After a rocky 2-6 start to conference play, the University of South Carolina baseball team has gotten its act together … and then some.

The two-time defending national champions have reeled off an impressive 15-3 conference record over the last six weeks – including sweeps of Mississippi State, Auburn and Alabama. As a result the Gamecocks (38-13, 17-9 SEC) are firing on all cylinders as they approach the postseason – fueling visions of a “three-peat.’

Offensively, USC has been led this year by junior first baseman Christian Walker, who is hitting .343 with nine home runs and 45 RBI on the season.  Walker also has a .471 on-base percentage and a .556 slugging percentage. As for the Gamecocks’ pitching staff, senior left-hander Michael Roth continues to dominate for head coach Ray Tanner’s team – giving up just three hits in seven scoreless innings against the Georgia Bulldogs over the weekend.

Roth is 5-0 on the year with a 2.60 ERA – and is holding opposing hitters six points below the Mendoza line.

After a tilt Tuesday against in-state rival USC-Upstate, South Carolina hosts Louisiana State at Carolina Stadium this weekend in the final series of the 2012 regular season. The Tigers (39-13, 17-10)  were ranked No. 3 in the nation last week by Baseball America – one spot ahead of the Gamecocks – however they lost a series at home to Vanderbilt over the weekend.

South Carolina began the 2012 season ranked No. 3 – which is where the Gamecocks could wind up heading into next week’s SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama.

Pics: Laurie Giarratano