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May 4, 2006

Columbia, S.C. – The 10th ranked South Carolina baseball team (32-13, 13-8 SEC) continues SEC action this weekend with a three-game series at Georgia (28-16, 10-11 SEC) beginning on Friday, May 5 with first pitch set for 7 pm. Saturday’s game is scheduled for 4 pm and will be televised live on SEC-TV/FSN South. The Sunday series finale will start at 1 pm. All three games are available on and the Gamecock Radio Network with Mike Morgan and Tom Price calling the action. Live gametracker stats are also available at

Carolina swept a three-game series with the Bulldogs last year in Columbia with wins of 7-5, 17-2 and 6-1 in April of 2005. The Gamecocks leads the all-time series history with Georgia 46-36 with series sweeps in four of the last six years ( 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2005). Georgia last won a series vs. Carolina in 2004 when the Bulldogs took two of three games at Foley Field. Georgia head coach David Perno is in his fifth season at the helm of the Bulldog program. Georgia is coming off a weekend sweep at Florida and did not have a midweek game.


South Carolina: Wynn Pelzer, RHP, So. (4-1, 1.55 ERA, 40.2 IP, 41 K, 21 BB)
Georgia: Mickey Westphal, LHP, Sr. (4-0, 3.59 ERA, 57.2 IP, 26 K, 14 BB)

South Carolina: Mike Cisco, RHP, Fr. (5-1, 3.47 ERA, 57 IP, 49 K, 13 BB)
Georgia: Brooks Brown, RHP, Jr. (4-3, 3.84 ERA, 68 IP, 82 K, 25 BB)

South Carolina: Will Atwood, LHP, Fr. (3-0, 3.24 ERA, 33.1 IP, 22 K, 6 BB)
Georgia: TBA

South Carolina moved up in three of the four collegiate baseball rankings including a move to No. 10 in the latest Sports Weekly/ESPN coaches poll. Carolina is up two spots in Baseball America to No. 12, and also has the same ranking in the NCBWA Top 30. USC remained No. 19 in the Collegiate Baseball Top 30.

Stephen Johnson scored on a wild pitch with two outs in the 13th inning as Wofford rallied to defeat 10th ranked South Carolina 9-8 on Wednesday evening at Russell C. King Field.

Johnson hit a two-out triple in the 13th inning off Carolina reliever Andrew Cruse to set the stage for an improbable finish for the Terriers. With Shane Kirkley up to the plate, Carolina called for an intentional walk against the Terrier’s No. 3 hitter, who had two homers on the evening. The third intentional ball from Cruse sailed over the head of catcher Ian Paxton allowing Johnson to score the game-winning run.

Cruse suffered the loss despite a solid outing out of the bullpen. He is 4-3 on the year. He allowed just one run on two hits with 5.1 innings of work and tied a career-high with seven strikeouts. Wofford reliever J.D. Melton was equally effective out of the pen for the Terriers as he pitched five scoreless innings of relief and allowed just one hit to pick up the win. He is 5-3 on the year. The win for Wofford was their first over the Gamecocks since 1947.

In Carolina’s last SEC series, the Gamecocks went 2-1 winning the series vs. Mississippi State two games to one. Carolina currently owns 13-8 SEC record and is tied for first place with Kentucky in the Eastern Division.

Carolina rallied from three down in the bottom of the 11th inning with two outs as Jon Willard hit a pinch-hit three-run homer to tie the game followed up by a two-run game-winner by Michael Campbell.

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. South Carolina sophomore RHP Wynn Pelzer made his first start vs. an SEC team this year in Friday’s 11-5 win over the Bulldogs. Pelzer earned a win and limited MSU to two runs on five hits in 8.1 innings of work. On the year, Pelzer is 4-1 with a 1.55 ERA as well as 41 strikeouts in 40.2 innings of work. He has allowed just three runs on nine hits in eight SEC appearances (27.1 innings) with four wins and three saves vs. SEC teams. Pelzer is the friday night starter for Carolina at Georgia.

South Carolina freshman first baseman Justin Smoak is the SEC Freshman of the Week following his performance in the weekend series against Mississippi State. Smoak was 6-for-11 (.545) in the series including a 3-for-4 performance in Friday’s 11-5 win over the Bulldogs. Smoak recorded his first multi-homer game of his career and tied his career-high in hits in the six-run win over MSU. He has increased his home run total to 10 on the year and is now one short of the freshman school record set by Drew Meyer (11) in 2000.

Smoak is the third Gamecock this season to earn an SEC weekly honor. Andrew Cruse and Mike Cisco each earned SEC Pitcher of the Week in March and April respectively. Smoak is currently batting .280 (47-for-168) on the year with 10 HR and 31 RBI as well as a team-high 11 doubles. Smoak and Michael Campbell are the only members of the Carolina baseball team to start all 45 games this year.

Freshman Andrew Crisp has been swinging the hot bat as of late with an 8-for-15 performance (.533) last week against Mississippi State. Adding to his 9-for-14 (.643) week at Kentucky, he has compiled 17 hits and a .581 batting average over the last six SEC games. Crisp went 4-for-5 in Sunday’s win over the Bulldogs that tied his career-high in hits that he set last week at Kentucky. With starts in both right field and second base, Crisp has become one of the more versatile players in the lineup. He currently owns a 14-game hitting streak and is batting .381 on the year with four HR and 12 RBI in 33 games played/19 starts.

Three of those four HR have come over the last two weeks including a game-winner on April 14 vs. Ole Miss. His two-out RBI single in the top of the seventh inning also broke a 1-1 tie as Carolina defeated the Tigers of LSU 2-1 to sweep the series on April 2.

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

Cisco is 5-1 with a 3.47 ERA and 49 strikeouts and just 13 walks allowed in 57 innings pitched. Opponents are only batting .213 against him. Four of his five wins are against SEC opponents. Cisco is the Saturday starter for the Gamecocks.

Junior OF Jon Willard has had a clutch bat as of late with three-run homers popping up all over the place. Four times this season including three times in the last two weeks, Willard has hit a three-run homer to ignite a Gamecock rally.

The three-run binge began at Kentucky on April 21 as part of a seven-run eighth inning that saw Willard’s two-out three-run homer tie the game and send it into extra innings. Willard’s heroics came up in the Sunday rubber game vs. Mississippi State on April 30. With two outs and the Gamecocks down by three runs in the 11th inning, Willard hit the first pitch over the right field wall to tie the game and set up the eventual game-winning homer from Michael Campbell. Willard continued his tear on Wednesday night with a three-run blast at Wofford.

Senior OF Michael Campbell has been selected as the University of South Carolina 2005-06 Co-Male Athlete of the Year, announced on Monday, April 24 at the 2005-06 All Sports Banquet. Campbell earned the honors with football wide receiver Sidney Rice.

Campbell has been one of Carolina’s top hitters in SEC games with a .432 average (38-for-88) along with four HR, 23 runs scored and 25 RBI in 21 conference games. Campbell this season is batting a team-best .364 with four HR and 43 RBI along with a team-high 64 hits. He was 6-for-13 (.462) in the series against Mississippi State.

Over the weekend, Campbell set a school career record for at-bats, passing Mac White (1991-94) and now in first place with a total of 917. Campbell moved past Drew Meyer (2000-02) and is in second place on the career hits list at USC with 287 in his career. He is 16 shy of the school record set by White (303). Campbell also had inched closer to Landon Powell’s (2001-04) games played record. Campbell has played 245 career games with the Gamecocks and is six short of Powell’s record of 251 games.

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 245 games under his belt as well as 238 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.  245 Michael Campbell   2003-04-05-06
At Bats1. 917 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06 SCHOOL RECORD
Hits (200 or more)1. 303 Mac White 1991-92-93-942. 287 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06
One Base Hits1. 209 Drew Meyer 2000-01-022. 198 Mac White 1991-92-93-943. 193 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 1995-96-97-984. 51 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06
Three Base Hits1. 12 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06 SCHOOL RECORD1. 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. 169 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. 170 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06

South Carolina’s offense has been productive as of late with a total of 71 runs over the last eight games as well as 113 hits. The Gamecocks are batting .314 as a team on the year (502-for-1597) with 61 homers.

South Carolina saw its phenomenal streak of error-less games end at 13 games on Sunday, April 16 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 is second in the nation with a .982 fielding percentage (1229 putouts, 419 assists, 30 errors). South Carolina has played 27 error-less games out of 45 this year.

Freshman shortstop Reese Havens has been productive at the plate as of late and is batting .293 (48-for-164) with 11 doubles. He hit a two-run homer in last Friday’s win vs. Mississippi State. Havens tied a season-high with three hits and a homer vs. The Citadel and a had a season-high three RBI in Saturday’s loss vs. Kentucky. 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 fielded .968 (61 putouts, 119 assists, six errors) in his first year at shortstop for Carolina.

Freshman LHP Will Atwood made his first SEC start on Sunday vs. Mississippi State and finished with a no-decision. Atwood worked six innings and allowed just two runs on eight hits with four strikeouts. He is the scheduled starter on Sunday at Georgia.

Atwood earned a win vs. The Citadel on April 19 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.