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March 11, 2005

Columbia, S.C. – Fourth ranked South Carolina (13-1) returns to action on Saturday as the Gamecocks begin a two-game home and home series with Clemson (5-5). Carolina travels to Clemson for a Saturday afternoon game at 2 p.m. ET with Sunday’s tilt in Columbia at Sarge Frye Field beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET. Both games will be televised on CSS-TV. Live audio broadcast and live Gametracker stats are also available for both games at The Gamecock Radio Network will broadcast Saturday and Sunday’s game with Mike Morgan, Tommy Moody and Tom Price calling the action. Both games in Columbia are available on WOMG (103.1 FM) and News/Talk WIS (1320 AM).

The pitching rotation for the weekend is listed below.

South Carolina: Aaron Rawl, Sr. RHP (3-1, 2.25 ERA)
Clemson: Josh Cribb, Jr. RHP (1-0, 2.76 ERA)

South Carolina: Zac McCamie, Sr. RHP (4-0, 2.05 ERA)
Clemson: Kris Harvey, Jr. RHP (2-1, 5.17 ERA)

The first two of four games scheduled this season between in-state rivals South Carolina and Clemson will be played this weekend. The Gamecocks travel to Clemson Saturday for a 2 p.m. first pitch. The rivalry continues at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Sarge Frye Field in Columbia. The rivals meet again April 13 at Clemson and April 20 at Columbia. South Carolina and Clemson split four games last year, the Gamecocks winning the first two and the Tigers taking the last two. Clemson leads the overall series, which dates back to 1899, 157-108-2. South Carolina has a 13-1 record this season. Clemson is 5-5.

The Southeastern Conference schedule begins next week when the Arkansas Razorbacks come to Sarge Frye Field for a three-game series Friday through Sunday (March 18-20). Each SEC team is scheduled to play 30 conference games. After, Arkansas, South Carolina travels to Florida, plays Georgia at Sarge Frye, goes to LSU, comes home to play Vanderbilt, is at Alabama, plays Auburn in Columbia, travels to Tennessee and Ole Miss on consecutive weekends in May and closes out the conference schedule at home vs. Kentucky. The only SEC team not on the schedule this season is Mississippi State.

South Carolina won three of four games last week and moved up one spot to fourth in all three major national polls despite dropping from the undefeated list. Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and ESPN/Sports Weekly moved the Gamecocks up from fifth to fourth.

The Gamecocks earned a 1-0 win over Charleston Southern Wednesday night at Sarge Frye Field when four pitchers combined to limit the Buccaneers to one hit. The only Charleston Southern hit was a sixth inning single allowed by freshman right-hander Wynn Pelzer, the Gamecock starter. Andrew Cruse, 2-0, pitched the seventh inning and received credit for the win. Brent Marsh earned his third save. The Gamecocks scored the game’s only run in the seventh inning without hitting the ball out of the infield. Two hit batters, a base on balls and an infield single by Steve Pearce scored the run.

Three South Carolina players were named to the all-tournament team at the Dairy Queen Classic in Minneapolis. Designated hitter Jon Willard batted .417 (5-for-12) in three games including a triple. Right fielder Brendan Winn batted .333 (4-for-12) and hit a home run over the 408 foot center field sign in the Metrodome. Winn was robbed of a home run Friday when Pepperdine center fielder Adrian Ortiz leaped above the fence to pluck Winn’s 390 foot drive ┢┢out of the stands. Second baseman Chris Brown hit .417 (5-for-12) and drove in five runs. South Carolina’s leading hitter in the tournament was shortstop Steven Tolleson but he didn’t make the all-tournament team because Pepperdine’s shortstop also had a senational three games. Tolleson had eight hits in 13 at bats including three doubles.

Senior right-handed pitcher Zac McCamie won his first four starts of this season to remain undefeated as a Gamecock. McCamie came to Carolina after two years at Semiole Junior College and posted a 7-0 record as a junior, including wins over SEC opponents Auburn, Tennessee and Vanderbilt in the SEC tournament championship game. He also defeated East Carolina in relief in the NCAA Regional and pitched two 2/3 hitless innings in the College World Series. With 2005 wins over Longwood, Radford, Niagara and Minnesota, McCamie’s South Carolina record is 11-0.

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.

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.

Ray Tanner is in his ninth season at South Carolina and his 18th as a collegiate head coach. His record with the Gamecocks is 385-153, a winning percentage of .715.Tanner’s overall record is 780-326-3, a winning percentage of .705. 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.

Brendan Winn had two mutliple 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 5-for-5 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.

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 13 games – 126 innings – 18 South Carolina pitchers have appeared in one more more games. They have combined for 123 strikeouts and have walked only 27, an average of 1.93 walks per nine innings and 4.56 strikeouts per walk.

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. ┢┢