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April 4, 2006

Columbia, S.C. – One of the most historic rivalries in all of college baseball renews with top ranked South Carolina (26-3) and seventh ranked Clemson meeting on the diamond on Wednesday night. The Gamecocks host the Tigers at Sarge Frye Field with first pitch set for 7 pm. The game will be televised live on CSS-TV with Matt Stewart and Andy Demetra calling the action. Wednesday’s game will also be broadcast on the Gamecock Radio Network with Mike Morgan and Tommy Moody behind the microphone. Live audio and gametracker stats are available at as well as live video.

The series between the two teams has been very tight recently with Carolina holding a slight edge of 14-12 in games played between the two schools since the 2000 season. The Gamecocks and Tigers split the first two contests this year with USC earning a 6-2 victory at home and Clemson holding serve at Doug Kingsmore Stadium with a 6-4 win the next day. USC and Clemson first met on the diamond on May 12, 1899 when Clemson earned a 21-8 victory in Charleston, S.C. The teams have played 273 times with Clemson leading the series history 160-111-2.

South Carolina: Will Atwood LHP, Fr. (2-0, 1.38 ERA, 13.0 IP, 8 K, 3 BB)
Clemson: TBA

Fresh off a 4-0 week, Carolina has climbed up to No. 1 in this week’s Collegiate Baseball Top 30 and NCBWA Top 30. The Gamecocks are also ranked No. 2 in the Baseball America Top 25, and Sports Weekly/ESPN coaches’ poll.

South Carolina extended its winning streak to nine games with four victories last week including a three-game sweep at LSU. For the second consecutive season, the Gamecocks came away with three wins and a series sweep in Baton Rouge against the Tigers. South Carolina has now defeated LSU seven straight times and holds wins in 14 of the last 20 contests between the two schools. The Gamecocks are 26-3 overall and lead the SEC with an 8-1 conference record.

South Carolina has won all three SEC series played thus far. It is the first time since 2002 that the Gamecocks have won the first three SEC series played in conference play. The Gamecocks were SEC champions in the 2002 season.

The Gamecocks have put up outstanding numbers throughout their nine-game winning streak with including six wins over ranked opponents (Florida & LSU). In that stretch, USC has outscored opponents a phenomenal 93-24 and are batting .344 (114-for-331) with 14 HR and 88 RBI. The pitching staff has been stellar in that stretch as well with a team ERA of 2.67 in 81 innings pitched.

Carolina was outstanding at the plate and on the mound in the LSU series. Carolina outscored LSU 31-7 in three games and batted .304 (34-for-112) with the pitchers allowing just seven runs on 17 hits with a 2.33 ERA. Friday’s game featured 12 hits by the Gamecocks including a three-run homer from Justin Smoak and a two-run homer by Neil Giesler. Carolina also pounded out 18 hits in Saturday’s 18-4 win over LSU. The 18 hits included four homers from Michael Campbell, Robbie Grinestaff, Trent Kline and Smoak (second of the series.)

Senior INF Neil Giesler saw his hitting streak end at 20 games on Sunday. Throughout that 20-game hitting streak, Giesler batted .494 (40-for-81) with two HR and 23 RBI. On the year, Giesler is batting .452 with three HR and 27 RBI. His .452 batting average currently leads the SEC. He has hit safely in 24 of 26 games played and owns 15 multi-hit games.

Senior OF Michael Campbell has been the biggest contributor on offense in those nine games hitting at a .447 clip (17-for-38) with 14 runs scored. He currently holds a 10-game hitting streak. Campbell tied the USC career record for triples on Sunday. He has 12 in his career that puts him tied with Mac White (1991-94) and Bill Harley (1930-32) atop the list.

For the season, Campbell is batting .315 with two HR and 28 RBI. He has made 208 consecutive starts in the outfield and has played in 229 games. Campbell is is in third place on the USC all-time hits list.

In addition, his assist from the outfield in the win over Clemson set a new Carolina school record for assists by an outfielder with 21 in his career. Campbell bests the previous record of 20 set by Paul Hollins (1978-81). Campbell has two assists from the outfield this year.

Campbell is the most experienced player in Division I baseball with 229 games under his belt as well as 222 starts. Campbell is the leading returner for Carolina in several offensive categories including batting average (.315), games played (64), at-bats (251), runs (56), hits (79), doubles (16), triples (5), home runs (8), runs batted in (42), slugging percentage (.514), hit by pitch (10) and stolen bases (8).

TRACKING Michael CampbellGames Played1.  251 Landon Powell 2001-02-03-042.  236 Mac White   1991-92-93-943.  229 Michael Campbell   2003-04-05-06
At Bats1. 903 Mac White 1991-92-93-942. 866 Landon Powell 2001-02-03-043. 864 Drew Meyer 2000-01-024. 849 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06
Hits (200 or more)1. 303 Mac White 1991-92-93-942. 285 Drew Meyer 2000-01-023. 265 Landon Powell 2001-02-03-044. 265 Derick Urquhart 1995-96-97-985. 257 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06One Base Hits1. 209 Drew Meyer 2000-01-022. 198 Mac White 1991-92-93-943. 172 Greg Jonson 1977-78-79-804. 171 Derick Urquhart 1995-96-97-984. 171 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06
Three Base Hits1. 12 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-061. 12 Mac White 1991-92-93-941. 12 Bill Harley 1930-31-32

South Carolina has been consistent defensively with 17 error-less games this year including eight games without an error during the nine-game winning streak … USC owns a .985 fielding percentage on the year.

Freshman RHP Mike Cisco pitched his second longest outing of the season with a seven-inning performance against the Tigers. Cisco allowed two runs on three hits in that span. He improved to 4-0 on the year with a 2.70 ERA, 28 strikeouts, eight walks allowed in 33.1 innings pitched.

Sophomore RHP Wynn Pelzer pitched 4.1 shutout innings of relief to pick up the win in Sunday’s 2-1 victory at LSU. Pelzer has been stellar in all three SEC appearances with a 0.00 ERA in 11 innings pitched as well as a 2-0 record and one save. Pelzer has allowed just two hits while striking out 14 batters in the three SEC contests. On the season he is 2-0 with a 1.48 ERA in 24.1 innings with 30 strikeouts, opponents are only batting .127 against him.

Sophomore RHP Wynn Pelzer pitched 3.2 shutout innings in relief of Mike Cisco to pick up his second save on the season in a 6-5win over Florida. Pelzer also came on strong for the Gamecocks out of the bullpen in a 12-8 extra inning affair over Auburn. Pelzer did not allow a hit in the contest in three innings of work and struck out six batters to earn the victory. Pelzer joined five other USC pitchers in tying a USC single-game record for strikeouts with 18 vs. Auburn. Pelzer earned his first career save vs. Charleston Southern (3-21-06).

Junior OF Robbie Grinestaff was 3-for-6 with a homer and three RBI in Saturday’s win at LSU. Grinestaff leads the team in several categories including home runs (9), RBI (39) and runs scored (30). He is batting .304 (31-for-102) with a slugging percentage of .637.

Cheyne Hurst has provided a steady bat atop the Carolina lineup this year. Hurst is batting .355 (39-for-110) with eight doubles to go along with two HR and 17 RBI. He has been the leadoff hitter in 27 of 29 games played.

Cheyne Hurst was 3-for-5 with a grand slam, three runs and five RBI in the 21-4 win over Florida. His five RBI against Florida is tied for the most by a Gamecock player in a game this year.

Hurst got off to a great start in his first career game at Carolina with a 5-for-6 performance in the 5-4 victory vs. Elon. Hurst was the first player since Steve Pearce last year vs. Niagara (2-26-05) to have five hits in one game.

Sophomore RHP Andrew Cruse came in relief for Hempy in the Friday game and picked up the win. He allowed just one run in 4.2 innings of work. Cruse is 3-0 on the year with a 1.09 ERA in 24.2 innings pitched to go along with 27 strikeouts and just seven walks.

He earned his first save of the year with 1.1 shutout innings of work in the 4-1 win over the Gators. Cruse earned SEC Pitcher of the Week following his performance vs. Clemson. It marked Cruse’s longest outing of his career at USC with 5.2 scoreless innings of relief. He also struck out a career-high seven batters and yielded just one walk and three hits.

Junior LHP Forrest Beverly has made eight consecutive starts on Sunday for Carolina and is currently 5-1 with a 4.05 ERA. Beverly has pitched a team-high 40 innings and has struck out 38 while yielding just eight walks. Beverly had a no-decision in his last start at LSU.

Freshman 1B Justin Smoak batted .308 (4-for-13) last week in four games for Carolina including two home runs at LSU. Smoak raised his season batting average to .271 with five HR and 23 RBI. He has also contributed seven doubles and is one of three players to play in all 29 games for the Gamecocks.

The Carolina newcomer had his best weekend at the plate of his young career vs. Duquesne. Smoak went 3-for-3 with two doubles, one homer and five RBI in the 12-4 win. He became the first USC player this season to have multiple doubles in a game and tied a USC individual high on the year with four runs scored and five RBI in the victory.

Andrew Crisp’s two-out RBI single in the top of the seventh inning of Sunday’s game broke a 1-1 tie as Carolina defeated the Tigers of LSU 2-1 to sweep the series. Crisp started at second base both Saturday and Sunday and contributed at the plate. His three hits on Saturday tied his career-high set last year vs. Radford.