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April 20, 2006

Columbia, S.C. – Seventh ranked South Carolina (30-8, 11-4 SEC) heads back on the road for a three-game series at 21st ranked Kentucky (27-10, 8-7 SEC). The SEC series begins on Friday night (April 21) with first pitch set for 6:30 pm. Saturday’s game is also a 6:30 pm start with the Sunday finale at 1 pm. All three games can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network with Mike Morgan and Tom Price on the call. Live audio is also available at and on Sirius Satellite Radio on Saturday and Sunday (channel 143)

Carolina leads the series history vs. Kentucky 30-21, including a three-game sweep last year in Columbia against the Wildcats. South Carolina has won 17 of the last 20 contests played between the two schools dating back to the 2000 season. Two of the three Kentucky wins in that timespan came in 2004, in a three-game series at Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington, Ky. Last year’s scores in Columbia were 9-7, 12-9 and 12-1.

The Wildcats enter with a 17-4 record at home this year and have yet to lose an SEC series at home. Sophomore outfielder Antone DeJesus leads the team with a .367 batting average.


South Carolina: Mike Cisco, RHP, Fr. (5-0, 2.56 ERA, 45.2 IP, 39 K, 9 BB)

South Carolina: Forrest Beverly, LHP, Jr. (5-2, 5.10 ERA, 47.2 IP, 44 K, 14 BB)

South Carolina: Harris Honeycutt, RHP, So. (3-0, 1.95 ERA, 2.2 IP, 31 K, 13 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 has been in the Top 10 over the last month dating back to the March 6 rankings.

South Carolina defeated The Citadel on Wednesday night 11-2 with Will Atwood picking up his third win of the year. USC went 2-2 last week including two wins over the weekend against Ole Miss in an SEC series. Carolina is now 30-8 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 travels 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 (1026 putouts, 358 assists, 17 errors). USC began a new error-less streak on Wednesday night vs. The Citadel as the Gamecocks came away with a win and no 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. Cisco is the Friday night starter at Kentucky for USC.

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 238 games at Carolina and is 13 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 271 career hits. Campbell is 32 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 .331 for the entire season with three HR and 36 RBI. He has made 217 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 238 games under his belt as well as 231 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.  238 Michael Campbell   2003-04-05-06
At Bats1. 903 Mac White 1991-92-93-942. 886 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06
Hits (200 or more)1. 303 Mac White 1991-92-93-942. 285 Drew Meyer 2000-01-023. 271 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06
One Base Hits1. 209 Drew Meyer 2000-01-022. 198 Mac White 1991-92-93-943. 180 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 1988-89-9010. 162 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. 162 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06

South Carolina hit three consecutive solo home runs to open the fourth inning in Wednesday night’s 11-2 win vs. The Citadel. Ian Paxton, Robbie Grinestaff and Jon Willard went back-to-back-to-back, as USC came one consecutive home run shy of the school record set in 1980 vs. East Carolina.

South Carolina has been putting the home runs together in bunches as of late as the Gamecocks also had back-to-back round trippers courtesy of Justin Smoak and Andrew Crisp in last Saturday’s win at Ole Miss.

The Gamecocks have pounded out 51 homers on the year with Grinestaff tallying a team-high 12 and Smoak behind him at seven. Catchers Trent Kline and Paxton have four apiece.

Freshman Andrew Crisp started all three games for Carolina over the 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 .290 with two HR and nine RBI along with 13 runs scored.

Freshman shortstop Reese Havens has been productive at the plate as of late and is batting .304 (41-for-135) with a team-high 10 doubles. Havens tied a season-high with three hits and a homer vs. The Citadel. He also had three hits including a game-winning RBI double in a 12-inning contest against Alabama. The freshman from Sullivan’s Island has also fielded .968 (46 putouts, 104 assists, five errors) in his first year at shortstop for Carolina.

Freshman LHP Will Atwood earned a win vs. The Citadel on Wednesday night with 6.2 innings of four-hit ball allowing just one run. He is 3-0 on the year with a 3.29 ERA.

In only his second start of his career, Atwood worked a 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.

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.