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March 8, 2007

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina (10-2) begins a nine-game homestand this weekend with a three-game series vs. Brown (1-3) at Sarge Frye Field. First pitch on Friday, Mar. 9 is set for 7 pm with Saturday’s game at 4 pm and Sunday’s series finale scheduled for 1:30 pm. Live video, live audio and live gametracker stats will be available at with Tommy Moody calling the contests. This is Carolina’s first meeting against the Bears since two years ago when USC won a 7-2 single-game contest on Mar. 29, 2005.


SC Blake Cooper (Fr.) RHP 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 4.0 IP, 3 K, 0 BB
Brown James Cramphin (Sr.) RHP 0-0, 5.40 ERA, 5.0 IP, 3 K, 4 BB

SC Mike Cisco (So.) RHP 1-0, 3.20 ERA, 25.1 IP, 20 K, 3 BB
Brown Rob Wilcox (Fr.) RHP 0-0, 4.91 ERA, 3.2 IP, 6 K, 2 BB

SC Arik Hempy (Jr.) LHP 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.0 IP, 0 K, 0 BB
Brown Jeff Dietz (Jr.) RHP 0-1, 2.57 ERA, 7.0 IP, 4 K, 0 BB

Chris Campbell’s one-out RBI double to right center in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted College of Charleston to a 5-4 win over second ranked South Carolina on Tuesday evening at Joe Riley Park. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Gamecocks.

It marked only the second loss of the season for the Gamecocks, who ironically lost their only other game of the year also at Joe Riley Park to another in-state school, The Citadel (7-6).

Having played only four games at home in the first 12 contests this year, the Gamecocks are back at Sarge Frye Field for their longest homestand of the year, nine straight games beginning this weekend.

Sarge Frye Field has been a tough spot for opponents over the last seven years as the Gamecocks have compiled a 222-47 record (.825). The crowds have been incredible for the Gamecocks, with USC averaging 5,466 fans in three dates (one doubleheader).

Junior left-hander Arik Hempy makes his 2007 debut for the Gamecocks with a scheduled start on Sunday vs. Brown. The appearance vs. the Bears will be the first for Hempy since undergoing Tommy John surgery in early April of 2006. Hempy had made seven starts last season and was 2-1 with a 2.65 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 34 innings before going down with the injury to his arm on March 31 at LSU. Hempy received a medical redshirt due to the injury.

Freshman right-hander Blake Cooper will get the nod to start the series opener vs. Brown on Friday night. Cooper will make his fourth appearance but his first start as a member of the garnet and black. In his first three games that he has pitched, Cooper has not allowed a run in four innings of work and has compiled four strikeouts.

Sophomore right-hander Mike Cisco has put together four quality starts to open the season and leads the team with 25.1 innings pitched. Cisco worked 6.2 innings and allowed just one run on five hits in the 3-2 win vs. Clemson.

He picked up his first win of year in a 5-1 win over Eastern Michigan. In that start he also worked 6.2 innings and allowed just one run on five hits while striking out nine batters. Cisco owns a 3.20 ERA with 20 strikeouts on the year.

Junior left-hander Will Atwood has been a relief for the Gamecocks out of the bullpen to start the year. Atwood delivered again out of the pen in Tuesday’s game vs. College of Charleston with 3.1 scoreless innings of work to keep the Cougars at bay.

That performance came off one he had last Sunday when he earned his first win of the year and pitched a scoreless ninth inning in the 3-2 win vs. Clemson. He also had three scoreless innings of work in Carolina’s 8-5 come-from-behind win over Eastern Michigan. Atwood is 0-0 with a 0.69 ERA in 13.0 innings and just one run allowed.

South Carolina junior right-handed pitcher Harris Honeycutt was named SEC Pitcher of the Week following his performance on Saturday in the 12-0 win at Clemson. Against second ranked and in-state rival Clemson, Honeycutt delivered with a top performance on the mound limiting the Tigers to just two hits in seven innings of work. He combined with three other players for the first shutout of the Tigers since 1986 and the first Gamecock shutout at Doug Kingsmore Stadium since 1974. Honeycutt struck out seven batters in the win, took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and allowed just one Clemson player to reach third base. He also improved his career record to 12-0 with the Gamecocks and has won all four starts this season. Honeycutt lowered his ERA to 1.11 and has pitched 14 consecutive scoreless innings.

Honeycutt’s honor marks the second time a Carolina player has been honored by the SEC office. Lonnie Chisenhall was SEC Freshman of the Week after the first weekend of the year at the Hughes Brothers Challenge hosted by UNC Wilmington.

Honeycutt will not make a start this weekend due to a bicep strain in his right arm. He is expected to be 100 percent soon and to make a start next week vs. LSU.

South Carolina and Clemson renewed their historic rivalry last weekend with the Gamecocks taking both contests on Saturday and Sunday. Carolina defeated the Tigers 12-0 in Clemson on Saturday and earned a 3-2 win on Sunday at Sarge Frye Field. The Gamecocks are now 16-14 in games played between both schools dating back to the 2000 season. The teams will meet again with two Wednesday contests in April. The April 11 contest is at Clemson with the April 18 game in Columbia.

South Carolina has started the year off drawing outstanding crowds at Sarge Frye Field this year with 16,399 fans in four contests at home, for an average of 5,466 fans. Sunday’s attendance for the Clemson game was 5,913.

Despite the first two weekends on the road, the Gamecocks had quite a contingent of fans on the road in Wilmington, N.C. and Charleston, S.C. Garnet and black-clad people were everywhere in both towns as the Gamecocks drew 14,959 fans in their first six games including 5,055 at The Citadel, a majority of which were Gamecock fans at Joe Riley Park.

South Carolina sits at No. 2 in the latest ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll, moved up to No. 3 in the Baseball America Top 25 and remained No. 4 in the Collegiate Baseball rankings. The NCBWA also lists the Gamecocks at No. 2 in the nation.

Coming of a strong end to the 2006 season, junior designated hitter Phil Disher has picked up where he left off with a .391 batting average to start the year. Disher had a three-run homer and four RBI in Saturday’s win at Clemson and added two RBI in Sunday’s win over the Tigers. He is currently among the SEC leaders in several categories including slugging percentage (.761) and on-base percentage (.509).

His second career grand slam lifted the Gamecocks to an 8-5 win over Eastern Michigan, a game-winning hit with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Disher was 2006 NCAA Regional MVP in Charlottesville, Va.

The Gamecock pitching staff has delivered in the early going with the staff posting a team ERA of 2.39 in 110 innings of work. That 2.39 ERA is among the best in the SEC heading into this weekend’s games. The staff has 104 strikeouts to just 29 walks and allowed just 87 hits and opponents only batting .220 on the year.

The South Carolina bats continue to be productive with the team batting at a .295 clip with 19 homers in 12 games played. Saturday’s 12-0 victory at Clemson featured three home runs including James Darnell’s team-leading fifth homer as well as Disher’s third and Justin Smoak’s third home run.

South Carolina continues to boast one of the top defensive teams in all of college baseball as the Gamecocks lead the SEC in fielding percentage, 12 games into the season. After setting a school record for fielding last year, the Gamecocks are off to another solid start defensively with a .986 percentage and just six errors and seven error-less contests.

Captain Steven Reinhold has been a key ingredient to the Gamecocks success in the early season. Coming off the bench as a defensive replacement, Reinhold has played in nine games, all at center field and has been a productive pinch hitter and pinch runner as well. This season he is 1-for-2 with two runs scored, has been hit by two pitches and owned a sacrifice bunt. The bunt helped the Gamecocks score the winning run in Sunday’s game vs. Clemson.

Freshman Lonnie Chisenhall opened the season with an eight-game hitting streak and has hit safely in 11 of 12 games this year. Chisenhall is batting .370 (20-for-54) this season with four doubles, two triples, a homer and 10 RBI on the year. Seven of the 12 games this year, Chisenhall have tallied at least two hits.

After a strong opening weekend in Wilmington, N.C. Chisenhall was named SEC Freshman of the Week. At the season-opening tournament, Chisenhall hit .500 (7-for-14) with three runs, a homer and seven RBI and also tied two single game school records in a win over Western Kentucky with two triples and two sacrifice flies. He became only the 13th player in school history to have two triples in one game and the first since Steven Tolleson did it in 2005.

Chisenhall was part of Carolina’s heralded recruiting class and was ranked the top freshman in the nation by Baseball America.

Sophomore infielder James Darnell has struck with a strong bat this year as he leads the team with five homers in the first 12 games. He currently owns a .343 batting average and has 12 RBI. His three-run homer helped USC to a 12-0 win over Clemson and he set a career-high with four RBI as well.

Sophomore first baseman Justin Smoak showed off his power in Saturday’s win over Clemson with three hits and a two-run homer. He is batting .255 on the year with nine RBI, 12 runs scored and 13 walks. His on-base percentage is currently .426 this season.

Last Sunday’s home game vs. the Clemson Tigers featured a tribute to Sarge Frye, former groundskeeper, who the baseball stadium was named after on May, 11 1980.

Weldon B. “Sarge” Frye came to the University of South Carolina in 1953 after retiring as a master sergeant in the U.S. Army. A combat veteran of World War II and the Korean Conflict, Frye participated in the Allied Invasion of Europe, was wounded in action and decorated with the Bronze Star. He received a second Bronze Star in Korea.

He was placed in charge of athletic facilities and his duties were soon expanded to include supervision of grounds for the entire campus. After 45 years of service, he officially retired in July of 1997 but remained on board to supervise maintenance of athletic facilities. Frye passed away on September 3, 2003 after a half of century of service to Gamecock Athletics. Sarge Frye is synonymous with the words dedication, loyalty and hard work.

Fans are encouraged to log on to to visit the Sarge Frye Field Farewell page located on the main page and baseball page. Fans can vote on the greatest moments, greatest players and blog with their favorite memories at Sarge Frye Field.