COLUMBIA, SC (TheBigSpur) - The South Carolina pitching staff has suffered a blow as junior Evan Beal will be out at least through the Clemson series and potentially the start of Southeastern Conference play. Beal, who did not pitch opening weekend due to a back injury, was to be counted on out of the bullpen this season.
Beal has a stress reaction in his back, which caused him to miss the first two weeks of preseason practice when the team returned in January. He pitched the final weekend before the season started but suffered a recurrence of the injury. He is scheduled to be reevaluated the first week of March after the series with the Tigers.
At the earliest, Beal could return for the series against Brown but it is more likely that he is healthy enough to see time on the mound the opening week of SEC play at home against Ole Miss.
In his two-year career at South Carolina, the right-hander has a 6-5 record and 4.18 earned run average. He has pitched in 41 games with six starts and five saves.
Beal first made his name in a South Carolina uniform his freshman season pitching four innings and picking up the win against Clemson in relief. He struck out five and allowed only three hits.
The Gamecocks return to the field on Friday at 3 p.m. to begin a three-game series with Eastern Kentucky.
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