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April 18, 2006

Columbia, S.C. – Seventh ranked South Carolina (29-8, 11-4 SEC) closes out its homestand with a Wednesday night (April 19) non-conference tilt at Sarge Frye Field vs. The Citadel (18-18, 4-8 SOCON). The Gamecocks will meet the Bulldogs twice this season with the other contest on Tuesday, May 9 at Joe Riley Park in Charleston, S.C.

South Carolina won both games last year with a 4-2 win at Charleston and a 9-4 win in Columbia. The Gamecocks have won five straight games against the Bulldogs dating back to 2003 and lead the series history 112-43-1. In the last contest played in Columbia, Jon Willard and Michael Campbell each had three hits and one home run in the 9-4 win for Carolina. Both teams also played in front of a record crowd of 5,803 fans at the Citadel last year in a 4-2 USC win.

South Carolina: Will Atwood, LHP, Fr. (2-0, 3.92 ERA, 20.2. IP, 13 K, 3 BB)
The Citadel: Zach Brown, LHP, Jr. (1-3, 5.60 ERA, 27.1 IP, 15 K, 8 BB)

South Carolina sits at No. 7 in two of the four major collegiate baseball rankings, Baseball America and Sports Weekly. USC is also ranked No. 8 in the NCBWA Top 30 to go along with No. 13 in the Collegiate Baseball Top 40.

South Carolina went 2-2 on the week including two wins over the weekend against Ole Miss in an SEC series. Carolina is now 29-8 on the year with an 11-4 record in the SEC. The Gamecocks are in first place in the SEC by one game ahead of both Alabama and Vanderbilt. South Carolina will face The Citadel on Wednesday night at home before traveling to Lexington, Ky. for a three-game SEC series beginning on Friday night (April 21). Kentucky is 8-7 in the SEC, three games behind the Gamecocks and are ranked as high as 21st in the nation (Baseball America).

South Carolina saw its phenomenal streak of error-less games end at 13 games on Sunday when USC freshman second baseman James Darnell misplayed a ground ball in the third inning vs. Ole Miss.

The Gamecocks had handled 507 consecutive defensive chances, 370 putouts and 137 assists before committing their 17th error in 37 games. The errorless span covered 123 1/3 innings. South Carolina currently leads the nation with a fielding percentage of .988 (999 putouts, 349 assists, 17 errors).

Freshman RHP Mike Cisco had his best outing of his young career and earned SEC Pitcher of the Week following Friday’s 1-0 win over Ole Miss. Cisco worked eight innings, the longest stint of the year by a Carolina pitcher and allowed no runs on three hits while striking out eight batters to pick up the win.

Cisco is 5-0 with a 2.56 ERA and 39 strikeouts and just nine walks allowed in 45.2 innings. Opponents are only batting .181 against him. Four of his five wins are against SEC opponents. Cisco combined with sophomore RHP Wynn Pelzer to shut down the Rebels in Friday’s series opener.

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 earned two saves vs. the Rebels in both Friday and Saturday’s wins with a pair of one-inning stints in the ninth innings of each game.

Pelzer has factored in all six of his SEC appearances this year with a 3-0 record and three saves. He has pitched 16.2 scoreless innings of relief allowing just two hits and striking out 18 batters in that span. On the season, Pelzer is 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA and four saves in 29.1 innings pitched to go along with 34 strikeouts and only four runs and 10 hits allowed.

Senior OF Michael Campbell moved past Mac White (1991-94) into second place on the USC All-Time list for games played. Campbell has played 237 games at Carolina and is 14 behind Landon Powell (2001-04) for the all-time record at Carolina. Campbell also moved up the All-Time list in hits as he his now third at South Carolina with 269 career hits. Campbell is 34 hits behind White for the USC all-time record.

The senior outfielder had a stellar weekend at the plate vs. Ole Miss batting 8-for-12 (.667) with a homer, three doubles and five RBI. Campbell was 4-for-5 with three RBI in Saturday’s win over Ole Miss including a game-winning two-run double in the eighth inning. He is the team’s top hitter in conference games with a .406 batting average (26-for-64) with three HR and 19 RBI. Campbell is at .326 for the entire season with three HR and 35 RBI. He has made 216 consecutive starts in the outfield.

In addition, his assist from the outfield in a win over Clemson set a new Carolina school record for assists by an outfielder. He has three on the season and 22 in his career. The previous record was 20 held by Paul Hollins (1978-81).

Campbell is the most experienced player in Division I baseball with 237 games under his belt as well as 230 starts. Campbell is the leading returnee 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.  237 Michael Campbell   2003-04-05-06
At Bats1. 903 Mac White 1991-92-93-942. 882 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06
Hits (200 or more)1. 303 Mac White 1991-92-93-942. 285 Drew Meyer 2000-01-023. 269 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06One Base Hits1. 209 Drew Meyer 2000-01-022. 198 Mac White 1991-92-93-943. 178 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06
Two Base Hits1. 67 Mac White 1991-92-93-942. 61 Landon Powell 2001-02-03-043. 53 Greg Morhardt 1982-83-844. 51 Mike Curry 1996-97-984. 51 Derick Urquhart 1995-96-97-986. 50 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
Runs Batted In1. 198 Mac White 1991-92-93-941. 198 Chris Boyle 1981-82-83-843. 193 Landon Powell 2001-02-03-044. 184 Hank Small 1972-73-74-755. 182 Jeff Parnell 1990-91-92-936. 180 Derick Urquhart 1995-96-97-986. 180 Ryan Bordenick 1995-96-97-988. 168 Garrett Carter 1985-86-87-888. 168 Charlie Aldrich 1985-86-8710. 162 Skeets Thomas 1988-89-9011. 161 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06
Runs Scored1. 223 Derick Urquhart 1995-96-97-982. 215 Mike Curry 1996-97-983. 212 Drew Meyer 2000-01-024. 209 Mac White 1991-92-93-945. 182 Jeff Parnell 1990-91-92-936. 176 Landon Powell 2001-02-03-047. 174 Garrett Carter 1985-86-87-888. 166 Ryan Bordenick 1995-96-97-988. 166 Jim Curl 1978-79-80-8110. 161 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06

Freshman Andrew Crisp started all three games for Carolina this weekend in right field. Crisp provided a solid bat the entire way with the game-winning solo homer on Friday night and a game-tying homer the next day on Saturday. Crisp jumped his average to .260 with four hits on the weekend.

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

Freshman INF James Darnell also was a big contributor as he filled in for the injured Chris Brown and started all three games over the weekend at second base. Darnell went 3-for-4 with two runs scored in Saturday’s win over Ole Miss and had a 2-for-2 performance with a homer at Clemson on Wednesday night. Darnell is batting .276 with two HR and eight RBI along with 12 runs scored.

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 a 3-2 loss to Clemson on April 5. Atwood will make his third career start on Wednesday evening (April 19) against Clemson.

South Carolina won the team’s first three SEC series and are off to an 11-4 start in conference play, the best start since the 2000 season. Winning the first three series (Auburn, Florida, LSU) also marked the first time since 2002 that the Gamecocks had won the first three SEC series played in conference play. The Gamecocks were SEC champions in both the 2000 and 2002 seasons.

Junior RHP Jeff Jeffords has come on for two consecutive solid performances out of the bullpen including last Saturday vs. Ole Miss. Jeffords worked three scoreless innings and did not allow a hit in the 6-3 win over the Rebels. He is 0-0 on the year with a 3.00 ERA as well as eight strikeouts in 12 innings pitched.