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April 5, 2005

Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina baseball team (24-5) returns to action on Wednesday night hosting The Citadel (11-15) at 7 p.m. at Sarge Frye Field. Senior RHP Cliff Donald (1-0, 5.40 ERA) will make the start for Carolina with sophomore RHP Justin Smith (1-1, 6.52 ERA) on the mound for the Bulldogs. Live audio broadcast will be available at with Tommy Moody and guest announcer, former Gamecock catcher and All-American, Landon Powell, on the broadcast. Live gametracker stats will also be available.

South Carolina meets The Citadel tonight for the second time this season and the 156th time snce the rivalry began in 1900. South Carolina leads the series 111-43-1. The Gamecocks defeated The Citadel in Charleston one week ago. The final score was 4-2.

South Carolina travels to Baton Rouge for a three game Southeastern Conference series beginning Friday night at Louisiana State University. Eastern Daylight game times are 7:30 Friday, 3 o’clock Saturday, and 1 p.m., on Sunday. The Gamecocks split four games with the Bayou Bengals last year, losing two of three in the regular season at Columbia, but Carolina won 15-4 in Omaha to eliminate LSU from the College World Series for the second consecutive year. The series began in 1992 and LSU holds a 21-12-1 lead but South Carolina has won eight of 14 games played the past three years.

The in state rivalry between South Carolina and Clemson resumes next week when the Gamecocks make a Wednesday trip to Clemson’s Doug Kingsmore Stadium. A week later, April 20, Clemson comes to Sarge Frye Field to complete the four game 2005 series. Carolina took a 2-0 lead in the season series against Clemson with two victories March 12 at Clemson and March 13 in Columbia. The Gamecocks won the first 6-3 at Clemson and completed the sweep the next day with a three run eighth inning rally to win 6-5 at Sarge Frye Field. 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.

Second baseman Chris Brown had one hit Sunday, a third inning single, to stretch his current hitting streak to 12 games. Outfielder Michael Campbell doubled in the fifth inning to extend his streak to 11 games. Designated hitter Jon Willard has a hitting streak of seven games.

Junior Mark Stanley has started three of the past four games in right field in relief of Brendan Winn who has been slowed by a lower back strain. Stanley has responded with seven hits in 13 at bats to boost his batting average to .375 (9-24). Stanley had two hits in four at bats at The Citadel, was three for four with a double, two runs scored and two RBI in the Saturday game against Georgia, and on Sunday he had a single and a double in three official at bats. It’s the second time in his career that Stanley has starred off the bench. In the NCAA regional last year he replaced injured Davy Gregg and responded with three hits, including a home run, and was named to the all-tournament team.

After winning five games last week including a three game Southeastern Conference sweep of Georgia South Carolina moved up two spots to 12th this week in the national poll conducted by Baseball America. The Gamecocks remained at 10th in the Collegiate Baseball rankings. South Carolina last week was eighth in the ESPB/Sports Weekly poll. The Gamecocks begin the week with a 24-5 overall record and were 5-4 in the SEC.

Ray Tanner is in his ninth season at South Carolina and his 18th as a collegiate head coach. His record with the Gamecocks is 396-157, a winning percentage of .716. Tanner’s overall record is 791-330-3, 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.

Junior catcher Cory Vanderhook underwent surgery March 31 to repair the medial meniscus in his left knee. He is expected to be on the disabled list from three to six weeks. Right fielder Brendan Winn missed the four of five games last week due to a lower back strain. He is listed as day to day. Winn is tied for the team lead in home runs with eight and runs and is tied for second in runs batted in with 26.

Sophomore right-hander Jeff Jeffords defeated Georgia in his first career start on Sunday. Jeffords pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowed three hits, walked two and struck out one in the 6-1 victory. The only run he has allowed in 17 1/3 innings this season was a home run by Georgia outfielder Bobby Felmy. Jeffords has a 1-0 record and a 0.52 earned run average. He has allowed eight hits, walked five and has struck out 21 batters.

Senior right-hander Aaron Rawl moved into a tie for fifth place on South Carolina’s career win list when he notched his 31st victory March 25 at Florida. Rawl, who pitched seven innings, combined with Jason Fletcher to shut the Gators out 2-0. Rawl struck out nine and allowed five hits in improving his season record to 5-2. His career mark is 31-11. David Marchbanks (2001-03), Matt Threehouse (1989-93) and Dennis Lubert (1979-82) also won 31 games. Earl Bass (1972-75) and Greg Ward (1972-75) are tied for third and fourth with 34 career wins. Rawl is the ninth South Carolina pitcher to achieve 30 or more career wins.

Senior right-hander Zac McCamie lost his first game as a Gamecock when he was charged with a 7-3 defeat at Florida March 26, but came back to hold Georgia to two hits and one earned run in a 17-2 SEC victory April 2. McCamie’s 2005 record to 6-1and his two year mark to 13-1 since coming to Carolina from Seminole Community College in Georgia.

The announced crowd of 5,803 that attended the South Carolina-Citadel game March 30 in Charleston was the largest crowd ever for a home game at The Citadel. The listed capacity of Joseph P. Riley Park in Charleston is 6,000. With a big alumni base in the low country, a large portion of the crowd wore the South Carolina colors of garnet and black. The Gamecocks won the game 4-2.