South Carolina baseball (16-9, 1-5 SEC) looks to earn its first SEC series win against the Auburn Tigers (20-5, 4-2 SEC) this weekend.
The Gamecocks lost back-to-back SEC series to start their 2019 conference season, including a sweep by Georgia and a series loss to Tennessee last Sunday.
“The big thing now is everyone just has to stay on board and keep their heads up and realize that we got eight more weeks of this,” senior Chris Cullen told Gamecocks Online.
The Gamecocks are 12-6 at Founders Park this season and will look to gain ground in the SEC standings against the Tigers this weekend.
“We are a premier power team. We are second in the country in homers, but it is not translating to enough runs because we are not getting on base enough, and we are striking out too much," head coach Mark Kingston said in an interview with Gamecocks Online. "We are working on it mentally, physically, mechanically, all those things.”
This is the second-straight season that South Carolina has started 1-5 in the SEC. Last year’s season resulted in a NCAA Super Regionals appearance.
The Gamecocks are also coming off a shutout loss to NC A&T on Tuesday. Kingston said that leaving runners in scoring position in Tuesday’s loss is the main thing his team has to fix in order to win the series against Auburn.
“Our pitching was great, our defense was great,” Kingston said. “I don’t know how many runners we left on base tonight, but obviously too many.”
Sophomore Andrew Eyster will not be playing this weekend. He suffered a deep bone knee bruise against Tennessee in the second inning of game one of the series on Friday. Kingston said that he hopes Eyster will return next weekend against Alabama.
Eyster is one of the Gamecocks' key hitters and has hit four home runs this season. Freshman Joel Brewer replaced Eyster in right field in Tuesday’s loss to NC A&T.
Game one against Auburn is set for 7 p.m. Friday, with game two at 1 p.m. on Saturday and game three at noon on Sunday.