April 17, 2003
Columbia, S.C. – Fresh off Wednesday night’s 7-1 win vs. Wofford, the South Carolina baseball team hosts eighth ranked Mississippi State for a three-game series beginning on Friday night at 7 p.m. at Sarge Frye Field. South Carolina has posted a 23-14 record on the year, including a 7-8 mark in the SEC. Carolina is tied for first place with Tennessee in the Eastern Division. The Bulldogs enter the weekend with a 27-7-1 record and 10-4 in the SEC. Mississippi State owns a 10-1 record this year on the road and is currently third overall in the SEC.
Friday night’s game will feature two of the top left-handed pitchers in the SEC. Senior LHP Steven Bondurant (4-2, 3.86 ERA) is scheduled to start for Carolina with junior LHP Paul Maholm (6-1, 1.45 ERA) taking the mound for the Bulldogs. Bondurant earned his fourth win of the year last Friday at Florida, hurling 8 1/3 innings and striking out a career-high 12 batters. The senior from Providence Day, N.C. threw 155 pitches and allowed just four runs. Bondurant has 62 strikeouts on the year with just 17 walks in 58 1/3 innings pitched. Maholm comes into Friday’s game leading the SEC in earned run average allowing just 10 earned runs in 62 innings pitched. Maholm has won four consecutive starts including last Friday in the Bulldogs 4-2 win vs. fifth ranked Auburn. The junior left-hander worked seven innings allowing two runs on eight hits and finishing with eight strikeouts.
Junior LHP David Marchbanks (7-2, 2.05 ERA) will get the start for Carolina on Saturday with sophomore RHP Alan Johnson (4-1, 3.72 ERA) scheduled to start for Mississippi State. Marchbanks earned SEC Pitcher of the Week honors following his four-hit complete game in Saturday’s 10-2 win at Florida. The junior from Simpsonville, S.C. allowed just four hits and two runs vs. the Gators while striking out six batters and walking two. Marchbanks just allowed one hit in his final seven innings of work on Saturday. Marchbanks leads the SEC in innings pitched (70 1/3) and is tied for wins by a pitcher with Levale Speigner of Auburn. Marchbanks is also fourth in the SEC in earned run average. Marchbanks has struck out 53 batters on the year while yielding just eight walks. In his first year at MSU, Johnson has been effective in eight starts for the Bulldogs working 48 1/3 innings pitched and striking out 37 batters while walking seven. Johnson holds wins vs. Connecticut, East Tennessee State, as well as road victories at Arkansas and Ole Miss.
Sophomore LHP Todd Nicholas (3-1, 2.95 ERA) gets the start for the Bulldogs on Sunday with South Carolina’ starter to be announced.
Saturday’s first pitch is set for 4 p.m. with the final set of the three-game series on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Live stats and live audio broadcast will be available at USCSPORTS.COM.