning. Carolina starter Matthew Vogel suffered the loss. He allowed five runs, four earned on three hits in 2.1 innings.

Notes: Sophomore infielderMax Schrockreturned to the lineup on Wednesday and immediately helped out going 2-for-5 with two RBI in the 15-1 win over Wofford. He added three hits and a RBI in the 8-2 win over Missouri, tallied a RBI in the 3-1 win vs. the Tigers and scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning in the 2-1 series finale after leading off with a triple. Schrock owns a .269 average (28-for-104) in 29 games with a .462 slugging percentage ... Junior infielderJoey Pankakeand sophomore infielderDC Arendaswere the top hitters for the Gamecocks in the Missouri series. Pankake went 6-for-12 and Arendas 5-for-10 as both hit .500 for the series. Arendas tied his season-high with three hits in Saturday's 3-1 victory. Pankake had two hits in Sunday's 2-1 win including a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. Pankake is now batting .306 (56-for-183) for the year with a team-high 45 runs scored and a .393 on-base percentage with 23 walks to 17 strikeouts. Arendas has climbed to .292 (42-for-144) with a .393 on-base percentages as well.


WHAT TO WATCH: Can the Gamecocks avoid a letdown? The last time they faced The Citadel it was during the program's first five-game losing streak since 1997. Now, South Carolina has won four straight and is knocking on the door of a national seed should things go its way in Nashville.

South Carolina is 23-2 in non-conference games this season, so in the last non-conference game of the regular season USC should take the opportunity to continue the good vibes it earned from the home sweep of Missouri, avenge its April 16 loss and dispatch The Citadel without mercy, using the Bulldogs as a much-needed tuneup for the most important series of the year beginning Friday in Nashville.

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