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SEC Baseball Tournament Notes
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May 23, 2005

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina is seeded sixth in the 2005 Southeastern Conference baseball tournament which begins Wednesday at Hoover, Ala. The Gamecocks will meet the number three seed Tennessee in the second game of the tournament’s first round, scheduled for 1 p.m., Central time Wednesday. Carolina will start senior RHP Aaron Rawl (8-5, 2.89 ERA) with Tennessee countering with senior RHP Chris Howell (1-3, 4.65 ERA). Live audio broadcast will be available at

Sophomore left-hander Forrest Beverly earned his first collegiate victory Saturday (May 21) when junior shortstop Steven Tolleson hit a one out three run walk off home run in the ninth inning against Kentucky at Sarge Frye Field in Columbia. The Tolleson homer came after the Wildcats and Gamecocks had swapped grand slam homers in the eighth inning. The Gamecocks won a 12-9 decision. Beverly allowed one infield hit in 1 1/3 innings and goes into the SEC tournament with a 1-0 record in 14 appearances spanning 17 innings. He had a 0-2 record as a freshman in 2003 before being sidelined more than a year following Tommy John arm surgery.

Both teams hit grand slam home runs in the eighth inning Saturday (May 21) as South Carolina defeated Kentucky 12-9 to clinch a spot in the 2005 Southeastern Conference baseball tournament. With the score tied at 5-5, Kentucky designated hitter Collin Cowgill, whose batting average was .198, hit a bases loaded homer to give the Wildcats a 9-5 lead. In the bottom of the inning pinch hitter Neil Giesler, who carried a .214 average at the time, homered for South Carolina and set the stage for a three run walk off ninth inning homer by Steven Tolleson.

Senior right-hander Aaron Rawl was denied his 35th career victory Friday night (May 20) when South Carolina lost a 7-5 lead after Rawl left the game. The Gamecocks rallied for a 9-7 win but the victory went to relief pitcher Brent Marsh. Rawl goes into the SEC tournament with a 34-14 career record, tied for third place on South Carolina’s career win list. In his previous start (May 13) Rawl pitched a three hit complete game to shut Mississippi out 2-0 at Oxford. Rawl did not walk a batter, struck out six, hit one, and only one Mississippi base runner reached second base. The Mississippi win improved Rawl’s 2005 record to 8-5. When he left the mound against Kentucky in what was probably his last game at Sarge Frye Field Rawl received a standing ovation from the rain dampened crowd of 3,300.TMTM

Ray Tanner won his 800th game as a head baseball coach May 10 when South Carolina defeated Wofford 12-0 at Sarge Frye Field. He added one win over Mississippi and three over Kentucky to improve his 18 year head coaching record to 804-344-3, a winning percentage of .700. He is in his ninth season at South Carolina after nine years at North Carolina State. Tanner logged his 400th South Carolina win April 10 at LSU. His record at Carolina is 409-171, a winning percentage of .705.

Brendan Winn contributed two runs batted in with a double and a home run May 1in in an 8-7 win over Auburn, but his two outstanding defensive plays probably saved the Gamecock victory. With one out and runners on second and third in the fourth inning Winn caught a fly ball in right field and threw an Auburn runner out at the plate for an inning ending double play. In the fifth inning Winn fielded a base hit in right field and threw an Auburn runner out attempting to score from second base. The assists were the fourth and fifth of the season for the senior outfielder. Bothered by a recurring back injury, Winn has missed a dozen games this year and was in a long batting slump before he had seven hits in 10 at bats in the first two games of the Kentucky series. The splurge raised his batting average to .248.

Center fielder Davy Gregg matched Brendan Winn’s two outfield assists in a game May 15 at Mississippi. In the first inning Gregg caught a fly ball and his throw doubled Justin Henry off first base for a double play. In the second inning his throw cut down Brian Pettway attempting to advance from first to third base. Left fielder Michael Campbell also threw Pettway out at third in the first inning giving the Gamecocks three outfield assists in the first two innings of the game. The two outfield assists by Gregg and Winn on May 1 tied a school record shared by a number of South Carolina outfielders. Gregg logged another assist in the first Kentucky game when he caught a fly ball and doubled a runner off first.

Steve Pearce has three two home run games this season. He homered twice May 10 against Wofford. He homered twice April 23 at Alabama. Pearce also hit two home runs Feb. 26 against Niagara. Brendan Winn has a pair of two homer games this season, against Radford and Niagara. Michael Campbell homered twice at LSU.

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. Entering the final week of the regular season McCamie’s record was 8-3. He had a no decision May 21 against Kentucky in his latest start. In 102 innings McCamie has an earned run average of 3.18.

Zac McCamie has picked four runners off base in his most recent two starts. The South Carolina senior right-hander picked Stephen Head off first and Justin Henry off second in a May 14 loss to Mississippi at Oxford. On May 21 at Columbia, in a no decision against Kentucky that South Carolina eventually won 12-9, McCamie picked Shawn Lehman and Antone DeJesus off first base.

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 seven home runs this year and 26 for his career. His latest came May 21 against Kentucky. TMTM