Both the Gamecocks and Gators enter the title series with solid weekend rotations, with left-handed pitcher Michael Roth leading the way for the Gamecocks, and efficient right-handed pitcher Hudson Randall leading the way for the Gators.
Florida, though, has the edge in this department with other starters, right-hander Karsten Whitson and left-hander Alex Panteliodis throwing well in Omaha.
Randall has made one start in the College World Series, and that was against Texas. He allowed just one earned run in 6 2/3 innings and struck out five batters. When Randall faced the Gamecocks earlier this season, he allowed just a run on five hits in a complete game performance.
Whitson allowed a run on four hits in 4 2/3 innings in his only start in Omaha, while Panteliodis allowed a run on three hits in six innings in a tremendous performance against hard-hitting Vanderbilt. Overall, Whitson has a 2.43 ERA in 92 2/3 innings and Panteliodis has a 3.71 ERA in 63 innings.
Against the Gamecocks earlier this season, Whitson allowed a run on two hits in five innings, while Panteliodis hasn’t faced them.
Though it’s unlikely he’d start over Panteliodis in the finale, also keep an eye on left-hander Brian Johnson, who has yet to pitch in Omaha and has a 3.66 ERA in 78 2/3 innings.
Looking at the Gamecocks, they always feel fantastic when lefty Michael Roth is on the mound. Roth, as expected, has been tremendous in Omaha with a fabulous 0.63 ERA in two starts with teams hitting him at an incredibly low .170 clip.
Other starting pitchers include right-handers Colby Holmes and Forrest Koumas.
Holmes was fantastic in his only start in Omaha against Virginia, allowing a run on four hits in 4 1/3 innings. He has a 2.08 ERA in Omaha and overall has a 3.69 ERA in 85 1/3 innings. Koumas, meanwhile, could be the key to the series.
With South Carolina going 3-0 in its side of the bracket, Koumas has yet to start a game in Omaha, something that obviously is a concern for Gamecocks coach Ray Tanner. Koumas, though, has a 3.07 ERA in 67 1/3 innings and certainly has the potential to put together a fantastic start. The Gamecocks are in great shape if Koumas can outduel Randall in the series opener.
Against the Gators this season, Roth allowed two runs on 10 hits in 8 1/3 innings, while Holmes allowed no runs and just a hit in three innings of relief work. Koumas, a key statistic to remember, allowed just a run (none earned) on two hits in six innings.