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Feb. 16, 2005

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina baseball team is back in action at Sarge Frye Field this weekend for a three-game set against Radford University, Feb. 18-20. First pitch of Friday’s opener is at 3 p.m. Game two begins at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday’s finale also starts at 1:30 p.m.

Carolina, 3-0 and ranked No. 7, opened the 2005 campaign by sweeping a three-game series with Longwood University in Columbia last weekend. Radford comes to Columbia with a 1-2 record. The Highlanders avoided a three-game sweep at Old Dominion with a 5-4 victory in game three last Sunday.

Ten Gamecock pitchers combined to produce a 1.33 ERA in three games last weekend. Senior RHP Aaron Rawl earned SEC Pitcher-of-the-Week honors for his performance in last Friday’s win over Longwood. Rawl pitched seven innings and struck out five. He faced the minimum number of batters in each of the first five innings.

As a team, South Carolina owns a .333 batting average. Junior outfielder Davy Gregg led the way with a .538 batting average and four runs scored. Senior infielder Steven Tolleson hit .462 with a pair of doubles and a team-best five RBI, and junior outfielder Michael Campbell batted .500 and scored four runs.

South Carolina and Radford have met 11 times on the baseball diamond in a rivalry that dates back 11 years to 1994. The Gamecocks hold an 8-3 lead in the series. The Highlanders and Gamecocks met once last year with South Carolina winning 11-0 Feb. 28 in Columbia. Radford Coach Lew Kent is in his 11th season with the Highlanders.

The first 10 games of Carolina’s 56 game regular season are scheduled for Sarge Frye Field. The Gamecocks opened the season last weekend with a three game sweep of Longwood University. After the Radford series the Gamecocks entertain Niagara for three games next weekend. The home stand ends with the first night game of the season, March 2 against Wofford. South Carolina’s first road trip will be to Minneapolis for the Dairy Queen Classic March 4-6.

South Carolina senior right-hander Aaron Rawl was honored as the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week for his performance last weekend in the season opener. Rawl threw only 80 pitches in seven innings and earned his 27th career win in a 5-1 victory over Longwood. He allowed four hits, one earned run, no walks and struck out five.

South Carolina’s staff pitched 21 innings in the season opening series before walking a batter. Aaron Rawl and Conor Lalor combined to issue no bases on balls in the opening 5-1 victory over Longwood. In the second game, a 4-1 win, Zac McCamie, Andrew Cruse and Brent Marsh didn’t walk anyone. In the 13-3 Sunday victory, Forrest Beverly didn’t walk anyone the first three innings but the first batter in the fourth inning walked on a three and two count. Longwood wound up with four walks on Sunday. Through three games – 27 innings – 10 South Carolina pitchers have pitched. They have combined for 27 strikeouts and have issued four bases on balls.

The Baseball America and ESPN/Sports Weekly polls rank South Carolina seventh this week. The Collegiate Baseball poll ranks the Gamecocks as the eighth best NCAA Division I baseball team in the nation. The Gamecocks are also No. 7 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association poll.