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March 17, 2005

Columbia, S.C. – The second ranked South Carolina (16-1) baseball team begins conference play this weekend as the Gamecocks host seventh ranked Arkansas (16-1) in a three-game series at Sarge Frye Field with the opener set for Friday. First pitch is 7 p.m. with Saturday’s tilt at 4 p.m. A reminder to all fans that Sunday’s game was moved up an hour due to SEC travel regulations and will now start at 12:30 p.m. ET. Live audio broadcast and gametracker stats are available at Mike Morgan and Tommy Moody will call the action on the Gamecock Radio Network.

Arkansas: Nick Schmidt, Fr. LHP (3-0, 2.45 ERA)
South Carolina: Aaron Rawl, Sr. RHP (4-1, 2.43 ERA)

Arkansas: Charley Boyce, Jr. RHP (3-1, 3.76 ERA)
South Carolina: Zac McCamie, Sr. RHP (4-0, 2.25 ERA)

Arkansas: Shaun Siebert, Fr. RHP (2-0, 1.40 ERA)
South Carolina: Wynn Pelzer, Fr. RHP (1-0, 0.61 ERA)

South Carolina opens its 30 game Southeastern Conference schedule this weekend with a three-game series against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Sarge Frye Field. Game time Friday is 7 p.m. with a 4 p.m. start on Saturday. Game time for Sunday has been moved up an hour from 1:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. 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’s first five opponents (Arkansas, at Florida, Georgia, at LSU, Vanderbilt) all reached last year’s NCAA Super Regionals with three advancing to the College World Series (Arkansas, Georgia, LSU).

South Carolina won three games last week to improve its season record to 15-1. After Tuesday’s win at Wofford the Gamecocks are 16-1. Collegiate Baseball rewarded the Gamecocks by moving them up from fourth to second in the baseball newspapers’s national poll. The ESPN/Sports Weekly poll moved South Carolina up one spot to third. The Gamecocks remained fourth in the poll conducted by Baseball America. Arkansas began the week with a 16-1 record and was ranked seventh by Collegiate Baseball and 15th by Baseball America.

Right-handed pitcher Conor Lalor earned his first decision in nearly two years and remained undefeated as a Gamecock when South Carolina came from behind to defeat Wofford 6-2 Tuesday night at Spartanburg. Lalor allowed one hit, walked one and struck out one in 1 1/3 innings of relief. He missed the entire 2004 season as a medical redshirt while recovering from Tommy John surgery. As a freshman in 2003, Lalor compiled a 5-0 record.

South Carolina took a 2-0 lead in the scheduled four game Clemson series with Clemson with two victories this past weekend. The Gamecocks won the first 6-3 Saturday at Clemson’s Doug Kingsmore Stadium, and competed the sweep Sunday with a three-run eighth inning rally to win 6-5 at Sarge Frye Field. The rivals meet again April 13 at Clemson and April 20 at Columbia. Clemson leads the overall series, which dates back to 1899, 157-110-2. Coach Ray Tanner moved one game above .500 in his personal Carolina record against Clemson at 15-14.

Senior right fielder Brendan Winn was a hero in both wins over Clemson. Winn hit his eighth home run of the season at Clemson. The sixth inning two run blast at Doug Kingsmore Stadium broke a 2-2 tie and propelled the Gamecocks to a 6-3 win. Winn also had a RBI single in the second inning. In theunday game at Sarge Frye Field, Winn’s eighth inning double drove in the eventual winning run and climaxed a three run rally for a 6-5 victory. Winn returned to the lineup for the Clemson series after sitting out the 1-0 win over Charleston Southern with a sore back. It was the first game he has missed in his two year Gamecock career. In 15 games this season Winn has driven in 24 runs to lead the team in that category. His batting average is .288.

Redshirt freshman Andrew Cruse improved his record to 3-0 Sunday with 2 1/3 innings of damage control relief in South Carolina’s come from behind 6-5 win over Clemson. After Clemson scored three times in the seventh inning to take a 5-3 lead, Cruse took over. He allowed two hits and a walk but no runs. However, he needed help from closer Brent Marsh who came on to register the final out with two Clemson runners on base. Marsh earned his fourth save.

Senior right-hander Aaron Rawl became the ninth South Carolina pitcher to record 30 or more career wins when he defeated Clemson, March 12 for the third time in his career. Rawl pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed seven hits and two earned runs. He left with a 4-2 lead to improve his season mark to 4-1. His career record to 30-10, tying him for eighth place with Mike Cook (1983-85) with 30 wins. The all time leader in wins for the Gamecocks is Kip Bouknight (1998-2001), career record of 45-12.

Senior right-hander Jason Fletcher earned his second save as a Gamecock at Clemson with 3 1/3 innings of relief of Aaron Rawl in the win at Clemson. Fletcher came to South Carolina last season from Indian River Junior College and posted a 6-1 record with one save. He already has two wins this season for an 8-1 career record. In 10 1/3 innings Fletcher has allowed one earned run this season, a solo home run at Clemson.

Overall Series: Arkansas leads 20-17In Columbia: South Carolina leads 9-6In Fayetteville: Arkansas leads 12-4At SEC Tournament: South Carolina leads 4-1At CWS: Arkansas leads 1-0Longest SC Win Streak: 4, 1992-93Longest AR Win Strek: 4, twice, last 2003-04
Year winner sCORE sITE1985 Arkansas 1-0 (14) Omaha1992 Arkansas 8-3 Fayetteville Arkansas 7-2 Fayetteville South Carolina 20-11 Fayetteville Arkansas 8-6 New Orleans South Carolina 9-5 New Orleans1993 South Carolina 18-11 Columbia South Carolina 8-1 Columbia South Carolina 5-3 Columbia1996 Arkansas 8-1 Fayetteville Arkansas 2-1 Fayetteville South Carolina 13-2 Fayetteville1997 Arkansas 11-8 Columbia South Carolina 14-9 Columbia Arkansas 30-7 Columbia1998 Arkansas 11-1 Fayetteville Arkansas 17-16 (7) Fayetteville1999 Arkansas 8-2 Columbia South Carolina 16-6 Columbia Arkansas 13-5 Columbia2000 South Carolina 8-2 Fayetteville Arkansas 11-10 Fayetteville Arkansas 9-3 Fayetteville2001 South Carolina 16-5 Columbia South Carolina 7-4 Columbia South Carolina 9-3 Columbia2002 Arkansas 7-4 Fayetteville Arkansas 8-7 (15) Fayetteville South Carolina 10-1 Hoover South Carolina 6-2 Hoover2003 South Carolina 7-2 Columbia Arkansas 2-1 (7) Columbia Arkansas 4-1 (7) Columbia2004 Arkansas 5-3 Fayetteville Arkansas 5-4 Fayetteville South Carolina 10-2 Fayetteville South Carolina 3-2 HooverTMTM