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Feb. 19, 2004

Columbia, S.C. – The University of South Carolina baseball team (3-0) returns to action on Friday afternoon as the seventh ranked Gamecocks host UNC-Wilmington (0-1) in a three-game series at Sarge Frye Field. First pitch for Friday is set for 3 p.m. with junior RHP Billy Buckner (0-0, 4.50 ERA) on the mound for the Gamecocks. The Seahawks will start junior LHP Zach Kimball, a junior college transfer from Bellevue CC in Washington.

The Gamecocks lead the overall series 11-2 with the Seahawks including a 6-0 win on March 6, 1995 in Wilmington, the last regular season meeting between the two schools. This weekend’s series also reunites USC head coach Ray Tanner and UNC-Wilmington head coach Mark Scalf. Scalf served as an assistant coach on Coach Tanner’s 2003 USA National Team staff this past summer that earned a silver medal at the Pan American Games. In addition, South Carolina pitching coach Jerry Meyers was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator under Scalf from 1991-1995 at UNC-Wilmington.

Saturday and Sunday games begin at 1:30 p.m. with junior RHP Aaron Rawl (1-0, 1.00 ERA) on the mound Saturday and junior LHP Matt Campbell (0-0, 0.00 ERA) getting the start for USC in the series finale. Live stats for all three games will be available at USCSPORTS.COM.


Recapping Last Week
South Carolina opened the 2004 season with a sweep vs. Charleston Southern over the weekend. South Carolina and CSU were able to complete all three games of the series despite a five hour and 23 minute rain delay on Saturday and a one hour and 45 minute rain delay on Sunday.

At the Plate & On the Mound
The Gamecocks finished the weekend batting .419 with nine HR, 52 hits and 44 runs scored … On the mound the Gamecocks hurled two shutouts and allowed just two runs in the series (a 0.67 ERA) and struck out 47 batters while walking just seven and allowing just 12 hits.

Breaking Records
In Saturday’s 38-0 win vs. Charleston Southern, the Gamecocks broke or tied 11 school records … Among them include runs in a game (38, tying a mark set in a 38-16 win vs. Clemson on April 23, 1997), hits in a game (35), largest margin of victory (38), home runs in an inning (4), total bases in a game (71), total bases in an inning (2nd inning; 27), doubles in a game (11), hits in an inning (11).

Top Performances at the Plate
Newcomer junior INF Steve Pearce led the Gamecocks at the plate this weekend batting .800 (8-for-10, three HR, eight RBI) … Pearce has two HR, including a grand slam vs. the Bucs on Saturday (5-for-6 with five runs and seven RBI in game) and a game-winning solo HR in Sunday’s 3-0 win vs. CSU … Another newcomer, junior OF Brendan Winn , also had a successful weekend batting .778 (7-for-9, one HR, three RBI) … Winn also hit for the cycle in Saturday’s 38-0 win, the first South Carolina player to accomplish the feat since Michael Floyd on March 13, 2001 vs. Davidson and the sixth in school history … Junior INF Kevin Melillo hit two HR and was 3-for-5 with seven RBI in Saturday’s win vs. the Bucs … Sophomore INF Steven Tolleson batted .417 on the weekend (5-for-12, three runs, two doubles) and hit a two-run game-winning HR in Friday’s 3-2 win vs. CSU.

Top Performances on the Mound
Junior RHP Aaron Rawl won the opener for Carolina throwing six innings and allowing one run on three hits while striking out eight batters … Newcomer junior RHP Jason Fletcher won in Saturday’s game as he hurled five shutout innings striking out nine batters and allowing just four hits … In Sunday’s 3-0 win, junior RHP and newcomer Zac McCamie hurled seven shutout innings allowing just two hits and striking out 10 batters while just yielding one walk to earn his first victory in Sunday’s 3-0 win … Newcomer junior RHP Chad Blackwell made two appearances out of the bullpen and earned two saves on Friday and Sunday, working two 1/3 perfect innings with five strikeouts.