April 19, 2005
Columbia, S.C. – The in state rivalry between South Carolina and Clemson resumes on Wednesday night at Sarge Frye Field to complete the four-game 2005 series. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. with live audio and GAMETRACKER stats available at uscsports.com. Carolina holds a 2-1 lead in the season series with two victories March 12 at Clemson and March 13 in Columbia. However, Clemson won the third meeting 12-2 last Wednesday night (April 13) at Clemson to halt a nine game Carolina win streak. The Gamecocks won the first game 6-3 at Clemson and won the next day 6-5 at Sarge Frye Field. Clemson leads the overall series, which dates back to 1899, 158-110-2. Coach Ray Tanner is all-even in his nine year Carolina rivalry with Clemson at 15-15.
South Carolina: Cliff Donald 1-0, 4.50 ERA (Sr. RHP)
Clemson: David Kopp, 2-3, 4.50 ERA (Fr. RHP)
The South Carolina baseball team departs by bus Thursday for Tuscaloosa, Ala., and a three game Southeastern Conference series with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Eastern Daylight game times are 7:30 p.m., Friday, 4 p.m., Saturday, and 3 o’clock on Sunday. Friday and Sunday’s games will be televised on CSS-TV with Saturday’s game on FOX Sports Net South and SEC-TV. The series with Alabama dates back to 1973 and South Carolina holds a one game advantage with 18 wins to 17 for the Crimson Tide. South Carolina won two of three games at Columbia last year including a 1-0 win in 10 innings in the Sunday game. South Carolina does not have a mid-week non-conference game next week. The Gamecocks will entertain Auburn at Sarge Frye Field April 29-30 and May 1.
South Carolina lost three of four games last week and took a drop in the national polls as a result. Besides losing at Clemson the Gamecocks dropped the first two games of a Southeastern Conference series to Vanderbilt before rallying for a 7-4 win on Sunday. The series loss was the first ever to Vanderbilt on the Gamecock home field and just the second ever to the Commodores. Carolina began the week with a 29-8 overall record, 9-6 in the SEC. Carolina remained among the top ten in the ESPN/Sports Weekly poll but dropped four spots from fourth to eighth. The Gamecocks are ranked 13th this week by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball, down from eighth and fifth, respectively as week ago.
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, entering this week was 401-160, a winning percentage of .715. Tanner’s overall record is 796-333-3, a winning percentage of .705. In nine seasons at N. C. State his record was 395-173-3.
First baseman Steve Pearce and shortstop Steven Tolleson had nine game hitting streaks halted in the Vanderbilt series. The longest hitting streak on the team at the beginning of this week was seven games by center fielder Davy Gregg. He had 10 hits in 24 at bats over the past seven games, a .417 pace.
Senior right-hander Aaron Rawl won his 33rd career game and improved his 2005 record to 7-2 when he won the third game of the Vanderbilt series. A week earlier Rawl defeated LSU for the fourth time in his career. Rawl is in fifth place on South Carolina’s all time win list with a 33-11 career record. 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.