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May 28, 2007

Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina baseball team (42-18) has earned a spot in the 64-team field of the 2007 NCAA Baseball Tournament. Carolina will be making its eighth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament and the ninth under head coach Ray Tanner. The Gamecocks are the No. 1 seed in the Columbia, SC regional and will face Wofford (30-31) on Friday, June 1. The other two opponents in the Gamecocks’ regional bracket are NC State (37-21) and Charlotte (47-10).

The Gamecocks are one of five teams from the SEC to play in the 2007 NCAA Championships and one of four schools from the state of South Carolina to make the field. South Carolina has made eight consecutive trips to the NCAA Baseball Tournament (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007). It is the longest current streak of all 12 SEC schools.


Friday, June 1
Game 1 — N.C. State (No. 2) vs. Charlotte (No. 3), 2 p.m.
Game 2 — South Carolina (No. 1) vs. Wofford (No. 4), 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 2
Game 3 — Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 2 p.m.
Game 4 — Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 3
Game 5 — Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 2 p.m.
Game 6 — Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 7 p.m.

Monday, June 4
Game 7 — If necessary (if game 5 winner wins game 6), 7 p.m.


Tournament reserved seat booklets are $72 for adults, $40 for students/youth and $60 general admission. The stadium will be cleared at the end of each game. Through Thursday May 31, tournament ticket books will be sold, as they remain available at the University of South Carolina Athletic Ticket Office at the Colonial Center between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm. Fans may also purchase tickets on-line at and over the phone at (803) 777-4274 or (800) 4SC-FANS.

Quotes South Carolina Head Coach Ray Tanner (May 28, 2007)

On the Columbia Regional field:
“Very challenging, no question. I looked around at some of the teams and I’m a little bit surprised we didn’t get more teams from the SEC, but we’ve certainly got a very challenging field here.”

On NC State being in the field:
“We haven’t played them in awhile. We were scheduled to play them down in Charleston at one of the tournaments, but hey ended up going somewhere else. I think it’s great that they are coming here. The NCAA won’t have any flight money for this regional. Everybody is from pretty close proximity. It’s a great field with some very good teams. I got a chance to look at Charlotte’s pitching staff – very, very impressive. Certainly Wofford, with the run they’ve made recently (winning) five in a row in the Southern Conference. They lead the country now in home runs, not us. It’s a great field.

On if playing NC State would stir his emotions:
“I’ve been head coach here longer then I was at NC State. I’m at the University of South Carolina now. I graduated there and played baseball there and have a graduate degree. I think it’s great that they’re here. Certainly they are very deserving and have a great club, but it won’t stir up any emotions with me.

On getting an ACC team in the regional:
“I really was expecting to get one. I had said all along, speculating the last couple of days that it would be Georgia Tech or NC State and Georgia Tech didn’t make the field. NC State is here. I was kind of anticipating that.

On SEC teams that did not get into tournament:
“Obviously, I didn’t study it like they committee did, but I thought Tennessee should have gotten in with a winning record. They were close to
.500 in the league and they beat Vandy to open the SEC Tournament. Vandy hasn’t lost very often (with) 50-something wins. I just felt that our conference would get six for sure and maybe seven and we didn’t. We didn’t get six.”

On if the team is playing well enough to win the regional based on the performance in Birmingham:
“I think we’re good enough to win, but we have to play well. We’re not good enough to make a lot of mistakes and have breakdowns and still win it. If we play the way we are capable of, we should be in the thick of things. You never can tell. We’ve got some very good teams in this field and I’m sure they are wanting to play their best as well.”

On Wofford:
“They’re dangerous, no question about it. I called Coach Traylor and left him a message after he won the SoCon Championship the other night. … I’m so happy for him. We developed a relationship when he was head coach at Duke and certainly when he went to Wofford, we’ve played. We’ve had a great relationship and great respect for each other. I think we’ve pulled for each other. I’m not looking forward to playing them. They are on a roll. They are a great club, a tremendous offensive club. We might have pitched as well against them as them as we have anybody we’ve pitched against all year as far as their offensive output and being able to contain them. Now we’re catching them on a roll. We are going to treat them like we are playing a national seed.”

On his team’s hitting:
“Well, we didn’t swing the bat very well in the SEC Tournament. I think we hit about .225 or .230 in the four games we played. We did leave some balls on the warning track, we squared up a couple of other balls. I’m hoping we break out swinging better this weekend.”

On playing at home:
“We’re excited to be hosting. We’ve missed the opportunity the play at home the last couple of years because we didn’t have a good enough record, maybe not a good enough RPI. We’re home again for a regional. This is a great atmosphere for college baseball, a great field. This is what you play for. You try to play to get a chance to play at the end of the year. If you’re fortunate enough to be one of the host sites, that’s great as well. We’re excited about it and want to come out and play some great baseball.”

On pitching plans:
“It’s a little bit early. I would imagine it would be (Harris) Honeycutt, (Arik) Hempy, probably in that order. We may have some (Mike) Cisco conversation, but it’s a little bit too early to tell right now.”

On Wofford’s Brandon Waring:
“Brandon Waring has had a great year. He’s a tremendous talent. He has enhanced his draft status tremendously. He hit five home runs in the SoCon Tournament. We’re going to treat him like (Arkansas’) Danny Hamblin. We’re going to treat him like (Florida’s) Matt LaPorta. We’re going to be extremely careful with him. He is one of the most impressive players in the country right now. He’s earned the status that he has right now. He’s a guy that can destroy you. They’ve got some other good hitters, but 27 homers, I believe that ties Kyle Russell from Texas for the nation’s lead.”