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May 18, 2004

Columbia, S.C. – Fifth ranked South Carolina (39-13, 16-11 SEC) hosts its final home game of the regular season on Wednesday night as the Gamecocks face Wofford at 7 p.m. at Sarge Frye Field. Carolina enters the weekend fresh off a sweep of Tennessee and have won 14 of the last 17 games played. This is the final tuneup for USC before a three-game series at Georgia this weekend.

South Carolina will start junior RHP Billy Buckner (4-2, 3.32 ERA) with Wofford countering with junior LHP Chris Clark. This is Buckner’s first appearance since a start on April 16 at Kentucky. Buckner has been out of action the last month with mononucleosis. Before his illness Buckner appeared in 10 games, nine starts and pitched 59 2/3 innings with 74 strikeouts and just 16 walks allowed. The start for Clark is his third on the year vs. the Gamecocks. South Carolina has defeated Clark and the Terriers in the previous two meetings with a 12-1 win at Wofford on March 23 and a 3-0 victory on April 28 in Columbia.

South Carolina finished the week 5-0 with a SEC series win vs. Tennessee … South Carolina has won seven straight games as well as 14 of their last 16 games this season and four consecutive SEC series wins (Alabama, Ole Miss, Auburn, Tennessee) … The three-game sweep of Tennessee was the first sweep in conference play for the Gamecocks this year.

Junior RHP Aaron Rawl hurled his first complete game shutout in Saturday’s 2-0 win vs. Tennessee … Rawl allowed just two hits and struck out seven batters to clinch the series for South Carolina … The complete game was Rawl’s third of his career and first of the season … Rawl is 10-3 with a 4.47 ERA on the year and has pitched a team-high 90 2/3 innings.

Junior LHP Matt Campbell also hurled a complete game, his third of the season in Friday’s 2-1 win vs. Tennessee … Campbell allowed just one fun on four hits with nine strikeouts and one walk.

Freshman RHP Harris Honeycutt made his first career start and earned his first career victory in USC’s 9-4 win vs. North Carolina in the Battle of the Border … Honeycutt worked a career-high five innings and allowed four runs on four hits with a career-high seven strikeouts … Junior RHP Jason Fletcher pitched the final four innings of the North Carolina game to earn his first career save … Fletcher allowed no runs on two hits with six strikeouts.

Junior INF Kevin Melillo had his best week since returning from injury, he batted .391 (9-for-23) with a HR, three RBI and eight runs scored … The Gamecocks are 27-4 when Melillo is in the starting lineup.

Senior catcher Landon Powell is batting .356 with 15 HR and 58 RBI on the year, his 15th HR came in the 12-8 win vs. Tennessee … Powell leads the Gamecocks in hitting in SEC games with a .370 average, including 10 HR and 37 RBI … Powell also leads USC in multi-hit games with 25 on the year.

Junior INF Steve Pearce hit his second grand slam of the year and 14th HR of the season in Carolina’s 6-1 10-inning win vs. The Citadel … Junior OF Brendan Winn leads South Carolina in home runs with 17 on the year and hit one this week in Tuesday’s 9-4 win vs. North Carolina … Winn finished the week batting .353 (6-for-17) with five RBI … The USC offense has now put up 85 home runs on the year with four players over 10 home runs (Winn (17), Powell (15), Pearce (14), Michael Campbell (14)).