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March 13, 2006

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina baseball returns to action with two midweek contests at Sarge Frye Field. On Tuesday evening (March 14) Carolina will face Davidson (10-6) with first pitch set for 7 p.m. USC will then turn around and host Yale (5-3) on Wednesday night (March 15). First pitch is also 7 p.m. for Wednesday’s game. Carolina is coming off a three-game sweep of Quinnipiac over the weekend. Carolina remains ranked No. 9 in both the Baseball America Top 25 and Collegiate Baseball Top 30. Live audio and live gametracker stats for Tuesday and Wednesday will be available at Carolina owns a 13-2 record heading into the week. South Carolina opens SEC play over the weekend with three games scheduled at Auburn.

South Carolina: Harris Honeycutt (RHP, So., 1-0, 1.69 ERA)
Davidson: TBA

South Carolina: Will Atwood (LHP, Fr. 0-0, 3.00 ERA)
Yale: TBA

Record: 13-2
SEC Record: 0-0
13-1 in home games
0-1 in road games
0-0 in neutral games
1-1 vs. top 25 teams

Last Week: 4-0
Tuesday – 3/7 – vs. William & Mary, W, 8-1
Friday – 3/10 – vs. Quinnipiac, W, 10-4
Saturday – 3/11 – vs. Quinnipiac, W, 12-0
Sunday – 3/12 – vs. Quinnipiac, W, 9-2

South Carolina went undefeated on the week with four wins including a three-game sweep over the weekend against Quinnipiac … Carolina owns a 13-2 record on the year with all 13 victories coming at home at Sarge Frye Field.

Senior INF Neil Giesler has been swinging a hot bat for Carolina … Giesler had an outstanding week at the plate batting .588 (10-for-17) including three doubles, five RBI and five runs scored to help lead Carolina to four wins … His four-hit total tied his career-high in an 8-1 win over William & Mary … Giesler owns an eight-game hitting streak, has hit safely in 12 of 13 games played with eight multi-hit games to lead Carolina on the year … This season he currently owns a .510 batting average (25-for-49) with two HR and 11 RBI and has a fielding percentage of 1.000 in 13 starts at third base.

Also contributing at the plate for Carolina is junior DH Robbie Grinestaff … Grinestaff tied a USC single-game record with four walks vs. William & Mary and went 5-for-10 with three RBI in the weekend series vs. Quinnipiac … On the year, Grinestaff is batting .321 (17-for-53) with five HR and 19 RBI.

Freshman 1B Justin Smoak hit .308 (4-for-13) against Quinnipiac including a HR and four RBI … Smoak is batting .306 (15-for-49) this year with two HR and 13 RBI … Smoak has been on base a lot as he leads the team with 13 walks and owns an on-base percentage of .460, second highest on the team.

Senior catcher Ian Paxton hit his second HR of the year in Sunday’s win over Quinnipiac … Paxton has started five games behind the plate and played in 10 overall with a .412 batting average (7-for-17).

Drew Martin, a junior at Carolina, has been a strong pinch hitter in the early going for head coach Ray Tanner … Martin has been batting .625 (5-for-8) off the bench for USC in eight games with a HR and five RBI … He hit his first career HR in Sunday’s win over Quinnipiac .

Freshman RHP Mike Cisco extended his scoreless inning streak this season to 13.2 innings with five scoreless innings in his second career start as Carolina defeated Quinnipiac 12-0 on Saturday … Cisco picked up his first career victory in the win … He has struck out 14 batters and allowed just two walks and seven hits, opponents are hitting only .159 against him.

Junior LHP Arik Hempy earned his first win of the year in Friday’s 10-4 win over the Bobcats … Hempy went 5.2 innings allowing four runs on four this with nine strikeouts, his second highest career total … Hempy is 1-1 on the year with a 3.18 ERA to go along with 23 strikeouts and six walks in 17 innings pitched.

Junior LHP Forrest Beverly improved to 4-0 earning the win in Sunday’s game over Quinnipiac … Beverly limited Quinnipiac to one run on three hits with five strikeouts and no walks in six innings pitched … Beverly has hurled a team-high 26.2 innings and struck out 25 batters with only one walk and 23 hits allowed.

Senior RHP Shawn Valdes-Fauli made his team-high sixth appearance in Sunday’s win and worked one scoreless inning with one strikeout … Valdes-Fauli has pitched 7.1 scoreless innings of relief for Carolina this year and has allowed just three hits … He is 1-0 on the year with three saves out of the bullpen.

Sophomore RHP Andrew Cruse continued his success on the mound this weekend vs. Quinnipiac … Fresh off 5.2 scoreless innings vs. Clemson last week, Cruse made one appearance this week and hurled 2.1 scoreless innings with three strikeouts and one hit and one walk allowed in the Friday night win … Cruse is 2-0 this year with a 0.57 ERA and 18 strikeouts and two walks allowed in 15.2 innings.

Sophomore RHP Harris Honeycutt earned his first win of the year in Tuesday’s victory over the Tribe of William & Mary … Honeycutt tied his career-high in strikeouts with seven.

The Carolina pitching staff continues to post strong numbers … USC owns a 13-2 record with a 1.92 team ERA … In 136 innings pitched, the staff has allowed just 33 runs on 91 hits with 148 strikeouts and 31 walks allowed … Saturday’s 12-0 win marked the fourth shutout of the year for the staff.

Senior OF Michael Campbell continues to move up the charts on USC Career Lists … Campbell moved past Dave Willman (1989-92) for seventh on the USC All-Time hits list … Campbell now has 233 career hits at Carolina and is 12 short of Hank Small (1972-75) for sixth place.

Carolina was stellar defensively with two more error-less games this week vs. William & Mary and Quinnipiac … The Gamecocks are fielding .980 on the year.

3-14 vs. Davidson – 7 pm
3-15 vs. Yale – 7 pm
3-17 at Auburn – 7 pm CT
3-18 at Auburn – 4 pm CT (CSS-TV)
3-19 at Auburn – 1 pm CT