This was a big weekend for South Carolina baseball.
They were coming off their first SEC series sweep in years at the hands of Kentucky. They lost to Wofford in extra innings on Wednesday. ESPN was in town for Thursday night SEC baseball.
And so were the #1 ranked Florida Gators.
It was imperative that South Carolina put up a good showing and erase the memories of those close losses to the Kentucky Wildcats.
There was plenty to take away from this weekend but, in the end, the Gamecocks fell short in their bid to win the series to Florida and lost two games out of three. Here's a recap of each game for the series:
It was a tough series for the Gamecocks against Florida. There's a reason why the Gators are number one in the nation and it shows. Top to bottom, there is a ton of talent on Florida's roster and the big difference just seems to be experience right now. South Carolina is in the midst of replacing its entire infield and that group is still learning and growing at a unit.
The big move of the weekend was putting Matt Price back in the bullpen. It worked out perfectly for USC on Thursday night as Price came into the tied ball game and flipped the energy to the Gamecocks' side. He's been great as a starting pitcher this year but there is something about him coming in from the bullpen that makes things click for the Gamecocks. Forrest Koumas will need to work back to last year's form if they are to make this move stick.
South Carolina showed enough to me this weekend that this is a team that should still be considered dangerous in the SEC. They had two close losses to Kentucky that could have went the other way. They have a close loss to Florida on Saturday and the extra innings loss to Wofford as well. Add a few runs to those games and this Gamecock team is still sitting pretty. The bad news is there is work to do. USC is in last place in the SEC East at 1-5 in conference play and travel to the always tough Vanderbilt Commodores next weekend. It'll be important for South Carolina to win this series if they hope to make a run at the SEC Tournament.
It's not quite time to panic if you are South Carolina but you certainly want to get things headed in the right direction sooner than later.