by UofSC Athletic Communications
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The University of South Carolina baseball team begins its 127th season of play this weekend as the Gamecocks welcome Liberty to Founders Park. Opening Day is Friday, Feb. 15 at 4 p.m. The two teams will play on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 3 p.m. and conclude the series on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 1:30 p.m. Friday and Sunday's game will be streamed on SEC Network Plus with Burch Antley and Kip Bouknight on the call. All three games will be broadcast on The Game 107.5 FM with Derek Scott, Drew Meyer and Tommy Moody on the call. The three-game series opens a nine-game homestand for the Gamecocks. South Carolina will play 18 of its first 21 games at Founders Park.
> For the third straight season, shuttle parking for the University of South Carolina baseball season will be operational at the Key Road Gravel Lot (1105 Key Road) and in Lot B of the Colonial Life Arena parking lot. Shuttles will begin running two hours prior to game time.
We strongly recommend that fans use the baseball shuttle from Key Road to Founders Park over the CLA shuttle for the convenience, spacious parking (650 spaces) and less congestion than at the arena. Please remember that at the arena, shuttle parking will be limited to 50 spaces because of the student demand for parking in this area. There is a high student demand Monday through Thursday that lasts until 7 p.m. because of classes. Lots A and B are also reserved for men's and women's basketball parking on Feb. 17, 18 and 21.
For GPS purposes, the address for the Key Road Gravel Lot is 1105 Key Road, Columbia, SC 29201.
BUSINESS LOTS DURING AFTERNOON GAMES - Business lot parking passes will be honored in Lot 1 ONLY for the Feb. 15, 19, 20, 22 and 26 afternoon baseball games based on availability. The businesses at 405 (Lot 9) and 401 (Lot 10) Huger Street request that you begin parking at 5:30 p.m. on weekdays. Other business lots open at 5 p.m. on weekdays. Parking is allowed in Lot 8 (the Cregger lot) on the Williams St. side for the afternoon early games.
GAME DAY PARKING INFORMATION (including public game day lots (PGDL: $10/$5 per game))
Weekday 4 p.m. Games (Feb. 15, 19, 20, 22, 26) Game time: 4 p.m. Stadium opens: 2:30 p.m. Business Lots Open: 5/5:30 p.m. Lot 1, STDM, HDG PDGL Open: 1 p.m. Bus Shuttle for Patrons: 2 p.m.
Weekdays Game Time: 7 p.m. Stadium Opens: 5:30 p.m. Business Lots Open: 5/5:30 p.m. Lot 1, STDM, HDG PGDL Open: 4 p.m. Bus Shuttle for Patrons: 5 p.m.
Saturday Game Time: 4 p.m. Stadium Opens: 2:30 p.m. Business Lots Open: 1 p.m. Lot 1, STDM, HDG PGDL Open: 1 p.m. Bus Shuttle for Patrons: 2 p.m.
Sunday Game Time: 1:30 p.m. Stadium Opens: Noon Business Lots Open: 10:30 a.m. Lot 1, STDM, HDG PGDL Open: 10:30 a.m. Bus Shuttle for Patrons: 11:30 a.m.
Mlodzinski will get the ball on Opening Day after making 19 appearances with seven starts for the Garnet and Black in 2018. He had three wins and a save while striking out 43 batters in 45.2 innings pitched. Mlodzinski earned the win in the Greenville Regional championship game against UNC Wilmington on June 4, striking out three and allowing four hits and three runs in five innings of work. He also struck out five in five innings in an SEC Tournament win over Missouri on May 22.
Harley will get the nod on Saturday afternoon and will make his Gamecock debut in the process. The Summerville, S.C., native was 8-0 with a state-best 111 strikeouts for Cane Bay High School his senior season. He helped Cane Bay to a 22-6 record and a Region 8-4A championship in 2018 while being named to the USA TODAY High School Sports All-South Carolina first team.
Morgan also will be making his Gamecock debut on Sunday afternoon. The Kingwood, Texas, native played at San Jacinto Community College for his sophomore year and was 2-1 with a 3.10 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 40.2 innings pitched. He helped San Jac to a 52-15 overall record and a semifinal berth in the JuCo World Series in 2018. Morgan attended Oklahoma State as a freshman, striking out four in six innings for the Cowboys. Morgan was 7-1 with a 1.27 ERA as a junior at Foster High School in Texas.
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
Friday South Carolina Carmen Mlodzinski (So. RHP) 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.0 IP, 0 BB, 0 SO Liberty Andrew McInvale (Jr. RHP) 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.0 IP, 0 BB, 0 SO
Saturday South Carolina Dylan Harley (Fr. LHP) 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.0 IP, 0 BB, 0 SO Liberty Mason Meyer (So. LHP) 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.0 IP, 0 BB, 0 SO
Sunday South Carolina Reid Morgan (Jr. RHP) 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.0 IP, 0 BB, 0 SO Liberty Noah Skirrow (So. RHP) 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.0 IP, 0 BB, 0 SO
Liberty is coming off a 32-26 season in 2018 while going 17-10 in conference play. The Flames are playing their first season in the Atlantic Sun Conference and picked to finish third in the A-Sun Preseason Baseball poll behind Stetson and Jacksonville. Liberty returns Tyler Galazin, who hit .286 with nine doubles, four home runs and 39 RBI in 2018. The Flames also bring back Cam Locklear, who had 10 doubles and 33 RBI as a sophomore. On the mound, Liberty will start newcomers Andrew McInvale and Mason Meyer on Friday and Saturday, respectively. The Flames will go with Noah Skirrow on Sunday. He was 4-3 with a 4.57 ERA and 77 strikeouts and a .223 opponent's batting average in 67 innings pitched in 2018.
Carolina owns an 11-3 overall series record against the Flames, dating back to the 1974 season. The Gamecocks are 9-2 against the Flames in Columbia and own a three-game winning streak against Liberty. The two teams played a midweek game on May 10, 2017 with Carolina coming out on top 10-7. Riley Hogan drove in four runs while Danny Blair had three RBI in the win. Alex Destino walked five times in the win, setting a Carolina single-game record. The two teams have played in the regionals three times, once in 2000 and twice in 2013, with Carolina winning all three matchups.
Freshman Brady Allen's brother, Dylan, played four seasons for the Flames from 2014-18. Dylan, who was an infielder for the Flames, hit .258 as a freshman with 17 runs scored and 15 RBI ... Freshman Wes Clark and junior Nick Neville are natives of Virginia. Clarke went to high school at Liberty Christian Academy, right next to Liberty University. Clarke was the USA TODAY Virginia High School Player of the Year in 2018 and a 40th round MLB Draft selection by Milwaukee. His sister, Madi, also played softball at Liberty.
The Gamecocks will host a pair of midweek contests at Founders Park. Carolina faces Winthrop Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 19) and Presbyterian Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 20). Both games will start at 4 p.m. with Wednesday's game streamed on SEC Network Plus.