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Aug. 27, 2007

Columbia, S.C. – Former South Carolina baseball player Billy Buckner (2004) made his Major League Baseball debut over the weekend as a member of the Kansas City Royals. The right-hander pitched in relief on Saturday for the Royals in his first career appearance. Buckner allowed just one run in five innings of work. He is now one of four former Gamecocks currently in Major League Baseball along with third baseman Brian Buscher (Minnesota Twins), shortstop Adam Everett (Houston Astros), second baseman Brian Roberts (Baltimore Orioles).

Buckner was a member of the 2004 South Carolina squad that reached the College World Series and finished as high as third in the nation in the final collegiate baseball rankings. He finished that season with a 7-2 record and a 3.32 ERA. He also struck out 105 batters in 84 innings pitched and was a second round MLB Draft selection by the Royals.

Buckner’s most famous game pitched as a Gamecock was on March 6, 2004 when he struck out 16 batters in 7.2 innings of work in a 5-2 win over Clemson at Sarge Frye Field. He also earned a win over Miami (Fla.) at the College World Series.

Buckner is the eighth different Gamecock player to be on a roster in Major League Baseball this season. Jon Coutlangus (Cincinnati Reds), Lee Gronkiewicz (Toronto Blue Jays), Marcus McBeth (Cincinnati Reds) and Kevin Melillo (Oakland A’s) all have played this year in the big leagues. Each of those players is currently with their parent club’s respective Triple-A affiliate.

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