South Carolina defeated Alabama two games to one over the weekend at Carolina Stadium. Add to that last weekend’s series victory over Auburn, and the Gamecocks can claim the Alabama state championship. LSU and Mississippi State have the same opportunity, but since Carolina doesn’t play either of them in the regular season, I’m comfortable declaring the Gamecocks at the least co-champions.
The win was a big series win for the Gamecocks’ post season positioning. Alabama is a good team with a good RPI. Currently Carolina is sitting pretty for a national seed, but they need to win some more games to lock it up. USC plays weekend series against Georgia, Missouri and Vanderbilt along with two midweek games against the Citadel and Wofford.
If Carolina wins two of the three series, without getting swept in the other along with winning both midweek games, the Gamecocks shouldn’t have to leave Columbia on the road to Omaha. In that scenario Carolina would be at least 41-15 (17-13) with a Top 8 RPI. Carolina’s out of conference RPI is also very high, so a national seed should be likely.
To win those games USC is going to have to continue getting healthy and probably find a third reliever. Seddon and Mincey are strong options that can carry Carolina a long way, but if one or two more relievers could step forward, USC would be increase their margin for error. Reed Scott, Taylor Widener or Hunter Privette would be three I’d watch the rest of the way.