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April 6, 2006

Columbia, S.C. – Both teams atop the SEC Eastern Division and SEC Western Division meet this weekend at Sarge Frye Field in a battle of two Top 10 clubs. Top ranked South Carolina (26-4, 8-1 SEC) welcomes 10th ranked Alabama (23-9, 7-2 SEC) for a three-game SEC series beginning Friday night (April 7) at 7 pm. Saturday’s game is scheduled for 4 pm with the series finale on Sunday at 1:30 pm (April 9). The game will be broadcast on the Gamecock Radio Network with Mike Morgan and Tommy Moody calling the action. Live gametracker stats and live audio are available at

The series between the Gamecocks and Crimson Tide is tied 19-19 between the two schools. Alabama defeated South Carolina two of three games last year in Tuscaloosa. USC has had recent success against Alabama with an 8-6 record against the Tide since the 2002 season. Since entering the SEC, the Gamecocks have never lost a home series against Alabama (1994, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004).

South Carolina: Mike Cisco, RHP, Fr. (4-0, 2.70 ERA, 33.1 IP, 28 K, 8 BB)
Alabama: Wade LeBlanc, LHP, Jr. (6-0, 1.90 ERA, 61.2 IP, 62 K, 9 BB)

South Carolina: Forrest Beverly, LHP, Jr. (5-1, 4.05 ERA, 40 IP, 38 K, 8 BB)
Alabama: Bernard Robert, RHP, Jr. (4-1, 2.42 ERA, 44.2 IP, 35 K, 15 BB)

South Carolina: TBA
Alabama: Tommy Hunter, RHP, Fr. (4-2, 3.19 ERA, 48 IP, 36 K, 8 BB)

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 put up outstanding numbers during their nine-game winning streak with six wins over ranked opponents (Florida & LSU). In that stretch, USC outscored opponents a phenomenal 93-24 and hit .344 (114-for-331) with 14 HR and 88 RBI. The pitching staff was 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 but a new streak started with a 2-for-4 performance against Clemson. He has a team-high 16 mutli-hit games.

Throughout that 20-game hitting streak, Giesler batted .494 (40-for-81) with two HR and 23 RBI. On the year, Giesler is batting .454 with three HR and 27 RBI. His .454 batting average currently leads the SEC. He has hit safely in 25 of 27 games played.

Senior OF Michael Campbell was the biggest contributor on offense in the nine-game winning streak hitting at a .447 clip (17-for-38) with 14 runs scored. He currently holds an 11-game hitting streak, one short of his career highest. Campbell tied the USC career record for triples on Sunday vs. LSU. 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 .310 with two HR and 28 RBI. He has made 209 consecutive starts in the outfield and has played in 230 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 230 games under his belt as well as 223 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.  230 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. 854 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. 258 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06One Base Hits1. 209 Drew Meyer 2000-01-022. 198 Mac White 1991-92-93-943. 172 Greg Jonson 1977-78-79-803. 172 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 18 error-less games this year including seven straight games entering Friday’s contest with Alabama. USC leads the league with a .986 fielding percentage on the year.

Freshman RHP Mike Cisco pitched his second longest outing of the season with a seven inning performance against the LSU 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. Cisco will make the Friday start against Alabama. Three of his four wins this year have come in SEC games.

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. 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 (10), RBI (40) and runs scored (31). He is batting .305 (32-for-105) with a slugging percentage of .657.

Cheyne Hurst has provided a steady bat atop the Carolina lineup this year. Hurst is batting .354 (40-for-113) with eight doubles to go along with two HR and 18 RBI. He has been the leadoff hitter in 28 of-30 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.