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Weather threatens to disrupt big weekend for Gamecock athletics

Ben Portnoy
·2 min read

Weather continues to threaten South Carolina’s packed sports weekend.

The National Weather Service is projecting a 100% chance of rain Saturday as the Gamecocks football team is scheduled to hold its annual Garnet and Black spring game at 2 p.m. and baseball is slated to wrap up its series with No. 1 Arkansas at 4 p.m.

A South Carolina spokesman told The State nothing had changed with football’s plans as of Wednesday morning.

“Saturday rain, we’re kind of expecting to get going in the morning and then pretty much continue through most of the day,” Matt Gropp, a Columbia-based meteorologist for the National Weather Service, told The State on Wednesday. “Unfortunately it looks like a pretty big rainmaker for most of the day Saturday.”

Gropp added that the heaviest rainfall of the day is expected between the 2 and 4 p.m. window Saturday in which the spring game and baseball game would be impacted. The weather system is not expected to move out of the area until Saturday evening and is projected to dump between 1 and 3 inches of rainfall on the area over a 12-hour span.

For now, the Friday and Sunday forecasts are clear of rain.

South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer spoke with reporters Tuesday, airing some level of caution that getting in a game after Saturday’s planned 2 p.m. start time could prove tricky — classes at South Carolina end Monday and exams begin Wednesday.

“I had one year at Oklahoma where we were scheduled to play on a Saturday and we moved it to a Friday night literally like two days before the spring game,” Beamer said when asked about the potential for a rain-out. “But no, we don’t have any plans (to move the spring game) at this point.”

Beamer’s squad is also fighting a recent run of injuries heading into the weekend. As many as eight players were gathered with South Carolina’s injured group of players during the open portion of Tuesday’s practice.

Running back Kevin Harris was also held out of the session for precautionary reasons according to Beamer. South Carolina’s staff does expect Harris to be available assuming the spring game goes on this weekend.

“He’s got a couple little things that were bugging him that we held him out of practice (for) today,” Beamer said, “but I anticipate him being able to do some things on Saturday for sure.”

The Gamecocks baseball team would have to shift its calendar forward should the forecast hold. The most likely scenario — if there’s a change — is that the Gamecocks and Razorbacks play two nine-inning games Friday, though nothing has been announced yet.