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April 11, 2006

Columbia, S.C. – Seventh ranked South Carolina and fifth ranked Clemson meet for the fourth and final time this season on Wednesday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. First pitch is set for 7 pm and the game will be televised on CSS-TV with Matt Stewart and Tim Bourret on the call. The game is also available on the Gamecock Radio Network with Mike Morgan, Tommy Moody and Tom Price calling the action.

The series between the two teams has been very tight recently with Carolina holding a slight edge of 14-13 in games played between the two schools since the 2000 season. Clemson leads the season series 2-1 this year. 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. Clemson won 3-2 last Wednesday night at Sarge Frye Field with three two-out RBI hits to top the Gamecocks. Carolina and Clemson have played 274 times with Clemson leading the series history 161-111-2.

Wednesday South Carolina: Andrew Cruse, RHP, So. (3-0, 1.91 ERA, 28.1 IP, 29 K, 9 BB)
Clemson: David Kopp, RHP, So. (1-0, 5.40 ERA, 20.0 IP, 15 K, 8 BB)

Following conclusion of Wednesday night’s game, the Tom Price and Bob Bradley awards will be presented to the team MVP for each team over the four-game series. Both Price and Bradley served as sports information directors at their respective schools and were instrumental in the promotion of college baseball.

Bradley served as Clemson baseball SID for 45 years and was Clemson’s official scorer up through most of the 2000 season. Bradley passed away on October 30, 2000.

Tom Price continues to serve in an emeritus role at the University of South Carolina and as official scorer at all Carolina home games. Last year’s Tom Price award winner was first baseman Steve Pearce.

South Carolina sits at No. 7 in three of the four major collegiate baseball rankings. Baseball America, Sports Weekly and NCBWA all have the Gamecocks seventh with USC also selected No. 9 in the Collegiate Baseball Top 30.

South Carolina went 1-3 last week with one win out of three games in a weekend series against Alabama. Carolina is now 27-6 on the year with a 9-3 record in the SEC. The Gamecocks and Crimson Tide sit tied atop the SEC standings. USC is one game ahead of Vanderbilt in the SEC Eastern Division. Sunday’s doubleheader losses to Alabama marked the first time this year that Carolina has dropped two straight games as well as the first series loss in school history to Alabama at home (USC won home series against Alabama in 1994, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004. Friday’s 7-6 victory over Alabama in 11 innings improved Carolina’s record to 3-0 in extra inning games.

When James Brown’s song “The Boss” hits the speakers at Sarge Frye Field, it means only one thing, sophomore RHP Wynn Pelzer is entering the game. Pelzer has been outstanding this year for Carolina with a 3-0 record and 33 strikeouts with just four runs and 10 hits allowed in 27.1 innings pitched. In four SEC appearances this year, Pelzer owns a 3-0 record with one save; he has allowed just two hits in 14 innings pitched and struck out 17 batters.

Pelzer was outstanding in relief to pick up the win in Friday’s game against Alabama. Pelzer pitched three shutout innings and allowed no hits and just one walk while striking out three batters.

Freshman INF Reese Havens had a productive weekend at the plate against Alabama. Havens was 5-for-9 in the series with Alabama including two doubles and two runs scored to go along with five RBI including the game-winning RBI double in Friday’s win against the Crimson Tide. Havens’ batting average jumped to .296 with 23 runs scored and 25 RBI.

Carolina hit four home runs in the doubleheader against Alabama as Robbie Grinestaff launched his 11th of the year, Justin Smoak hit his sixth, and Cheyne Hurst and Drew Martin each hit their third of the season. Carolina is second in the SEC with 41 home runs on the year.

In only his second start of the year, freshman LHP Will Atwood worked a career-high 5.2 innings and allowed just two runs on six hits with four strikeouts and no walk, earning a no-decision in Wednesday’s loss to Clemson.

Freshman RHP Mike Cisco became the first freshman Carolina pitcher since Kip Bouknight (1998) to start a Friday night SEC game last Friday (April 7). Cisco worked 4.1 innings and allowed three runs on five hits to earn a no-decision.

Cisco is 4-0 with a 3.11 ERA on the year in 37.2 innings pitched, the second highest total on the team. Three of Cisco’s four wins have come against SEC opponents. He has 31 strikeouts and nine walks on the year.

Senior OF Michael Campbell increased his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games before seeing it end in the second game of the doubleheader vs. Alabama. He has now played 233 career games with the Gamecocks and is just three games shy of Mac White (1991-94) for second place on the USC Career List. His 11 at-bats this weekend vs. Alabama moved him past Drew Meyer (2000-02) with 865 career at-bats and into third place all-time.

Campbell is at .298 (37-for-124) with two HR and 29 RBI including six doubles and two triples this year. Dating back to his freshman season, he has made 212 consecutive starts in the outfield.

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 233 games under his belt as well as 226 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.  233 Michael Campbell   2003-04-05-06
At Bats1. 903 Mac White 1991-92-93-942. 866 Landon Powell 2001-02-03-043. 865 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. 260 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06
One Base Hits1. 209 Drew Meyer 2000-01-022. 198 Mac White 1991-92-93-943. 173 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

The Gamecocks have an incredible streak of 10 games without committing an error in the field. South Carolina leads the SEC with a .987 fielding percentage and only 16 errors committed in 33 games. The team has played 21 of 33 games without an error on the year.