usc baseball

USC DH/C Wes Clarke leads the nation with 8 home runs (Ryan Bethea photo).

The Gamecock baseball team is off to its best start in five years. The Gamecocks are 7-0 and, dating back to last season, have won their last 12 games. Over the weekend they took two pair of walk-off, one-run games from Clemson, 8-7 in 11 innings in Greenville and 3-2 in Columbia. Andrew Eyster delivered the game winning hit both times. The third game of the rivalry series was postponed by rain until May 11 at Clemson. Wes Clarke continues to be the talk of college baseball. He hit three home runs against Clemson and now has a nation-leading eight on the season to go along with a .560 batting average, ninth-best nationally. As a team the Gamecocks at batting .353, second-best nationally.

The women’s basketball team opens postseason play against Alabama Friday night in Greenville in the SEC Tournament coming off a Sunday loss at Texas A&M for the regular season championship. The Gamecocks, thus, are the second seed for the tournament behind the Aggies. The Gamecocks are the defending tournament champions and have cut down the nets in five of the last six seasons. Forward Aliyah Boston was named SEC co-Defensive Player of the Year and was joined on the All-SEC First Team by teammate Zia Cooke.

The Gamecock men’s team will conclude the regular season Saturday at Kentucky. This was a game that was originally scheduled for Dec. 29 but was postponed due to a COVID shutdown at USC. The Gamecocks are coming off a blow-out home loss to Arkansas Tuesday night 101-73. They have lost eight of their last 10 games and are 6-13 overall and 4-11 in the SEC. The SEC Tournament is next week in Nashville and the Gamecocks go into the weekend. A win at Kentucky would keep the Gamecocks out of the play-in game on Wednesday night and put them in the last game of the day Thursday. A loss to the Wildcats could drop them into that Wednesday game depending other what Texas A&M and Vanderbilt do in their games on Saturday.

The women’s golf team finished third this week in the Gamecock Intercollegiate at Columbia Country Club. The second-ranked Gamecocks finished six shots back of Duke and three behind Wake Forest. Lois Kaye Go finished second at -4 for the best tournament showing of her career. The Gamecocks have two wins and three third place finishes in their events this season.

The men also had a strong showing in their last outing finishing third Sunday in the LSU Invitational. The Gamecocks finished five shots back of Illinois and three behind Vanderbilt. It was their third top ten finish on the season. Ryan Hall was the low Gamecock finishing tied for fourth at two over par.

The 17th ranked softball team plays in a tournament at North Carolina this weekend. The Gamecocks will play games against Elon, Connecticut and North Carolina. The Gamecocks have won seven of their last eight games and are 9-2. They are coming off a 10-1 win in five innings over Winthrop in Wednesday.

And the Gamecocks will send eight athletes to next week’s NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at the University of Arkansas. Evan Miller will compete in the 200 meters and Filip Demsar in the 60 meter hurdles for the men. On the women’s side, the Gamecocks seventh ranked 4 X 400 relay team will compete along with Destinee Rocker in the 60 meter hurdles and Rachel Glenn in the high jump.

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