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April 28, 2005

Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina baseball team (30-11, 10-8 SEC) returns home to Sarge Frye Field with a three-game series this weekend vs. Auburn (26-17, 8-10 SEC). First pitch for Friday’s opener is set for 7 p.m. with Saturday’s game scheduled for 4 p.m. and Sunday’s finale at 1:30 p.m. Live audio and gametracker stats will be available at South Carolina fans can also catch the game on the South Carolina Radio Network with Mike Morgan and Tommy Moody calling the action.

The rivalry with Auburn dates back to 1927 and ’28 when the Gamecocks and Tigers met four times with Auburn winning three. Since South Carolina became a member of the SEC in 1922 the Gamecocks have been much more successful against Auburn and leads the overall series 21-13. The Gamecocks had a 12 game win streak over Auburn between 1998 and 2001. South Carolina won two of three last year at Auburn.


South Carolina: Aaron Rawl, RHP, Sr. (7-3, 3.14 ERA)
Auburn: Arnold Hughey, LHP, Sr. (3-4, 3.99 ERA)

South Carolina: Zac McCamie, RHP, Sr. (8-2, 2.22 ERA)
Auburn: Josh Sullvian, RHP, Jr. (6-4, 4.14 ERA)

South Carolina: TBA
Auburn: TBA

South Carolina lost three of four games last week for the second week in a row and took another drop in the national polls. Besides losing to Clemson the Gamecocks dropped the first two games of a Southeastern Conference series at Alabama before rallying for a 5-2 win on Sunday. Carolina began this week with a 30-11 overall record, 10-8 in the SEC. The Sports Weekly/ESPN poll dropped the Gamecocks from eighth to 13th this week. Collegiate Baseball ranks Carolina 18th, down from 13th a week ago. This week’s Baseball America poll has South Carolina ranked 19th, down six spots from 13th a 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 402-163, a winning percentage of .712. Tanner’s overall record is 797-336-3, a winning percentage of .703. In nine seasons at N. C. State his record was 395-173-3.

Catcher Ryan Mahoney has at least one hit in each of the past eight games that he has appeared at the plate. That’s the longest current hitting streak on the Gamecock squad. Over the eight game span Mahoney has nine hits in 26 at bats, including two doubles and a home run, and he has batted in four runs. The second longest current hitting streak by a Gamecock is four games by first baseman Steve Pearce. Over that span Pearce has seven hits in 17 at bats, including a double and three home runs.

Steve Pearce homered twice April 23 in the second game of the Alabama series. It was the second two homer game of the season for the Gamecock first baseman. He also homered twice against Niagara. Brendan Winn also has a pair of two homer games this season, against Radford and Niagara. Michael Campbell homered twice at LSU.

Senior right-hander Zac McCamie improved his season record to 8-2 April 24 when he won at Alabama to halt a three game South Carolina losing streak. McCamie didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning and in seven plus innings he gave up six hits and two earned runs in the 5-2 victory. Brent Marsh retired six Alabama batters in a row to earn his ninth save. McCamie’s two-year record at Carolina is now 15-2.

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.

Senior right-hander Aaron Rawl won his 33rd career game 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 33-12 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.

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.

Junior left fielder Michael Campbell hit two solo home runs April 10 in a 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 six weeks or more. Senior right fielder Brendan Winn has been in and out of the lineup due to a lower back strain. Junior Mark Stanley replaced Winn in right field but he suffered a broken toe in the final game of the LSU series. After being inactive for the Vanderbilt series Stanley returned for the series at Alabama.

Sophomore right-hander Jeff Jeffords defeated Georgia in his first career start April 6 Jeffords pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowed three hits, walked two and struck out one in the 6-1 victory.