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May 6, 2004

Columbia, S.C. – Sixth ranked South Carolina (32-12, 11-10 SEC) heads back into SEC play this weekend with a three-game series at 20th ranked Auburn (29-17, 9-12 SEC) beginning Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. ET. Carolina heads into the weekend series having won seven of their last nine games played including the last two SEC series vs. Alabama and Ole Miss. All three games this week will be televised on CSS.

South Carolina leads the overall series with the Tigers 19-12 and have won 13 of the last 15 meetings between the two schools. This is the first regular season series between Carolina and Auburn since the 2001 season. South Carolina swept a three-game series in 2000 vs. Auburn, the last time both teams met at Hitchcock Field of Plainsman Park.

Live stats and live audio will be available at USCSPORTS.COM for all three games. The game will also be broadcast on all Gamecock Baseball Radio affiliates with Mike Morgan and Tom Price calling the action. Saturday’s first pitch is also set for 7:30 p.m. ET with the Sunday finale set for 2:30 p.m. ET.

Auburn: RHP Josh Bell (2-2, 3.38 ERA), So.
South Carolina: RHP Aaron Rawl (9-2, 4.12 ERA), Jr.

Auburn: LHP Arnold Hughey (6-2, 4.58 ERA), Jr.
South Carolina: LHP Matt Campbell (6-3, 3.58 ERA), Jr. OR
LHP Arik Hempy (3-1, 1.82 ERA), Fr.

Sunday Auburn: TBA
South Carolina: Campbell or Hempy


Ray Tanner is in his eighth season at South Carolina and his 17th as a collegiate head coach. His record with the Gamecocks is 351-147, a winning percentage of .705. Tannner’s overall record is 746-320-3 a winning percentage of .699. Tanner won his 350th game at South Carolina, April 30 in the first game of a series with Ole Miss. The second game of the series at Auburn this weekend is scheduled to be the 500th South Carolina game coached by Tanner.

For the second consecutive week the SEC Pitcher of the Week is from South Carolina. Freshman LHP Arik Hempy pitched 12 scoreless innings last week to earn a save and a shutout win. He pitched three hitless innings to save a 7-3 win in the first game of the Ole Miss series and two days later shut the Rebels out 3-0 in a four hit complete game. The previous Sunday junior LHP Matt Campbell pitched the first complete game extra inning shutout win by a South Carolina pitcher in 39 years when he blanked Alabama 1-0 in 10 innings Sunday, April 25.

Sophomore infielder Steven Tolleson has contributed the winning run batted in twice in extra inning games this season. After more than a month on the disabled list with leg injuries, Tolleson returned to the lineup during the week of April 21-25. His 10th inning RBI single April 25 produced a 1-0 win over Alabama. On March 7 at Clemson, Tolleson led off the 10th inning with a home run to defeat the Tigers 8-7. South Carolina is 4-1 in extra inning games this season. A 10th inning home run by Landon Powell defeated Florida April 9 and two days later Brendan Winn drove in the winning run with a 10th inning single to defeat the Gators 7-6.

Junior RHP Aaron Rawl became a 20 game career winner when South Carolina defeated Kentucky 5-3 on April 18 in Lexington. Rawl improved his 2004 record to 9-2 with wins over Alabama and Ole Miss in his next two starts. His three-year career mark is 22-7. He also has eight career saves. Rawl is the 16th South Carolina pitcher to register 20 or more wins. The record holder is Kip Bouknight (1998-2001) who compiled a mark of 45-21.