March 3, 2005
Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina baseball (10-0) makes its first road trip of the season this weekend as the Gamecocks travel north for the Dairy Queen Classic hosted by the University of Minnesota. USC will face Pepperdine on Friday at 1:15 pm ET, host Minnesota on Saturday at 7:30 pm ET and New Orleans on Sunday at 12 pm ET. Saturday’s game with the Gophers will be televised on a tape delay basis on FOX Sports Net North beginning at 9:30 pm ET. Live stats and live audio broadcast with Tommy Moody and Tom Price calling the action will be available at www.uscsports.com.
Listed below is the probable starters for this weekend.
South Carolina: Aaron Rawl, Sr., RHP (3-0, 1.62 ERA)
Pepperdine: Kea Kometani, Sr., RHP (1-2, 4.01 ERA)
South Carolina: Zac McCamie, Sr., RHP (3-0, 1.12 ERA)
Minnesota: Josh Krogman, Sr., RHP (0-0, 1.80 ERA)
South Carolina: Conor Lalor, Sr., RHP (0-0, 2.00 ERA)
New Orleans: Ryan Meyer, So., LHP (0-1, 2.84 ERA)
WE ARE LIVE
South Carolina baseball is on the air. All non-conference baseball games are now available for live broadcast at www.uscsports.com . Former Gamecock infielder Tommy Moody will call the action for all non-conference games. In addition, the Gamecocks will have 34 games broadcast on the South Carolina Radio Network beginning on March 12 with the USC-Clemson game. Mike Morgan and Tommy Moody will handle home games with Morgan and Tom Price calling the action on the road.
DAIRY QUEEN CLASSIC
South Carolina plays Pepperdine at 1:15 ET Friday, host Minnesota at 7:30 p.m., ET Saturday and New Orleans and Noon ET on Sunday in the Metrodome Stadium, home of the American League, Minnesota Twins. The Dairy Queen Classic is the first indoor baseball played by South Carolina since the 1992 SEC Tournament was held at the Superdome in New Orleans. The Gamecocks will be meeting Pepperdine and Minnesota for the first time ever. South Carolina and New Orleans have met 13 times between 1984 and 1991. The Gamecocks hold a 7-6 lead in the series
South Carolina returns to Sarge Frye Field to meet Charleston Southern Wednesday night before a two-game set with arch rival Clemson. Carolina leads the Charleston Southern series 63-11. The Gamecocks swept a three-game series with the Buccaneers last year. Game time Wednesday is 7 p.m. and is the only scheduled game between the two schools this year. Carolina plays at Clemson Saturday with a 2 p.m. first pitch. The series moves to Columbia Sunday with a 1:30 scheduled start. Both games will be broadcast on CSS-TV.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Steve Pearce sat out the first six games of the season due to a suspension and rejoined the starting lineup with a bang — National Player of the Week and Southeastern Conference Player of the Week. In three games against Niagara, Feb. 25-27, Pearce had eight hits in 13 at bats, a .615 pace. He began with two singles in four at bats Friday and drove in one run. On Saturday he went five for five, three singles and two home runs, one a grand slam with five RBI. He was one for four, another grand slam homer, on Sunday. He drove in 10 runs in the three game sereis. Collegiate Baseball named Pearce Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week and the Southeastern Conference recognized him as its Player of the Week. Pearce was just as explosive in his first three games in 2004. He had eight hits in 11 at bats, including a grand slam and two other home runs and drove in eight runs. Pearce chipped in three RBI in his fourth start of 2005. He singled in two runs in the first inning and had a sacrifice fly in the third of a 13-1 win over Wofford.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK
South Carolina senior right-hander Aaron Rawl was honored for the period that ended Feb. 13 as the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week for his performance in the season opening game. 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 remains fifth this week in all three of the major baseball polls. USC is ranked fourth this week in the NCBWA poll.
In 70 games last year South Carolina batters hit three bases loaded home runs, two by Steve Pearce and one by departed All-American catcher Landon Powell. In the first nine games this season the Gamecocks matched the 2004 season total – three grand slams. Again, Pearce has two of them, both against Niagara, Feb. 26-27. Brendan Winn homered with the bases loaded Feb. 20 against Radford.
Brendan Winn had two multiple home run games this season and Steve Pearce has one. Winn homered twice Feb. 20 against Radford and Feb. 26 against Niagara. Pearce hit two home runs when he went five for five in the Feb. 26 game won by the Gamecocks 19-1.
Junior shortstop Steven Tolleson tied a school record when he had two triples Feb. 18 to help South Carolina defeat Radford University 20-0. Eleven other Gamecocks have had two three base hits in a game dating back to Bill Harley in 1931, but no one has ever tripled three times.
With victories in his first three 2005 starts Aaron Rawl has moved into ninth place for most South Carolina pitching wins in his career. His total stands 29-9. One more win and Rawl will become the ninth South Carolina pitcher to record 30 career wins. That would tie him with Mike Cook (1983-85) for eighth on the win list. Cook’s career record was 30-8. Rawl also has eight career saves. He had a 7-2 record as a freshman, was 6-3 his sophomore season and 13-4 as a junior.
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 the first nine games – 81 innings – South Carolina pitchers have struck out 79 batters and have walked only 14, an average of 1.56 walks per nine innings.
Ray Tanner is in his ninth season at South Carolina and his 18th as a collegiate head coach. His record with the Gamecocks is 382-152, a winning percentage of .715.Tanner’s overall record is 777-325-3, a winning percentage of .704. In nine seasons at N. C. State his record was 395-173-3. Tanner won his 350th game at South Carolina April 30, 2004 in the first game of a series with Mississippi.
South Carolina entered the 2005 season with a new pitching coach. Mark Calvi joined the Gamecock staff after 11 seasons as pitching coach at Florida International University. Calvi replaced Jerry Meyers who was named head coach at Old Dominion University after eight seasons as a member of the South Carolina staff. Calvi is a 1986 graduate of Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Jim Toman began his ninth season on head coach Ray Tanner’s staff with a new title. Toman was promoted last August to associate head coach. He came to South Carolina in 1997 from N. C. State where he served on the staff under Tanner for five years. Toman is a 1985 graduate of N. C. State where he was a catcher on the baseball team. He earned a master’s degree from N. C. State in 1995.
South Carolina assistant baseball coach Monte Lee last September was inducted as an inaugural member of the College of Charleston Wall of Fame at Patriot’s Point Stadium. Lee was a star outfielder at the College of Charleston for four seasons (1996-99). He is in his third season on Coach Ray Tanner’s Gamecock staff and works with outfielders and hitters in addition to coaching first base.
South Carolina won more games over the past five seasons than any other NCAA Division I baseball team. Since 2000 the Gamecocks entered the 2005 season with 260 wins to 259 for Florida State, 247 for Texas, 246 for Rice and 245 for Stanford. Over the five-year period South Carolina compiled a 260-87 record, a winning percentage of .749. Against Southeastern Conference opponents the record for the same period was 99-50, a percentage of .664.
Two seniors and a junior are serving as captains of the 2005 South Carolina baseball squad. Right-handed pitcher Aaron Rawl, right fielder Brendan Winn and shortstop Steven Tolleson are the Gamecock captains. Rawl and Winn are seniors. Tolleson is a junior.
Five position starters return from the 2004 season. Senior Steve Pearce switched from first to third base. He played 50 games at first base last year but did appear in 21 games at third. The outfield from 2004 is intact. Michael Campbell has switched to center field with Davy Gregg moving from center to left. Brendan Winn remains in right field. Steven Tolleson returns as the everyday shortstop. Tommy King started 24 games last year, most of them at second place when Kevin Melillo was injured. Ryan Mahoney had 34 starts in 2004, 33 of them as the designated hitter and one as catcher.
Ten returning players had a composite .307 batting average (451-1470) in 2004 with 67 home runs and 273 runs batted in. The five regular starters had 391 hits in 1218 at bats for a composite .321 average including 58 home runs and 242 RBI. Steve Pearce was .346-21-70 to win the triple crown. Davy Gregg was .325-0-26; Steven Tolleson was .316-4-25; Michael Campbell .312-14-52; and Brendan Winn .305-19-69.