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Aug. 11, 2005

Columbia, S.C. – As students prepare to head back to Columbia for the start of school next Thursday, several Gamecock baseball players will return to campus with more experience under their belts after a summer playing in various leagues across the United States.

A majority of this year’s group that chose to play this summer have competed in the Coastal Plains League. The playoffs for the CPL begin this weekend.

The Gamecocks have four players with the Florence Red Wolves this summer with left handed pitcher Forrest Beverly right handed pitcher Jeff Jeffords, left-handed pitcher Brandon White and right handed pitcher Trey Delk.

A junior next season, Beverly has carried over his late season success from 2005 to the summer league where he is 6-1 with a 1.40 ERA as well as 40 strikeouts in 58 innings pitched.

” Towards the end of the year I really started to build my confidence and felt I could go out on the mound and get hitters out and that has stayed with me through the summer,” said Beverly. “I was able to work on some more things, develop a changeup that I can count on. The biggest thing has been command of my pitches and getting innings, six or seven every game. Coming off Tommy John surgery last year I didn’t have the innings under my belt and that was hard. This summer I have been able to go out on a regular basis and compete and get my work in.”

Jeffords will also be a junior and is having similar success for the Red Wolves with a 5-1 record and a 2.40 ERA. He has hurled 56 1/3 innings and has 49 strikeouts.

“I had a good time relaxing and playing ball,” said Jeffords. “Whereever the team needs me I will be able to step in at any time and give us some quality innings.”

White combined with a teammate for a no-hitter in his last outing on August 10 vs. Wilmington with six and 2/3 of no-hit ball.

Also getting work in and time on the mound in the CPL were Andrew Cruse and Wynn Pelzer. Both will be sophomores next year and have compiled steady numbers. Pelzer is pitching for the Wilmington Sharks and is 4-2 with a 1.98 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings while Cruse finished his year with the Newbern River Rats at 2-3 with a 2.25 ERA and 43 striekouts in 44 innings.

“The Coastal Plains League was a good setting to play baseball,” said Cruse. “I was able to work hard on all my pitches and get plenty of innings. I competed on a regular basis against good competition.”

Infielder Andrew Crisp also is in the CPL for Gastonia and is batting .294 (30-for-102) with six doubles as his team heads into the playoffs. Crisp’s team is the fifth seed with Beverly and Jeffords’ team seeded sixth.

Coming off his first season playing for Carolina, catcher Phil Disher has had a quality session in the Valley Baseball League. As a member of the Front Royal Cardinals, Disher made the All-Star team for his squad and was home run derby champion. Disher led his team in all three triple crown categories and finished the summer with a .312 batting average, seven HR and 29 RBI.

“My summer went pretty well,” said Disher. “I felt like I made big improvements on receiving the baseball and all of my defense. I was able to really mature and gain a lot of game experienced. Coming back to Carolina next year, I want to be able to play every day while helping the team win some games.”

Two other Gamecocks also put in valuable time at the Cape Cod Baseball League up in the Northeast. Right handed pitchers Conor Lalor and Harris Honeycutt were teammates for the Brewster Whitecaps and hurled over 40 innings this summer.

“I just want to be a guy they can call on in any situation,” said Lalor. “This summer I was able to work on all of my pitches against good hitters and I think I will be able to step into any role asked of me and be an impact player. I look forward to helping the team in any way I can.”

“I felt like I did some good things that I will be able to take back to school and work with,” said Honecyutt. “This summer one of the main things I worked on was getting ahead of hitters and putting them away. I am ready to get back to school and show what I can do.”