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April 14, 2005

Columbia, S.C. – Fourth ranked South Carolina (28-6, 8-4 SEC) returns to action on Friday at 7 p.m. beginning a three-game series vs. Vanderbilt (21-10, 5-7 SEC) at Sarge Frye Field. Saturday’s game is scheduled for 4 p.m. with Sunday’s finale first pitch at 1:30 p.m. Carolina enters the weekend in a three-way tie for first place in the SEC.

Weekend Rotation

South Carolina: Jason Fletcher (4-1, 1.59 ERA) Sr. RHP
Vanderbilt: Jensen Lewis (5-1, 1.62 ERA) Jr. RHP

South Carolina: Zac McCamie (7-1, 2.06 ERA) Sr. RHP
Vanderbilt: Ryan Mullins (3-0, 3.41 ERA) Jr. LHP

South Carolina: Aaron Rawl (6-2, 2.70 ERA) Sr. RHP
Vanderbilt: David Price (2-1, 1.49 ERA) Fr. LHP

The series with Vanderbilt began in 1992 and has been continuous since. South Carolina leads 36-7. The Gamecocks won two of three during the regular season last year and defeated Vanderbilt 3-2 in the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game.

Ray Tanner reached another milestone Sunday (April 10) when his Gamecocks defeated Louisiana State at Baton Rouge to complete a three-game sweep. The win was the 400th for Tanner at South Carolina. He is in his ninth season with the Gamecocks and his 18th as a collegiate head coach. His record at Carolina, after a Wednesday loss at Clemson, is 400-158, a winning percentage of .717. Tanner’s overall record is 795-331-3, a winning percentage of .707. In nine seasons at N. C. State his record was 395-173-3. While Tanner was reaching the 400 plateau LSU coach Smoke Laval was denied the same level. Laval entered the series with 399 career wins as head coach at Louisiana-Monroe and LSU, but the Gamecocks won all three.

First baseman Steve Pearce and shortstop Steven Tolleson have at least one hit in each of the past eight games. Left fielder Michael Campbell and second baseman Chris Brown had 12 game hitting streaks halted in the series at LSU. Designated hitter Jon Willard, who had only one hit in the three games at LSU, saw his batting average drop below the .400 level for the first time since the third game of the season, Feb. 13 vs. Longwood. Willard was also hitless in four at bats at Clemson Wednesday. He still leads the team with a .381 average (45-118).

Senior right-hander Aaron Rawl defeated LSU for the fourth time in his career April 10 when he allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings of a 7-5 Gamecock win. Rawl is in fifth place on South Carolina’s all time win list with a 32-11 career record. His record this season is 6-2. Earl Bass (1972-75) and Greg Ward (1972-75) are tied for third and fourth with 34 career wins. Tim Lewis (1973-76) is in second place with 36 wins behind record holder Kip Bouknight (1998-2001) who won 45 times. Rawl is the ninth South Carolina pitcher to achieve 30 or more career wins.

Senior right-hander Zac McCamie pitched the first complete game of his Gamecock career April 9 when he limited LSU to three hits in a 5-1 South Carolina win at Baton Rouge. He struck out six, walked five, and all three LSU hits were singles. The performance earned McCamie Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week honors. McCamie’s 2005 record to 7-1 and his two-year mark to 14-1 since coming to Carolina from Seminole Community College in Florida.

Senior right-hander Jason Fletcher was promised a start against LSU when he pitched 5 2/3 innings of one hit shutout relief April 1 to claim a come from behind 7-5 win over Georgia. He responded with a near complete game – 8 1/3 innings – April 8 as South Carolina defeated LSU 3-1 to start a three game sweep at Baton Rouge. Fletcher allowed five hits to boost his 2005 record to 4-1. He also has two saves and a 1.59 earned run average in 34 innings. His two year career record is 10-2.

Junior left fielder Michael Campbell hit two solo home runs April 10 in the 7-5 win over LSU at Baton Rouge. However, it wasn’t the best homer night of his career. Campbell homered three times last year in a Gamecock win at Wofford. Campbell has six home runs this year and 25 for his career.

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 for up to six weeks. Senior right fielder Brendan Winn has missed eight of the past nine games due to a lower back strain. When disabled Winn had eight home runs and 26 runs batted in. Junior Mark Stanley replaced Winn in right field but he suffered a broken toe in the final game of the LSU series. Stanley remained in the starting lineup for the Wednesday game at Clemson but was replaced in the third inning by sophomore Steven Reinhold. Both Winn and Stanley are day to day.