Lack of starting pitching to blame for Gamecocks sluggish start in SEC play

After dropping another weekend series to an SEC opponent, the Gamecock baseball team is going to face an uphill battle in their fight to reach the postseason.

The Gamecocks (17-11, 2-7 SEC) have found themselves in a position they’re not familiar with, sitting one game out of last place in the conference.

Although there have been a fair share of struggles for the team, pitching, specifically starting pitching, has been the obvious weak-point.

Losing Friday-starter Carmen Mlodzinski has proved to be a huge loss for pitching coach Skylar Meade’s staff. Outside of Reid Morgan, the weekend rotation has been a revolving door trying to find the right guys for the job.

However, freshman Daniel Lloyd made a strong case to keep his Friday-starter job due to this past week’s performance. Lloyd went 5 innings with 8Ks while allowing 3 earned runs against a strong Auburn lineup.

He showed he can be effective against top-tier offenses with a fastball he topped out at 93, and breaking pitches that were nasty at times.

The only question that still remains is this: who will step up to claim the Sunday-starter job?

With TJ Shook struggling again, giving up 4 runs in 1 ⅓ innings, the job seems like it’s up for grabs. Injuries limit the team’s options, but Shook, Wesley Sweatt, and Cam Tringali are the guys head coach Mark Kingston will choose amongst.

With veteran starters Mlodzinski and Ridge Chapman still a month away from returning from injury, Kingston will have to find consistency out of his young, inexperienced starters.

The Gamecocks head to Alabama (20-9, 2-7 SEC) this weekend where they look to get back on track in the SEC race.

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