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April 13, 2009

Columbia, S.C. –

South Carolina (23-12) begins a five-game homestand on Tuesday night hosting College of Charleston (21-12) with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. at Carolina Stadium. Live audio broadcast is available at and on the Gamecock Radio Network. The Gamecocks will also host The Citadel (20-13) in midweek action on Wednesday night. First pitch for that game is also 7 p.m.

Carolina met College of Charleston two weeks ago at Patriots Point with the Gamecocks defeating the Cougars 14-2 on Mar. 24. Carolina starting pitcher Blake Cooper notched his second straight quality start as he limited the Cougars to one run on five hits with three strikeouts and two walks in 5.2 innings of work. He earned the win. College of Charleston starter Nick Osterman lasted only 1.2 innings and suffered the loss dropping his record to 1-1. An error in the second inning didn’t help the Cougar right-hander as he allowed six runs, all unearned, on four hits in defeat.

The Gamecocks belted out three homers in the game with the middle of the order providing the power. Nick Ebert, Kyle Enders and Andrew Crisp (4-5-6 in the lineup) all homered for Carolina. South Carolina finished with 11 hits in the contest. Crisp had a 3-for-4 night at the plate and tied his season-high with three RBI. Whit Merrifield, DeAngelo Mack and Kyle Enders were each 2-for-4 as well. Nick Ebert and Jackie Bradley, Jr. each drove in two runs. College of Charleston had eight hits in the game with Clay McCord and Austin Morgan both tallying two hits.

Pitching Rotations (probable starters)

SC Michael Roth (LHP, Fr.) – 1-0, 2.35 ERA, 15.1 IP, 9 BB, 17 K
COFC Casey Lucchese (RHP, So.) – 0-0, 10.12 ERA, 8.0 IP, 4 BB, 10 K

CIT TJ Clarkson (RHP, Fr.) 2-0, 2.55 ERA, 17.2 IP, 3 BB, 11 K

South Carolina went 3-2 on the week, splitting a pair of midweek games at Clemson and winning two of three games at Ole Miss. Carolina is now 23-12 on the year and 7-8 in the SEC. The Gamecocks are fourth in the SEC and tied for seventh place overall. South Carolina begins a five-game homestand on Tuesday night hosting the College of Charleston. Carolina will also host The Citadel on Wednesday night and Auburn in a three-game series beginning on Friday night. Saturday’s game vs. the Tigers will be televised live on SportSouth.

For the second consecutive week, freshman left-handed pitcher Nolan Belcher had the Gamecocks’ top performance on the mound. He Hurled first career complete game in series-clinching victory over No. 14 Ole Miss … Limited Rebels to just one run on nine hits in 8-1 win … Helped South Carolina to series victory, its first in Oxford since 1998, also the last time a road team has a won the series between the Gamecocks and Rebels … Has allowed just two runs in last two starts (17.1 innings of work), both victories over nationally-ranked Arkansas and nationally-ranked Ole Miss … Strikeout total of eight in the contest was second highest this season … First career road win. Belcher is now 2-1 on the year with a 3.73 ERA in 41 innings pitched. He has 39 strikeouts. In SEC games, Belcher is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA.

Sophomore center fielder Whit Merrifield was key in the leadoff role this weekend at Ole Miss with a 5-for-6 day at the plate in the series opener, a 12-10 win over the Rebels … Merrifield’s five hits were a season-high by a Gamecock player and the most since James Darnell tallied five on March, 18, 2008 at College of Charleston … The five hits were a career-high for Merrifield, he was just one shy of the cycle with three singles, a double and a triple … He is now up to a .310 batting average (44-for-142) and has scored a team-high 36 runs and also leads the squad with 11 doubles.

Probable Starting LineupPos.    Player  09 Stats (Avg-HR-RBI)   NotesC   Justin Dalles (Jr.)   .330-6-22   4-for-7 series at Ole Miss with a HR and six RBI
1B Nick Ebert (Jr.) .320-12-36 A homer and three RBI in 9-1 win at Ole Miss
2B Scott Wingo (So.) .175-3-11 Hit a solo home run in 7-6 win over Clemson
SS Bobby Haney (Jr.) .260-3-17 Two homers and three RBI in 9-1 win at Ole Miss
3B Andrew Crisp (Sr.) .310-8-25 14th on USC All-Time list in hits
LF DeAngelo Mack (Jr.) .356-10-39 Solo home run on Sunday at Ole Miss/six-game hit streak
CF Whit Merrifield (So.) .310-5-24 5-for-6 game at Ole Miss in 12-10 win on Friday
RF Jackie Bradley, Jr. (Fr.).301-6-19 Tied for second highest total of multi-hit games with 12
DH Parker Bangs (So.) .306-2-16 Solo homer in 7-6 win vs. Clemson/seven-game hit streak

Junior first baseman Nick Ebert hit a two-run homer and tallied three RBI in South Carolina’s 9-1 in over the Rebels on Saturday … Ebert is hitting .320 (33-for-103) with a team-high 12 HR and 36 RBI … He also leads the squad in multi-RBI games with 11.

Sophomore Parker Bangs is getting the groove at the plate as he owns a career-best seven-game hitting streak … Bangs is up to .306 with his average (22-for-72) and went 5-for-14 in the Ole Miss series (.357) … Bangs hit his second homer of the year in the 7-6 win on Tuesday night vs. Clemson.

Junior outfielder DeAngelo Mack also had a productive week and is in the middle of a six-game hitting streak … Mack was 2-for-5 with a homer and four RBI in the 7-6 win vs. Clemson including a game-winning two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning … Mack’s solo home run on Sunday snapped Ole Miss starting pitcher Scott Bittle’s streak of 21 scoreless innings … Mack is hitting a team-best .356 (48-for-13) with 10 HR and 39 RBI.

Junior catcher Justin Dalles hit .571 (4-for-7) in the Ole Miss series including a key three-run homer in the 12-10 win over Ole Miss … He drove in five runs in the series … Dalles is hitting .330 (31-for-94) with six HR and 22 RBI on the year … He is hitting a team-best .381 (16-for-42) in SEC games.

Junior shortstop Bobby Haney tallied his first career multi-homer game at Carolina in the 9-1 win over Arkansas … Haney had just one homer on the year before hitting two round trippers in the Gamecock victory … He is the fourth Gamecock player this year to tally two homers in one game … Haney is hitting .260 (33-for-127) with three HR and 17 RBI on the year.

South Carolina has been getting off to the quick start this year outscoring its opponent 88-29 in the first two innings … South Carolina is 14-7 on the year when scoring first in a game including a 14-4 mark when scoring in the first inning.

The Gamecocks sport a 21-2 record when out-hitting its opponent

The team is hitting .298 (359-for-1204) on the year with 60 HR and 234 RBI … The team is pitching with a 5.02 ERA in 308.1 innings with 286 strikeouts to 166 walks … Opponents are batting just .250 against the team.