The Elon Phoenix visit Carolina Stadium this weekend. Last year they won the Southern Conference regular season championship, and this year they have started out their season 4-0. Like many Southern Conference teams they don’t have many big name players, but they do have a well coached team who knows how to play baseball.
Offensively, they return their top two hitters. Sophomore Second Baseman Sebastian Gomez hit .305 last year to lead the team. Junior Center Fielder Niko Fraser hit .300 and attempted 32 stolen base attempts, converting 20. Junior catcher Alex Swim total 33 RBIs last year. He rarely walks or strikes out, so the Gamecock defense should be ready for the ball to be in play.
The pitching staff doesn’t boast electric numbers for the most part. The probable Friday starter, Kyle Webb, and an excellent strike out to walk ratio last year of 41:16, but he was only 2-1 as a starter with 2.80 ERA. Worse, opponents batted .273 against him. Probable Saturday starter, Dylan Clark, was 3-3 with a 2.78 ERA last year. Possible Sunday starter, David Whitehead, had a decent 6-2 record, but a gaudy 4.84 ERA. His walk to strikeout ratio was close to 1:1, and he threw 13 wild pitches to lead the team as well. The bullpen consists of many new faces, so projecting them is guess work, at best.
The Phoenix are probably a better team than VMI was. That being said, there’s no reason the Gamecocks can’t sweep. If the pitching continues like it did last weekend, South Carolina should be able to continue their hot start.