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May 22, 2007

Birmingham, Ala. – Four different South Carolina players have earned SEC conference honors including junior second baseman Travis Jones and junior designated hitter Phil Disher , who were named to the All-SEC first team by a vote of the league’s 12 head baseball coaches. Sophomore first baseman Justin Smoak and sophomore third baseman James Darnell earned second team All-SEC honors.

In 56 games this season, junior Travis Jones is batting .321 on the year (70-for-218) including 18 home runs and 61 RBI. Jones has compiled 14 of his 18 home runs in SEC games. Four times this season Jones tallied multi-home run games including last Thursday in a 13-3 win vs. Georgia, when he went 3-for-4 with a pair of homers and a team season-high of six RBI.

Coming off a strong postseason performance that included a NCAA Regional MVP honor in Charlottesville, Va. in 2006, junior Phil Disher continues to impress at the DH spot batting a team-best .343 (68-for-198) with 14 home runs and 54 RBI as well as 15 doubles. Disher was a big part of last Saturday’s 11-run comeback against the Georgia Bulldogs, a game in which he tallied a career-high four hits including three doubles and three RBI. The three doubles vs. the Bulldogs tied a USC single-game record. Disher also leads the team with 23 multi-hit games.

After earning SEC All-Freshman Team and Freshman All-America honors last year, sophomore Justin Smoak has been a steady force in the Carolina lineup in his second season in the garnet and black. Smoak, along with Jones, has started all 56 games on the year. He has batted .318 (71-for-223) with 18 home runs and 65 RBI. Named to the USA Baseball National Team last week, Smoak has delivered with the big bat as he leads the team with 19 multi-RBI games. Earlier in the season, he also put together a 23-game hitting streak that was two short of the Carolina school record and the longest of the year by an SEC player.

In his first year at the hot corner, sophomore James Darnell has been a productive part of the Gamecock lineup with a .337 batting average (67-for-199) to go along with 18 home runs and 59 RBI. Darnell was the team’s best hitter in conference play batting .367 (44-for-120) against SEC teams with 10 HR and 36 RBI as well. Darnell had a stretch of four consecutive games with a home run in April that was one short of a school record.

The SEC Tournament begins on Wednesday, May 23 with the Gamecocks and Florida Gators meeting in the second game of the day at 1 pm CT. Live audio broadcast is available at and the Gamecock Radio Network with Mike Morgan and Tom Price call the action. Live stats are also available on

Coaches are not permitted to vote for their own players, thus a unanimous selection earns 11 of the 12 first-team votes.

SEC PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Matt LaPorta, FloridaSEC PITCHER OF THE YEAR - *David Price, VanderbiltSEC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR - Jordan Henry, Ole MissSEC SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR - Emeel Salem, AlabamaSEC COACH OF THE YEAR - *Tim Corbin, Vanderbilt     * unanimous selection
FIRST TEAM1B - Matt LaPorta, Florida2B - Travis Jones, South Carolina3B - Pedro Alvarez, VanderbiltSS - Zack Cozart, Ole MissC - Edward Easley, Mississippi StateOF - *Emeel Salem, AlabamaOF - *Dominic de la Osa, VanderbiltOF - Brian Leclerc, FloridaDH - Phil Disher, South CarolinaP - *David Price, VanderbiltP - Nick Schmidt, ArkansasP - Jess Todd, ArkansasRP - Casey Weathers, Vanderbilt
SECOND TEAM1B - Justin Smoak, South Carolina2B - Jeffrey Rea, Mississippi State3B - James Darnell, South CarolinaSS - Ryan Flaherty, VanderbiltC - J.P. Arencibia, TennesseeOF - Jordan Henry, Ole MissOF - Mike Bianucci, AuburnOF - Julio Borbon, TennesseeDH - Alex Avila, AlabamaP - Lance Lynn, Ole MissP - James Adkins, TennesseeRP - Jared Bradford, LSURP - Cody Satterwhite, Ole Miss
ALL FRESHMAN TEAM1B - Yan Gomes, Tennessee2B - Robert Brooks, Auburn2B - Zach Miller, Ole Miss3B - Connor Powers, Mississippi StateSS - Cole Figueroa, FloridaC - Sean Ochinko, LSUOF - *Jordan Henry, Ole MissOF - Blake Dean, LSUOF - Matt den Dekker, FloridaOF - Jonathan Pigott, FloridaDH - Jeff Lockwood, TennesseeP - Mike Minor, VanderbiltP - Nathan Baker, Ole MissRP - Dallas Keuchel, Arkansas