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May 28, 2009

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Greenville, N.C. – The South Carolina baseball team (38-21) has arrived in Greenville, N.C. and practiced on Thursday morning in preparation for the squad’s opening round game on Friday vs. George Mason (42-12) with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m. at Clark-LeClair Stadium on the campus of East Carolina University. Live audio broadcast is available on the Gamecock Radio Network and with Derek Scott and Tommy Moody calling the action. Live gametracker stats will also be available at

South Carolina: Sam Dyson (RHP, So.) – 8-4, 5.31 ERA, 95.0 IP, 84 H, 61 R, 56 ER, 33 BB, 89 K
George Mason: Mike Modica (LHP, Sr.) – 11-1, 4.17 ERA, 82.0 IP, 71 H, 45 R, 38 ER, 32 BB, 73 K

Each of the 16 regionals feature four teams, playing a double-elimination format. The regionals are scheduled to be conducted from Friday, May 29, to Monday, June 1 (if necessary). Selection of the eight super regional hosts will be announced on, Monday, June 1 at approximately 11 p.m. (ET).

The 63rd Men’s College World Series begins play Saturday, June 13, at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska.


Friday, May 29
Game 1: (3) George Mason vs. (2) South Carolina (3 p.m.)
Game 2: (4) Binghamton vs. (1) East Carolina (7 p.m.)

Saturday, May 30
Game 3: 2 p.m.
Game 4: 6 p.m.

Sunday, May 31
Game 5: 2 p.m.
Game 6: 3 p.m.

Monday, June 1
Game 7: If Necessary (6 p.m.)

The Gamecocks are one of eight teams from the SEC to play in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. South Carolina’s 10 consecutive trips to the NCAA Baseball Tournament (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009) is the longest current streak of all 12 SEC schools. Carolina is one of only eight schools in the nation that has reached the NCAA Regional in the last 10 consecutive years.

NCAA REGIONAL APPEARANCES FROM 2000-09 IN THE SEC1       South Carolina  10  2000-01-02-03-04-05-06-07-08-092.      Arkansas    8   2002-03-04-05-06-07-08-09        Florida     8   2000-01-02-03-04-05-08-09        LSU     8   2000-01-02-03-04-05-08-09        Ole Miss    8   2001-03-04-05-06-07-08-096.      Alabama         7   2000-02-03-05-06-08-09        Mississippi State7  2000-01-03-04-05-06-078.      Georgia     6   2001-02-04-06-08-099.      Auburn      5   2000-01-02-03-05        Vanderbilt  4   2004-06-07-08-0911.     Tennessee   3   2001-04-0512.     Kentucky    2   2006-08

Arizona State
Cal State Fullerton
Florida State
Miami (Fla.)
Oral Roberts

Probable Starting LineupPos.    Player          09 Stats (Avg-HR-RBI)   NotesC   Justin Dalles (Jr.)      .295-12-37      Earned second team All-SEC honors
1B Nick Ebert (Jr.) .332-22-71 Earned second team All-SEC honors
2B Scott Wingo (So.) .204-4-15 Tallied five hits in three games at SEC Tournament
SS Bobby Haney (Jr.) .273-4-28 Earned second team All-SEC/Defensive Team honors
3B Andrew Crisp (Sr.) .317-10-48 Leads SEC with 21 doubles, five short of school record
LF DeAngelo Mack (Jr.) .366-14-59 Earned second team All-SEC honors
CF Whit Merrifield (So.) .337-11-45 Earned SEC All-Defensive Team honors
RF Jackie Bradley, Jr. (Fr.) .338-9-41 Earned SEC All-Freshman Team honors
DH Parker Bangs (So.) .313-4-33 Also a reliever with 39 strikeouts in 32.1 innings pitched
(note probable starting lineup comes from SID)
PITCHING STAFFRHP Parker Bangs (So.) 3-2, 5.29 ERA 32.1 IP, 19 BB, 39 KLHP Nolan Belcher (Fr.) 4-4, 4.83 ERA 76.1 IP, 38 BB, 70 KRHP Jay Brown (Sr.) 3-0, 3.30 ERA 43.2 IP, 20 BB, 32 KRHP Blake Cooper (Jr.) 8-4, 4.79 ERA 77.0 IP, 27 BB, 59 KRHP Sam Dyson (So.) 8-4, 5.31 ERA 95.0 IP, 33 BB, 89 KLHP Alex Farotto (Sr.) 4-2, 4.70 ERA 30.2 IP, 23 BB, 36 K (7 saves)RHP Curtis Johnson (Sr.) 2-0, 5.46 ERA 28.0 IP, 10 BB, 28 KLHP Michael Roth (Fr.) 1-1, 4.22 ERA 32.0 IP, 13 BB, 28 KLHP Adam Westmoreland (Fr.) 4-2, 4.24 ERA 46.2 IP, 32 BB, 46 K

In South Carolina’s final 14 games, the team put together an 11-3 record on its way to a NCAA Tournament appearance. The team in that stretch has hit .315 (152-for-483) with 27 HR and 114 RBI. Jackie Bradley, Jr. leads the way with a .415 average (22-for-53). Nick Ebert also hit .333 with seven HR and 22 RBI.

The pitching staff has also been solid with a 4.46 ERA in those 14 games along with 119 strikeouts. Right-hander Blake Cooper has three wins with right-hander Sam Dyson and left-hander Nolan Belcher with two apiece.

South Carolina sophomore right-hander Sam Dyson is catching the attention of several college baseball media outlets. Dyson has been tabbed by Baseball America in their midseason draft update as the No. 36 best draft prospect in the nation. Dyson hurled his second career complete game and struck out a career-high 13 batters in the 7-2 series opener vs. Georgia. Dyson allowed just two runs on four hits to pick up the win and improve to 8-4 on the year. He has 89 strikeouts in 95 innings pitched. His innings pitched is fourth highest in the SEC with his 89 strikeouts, sixth highest in the league. Opponents are batting just .233 against him, also fourth best in the league.

He pitched his first career complete game in a 8-3 win over Auburn that helped Carolina to series victory over the Tigers. He retired the last nine batters he faced from the seventh to the ninth inning with five retired by strikeout. He also tied a career-high and set a season-high with eight strikeouts in the win. ALL-SEC

South Carolina baseball had four players earn second-team All-SEC honors in addition to two honorees on this year’s All-Freshman team and two players selected to the All-Defensive squad. Junior catcher Justin Dalles, junior first baseman Nick Ebert, junior shortstop Bobby Haney and junior outfielder DeAngelo Mack were named to the all-conference team announced by the league on Tuesday morning. Outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. and left-handed pitcher Nolan Belcher received All-Freshman team recognition with Haney and sophomore outfielder Whit Merrifield named to the All-Defensive team. The conference office also recognized senior pitcher Jay Brown on the 2009 SEC Baseball Community Service team.

Freshman left-hander Nolan Belcher struck out a career-high 11 batters in the 7-4 win over the Georgia Bulldogs. Belcher is 4-4 on the year with a 4.83 ERA. He has hurled 76.1 innings, opponents batting just .258 against him. All four of his wins have come in SEC play (Arkansas, at Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Georgia).

Belcher hurled first career complete game in series-clinching victory over No. 14 Ole Miss. He limited the Rebels to just one run on nine hits in 8-1 win. He allowed just two runs in victories over nationally-ranked Arkansas and nationally-ranked Ole Miss.

Junior first baseman Nick Ebert had an impressive weekend series vs. Georgia that helped him earn National Player of the Week honors. Ebert finished 5-for-8 (.625) with four HR and 10 RBI vs. the Bulldogs. His 10 RBI accounted for half of the runs that Carolina scored on the weekend. His two-homer game including a grand slam helped Carolina to a 7-2 win on Thursday. He also homered and drove in two runs on both Friday and Saturday in victories over the Bulldogs.

Ebert is among the league leaders in several categories. He is hitting .332 on the year with 22 HR and 71 RBI. He also owns a .741 slugging percentage and a .475 on-base percentage.

Ebert’s 22 home runs puts him in exclusive company at Carolina as it ties him for fourth on the single-season list for home runs by a Gamecock player. Justin Smoak also hit 22 in the 2007 season as did Tripp Kelly in 2000.

1. Yaron Peters (29) 2002
2. Justin Smoak (23) 2008
Joe Datin (23) 1985
4. Nick Ebert (22) 2009
Justin Smoak (22) 2007
Tripp Kelly (22) 2000

Junior right-hander Blake Cooper earned a win in a predetermined split in the 6-1 win over Georgia. With the victory, Cooper improved to 8-4 and moved into the 20-win club at Carolina. He is now the 18th pitcher in school history to record 20 or more wins in the garnet and black. Cooper has a 4.79 ERA on the year in 77 innings.

Cooper registered a complete game victory in 11-3 win over Vanderbilt to help Gamecocks sweep the Commodores. It was his second complete game victory of the season and third of his career. He limited Vanderbilt to three runs on 12 hits, did not walk a batter and struck out six in the win.

South Carolina sophomore Whit Merrifield has been on a tear at the plate as of late. Merrifield has a 10-game hitting streak and is hitting .337 (83-for-246) with 11 HR and 45 RBI. He is among SEC leaders with 64 runs scored. He had a .318 average in SEC games.

He was a combined 7-for-11 (.636) in Carolina’s two victories in the Tennessee series. He tied a career-high for hits with a 5-for-6 day at the plate in the Gamecocks 15-12 comeback win over the Volunteers. His one-out RBI double in the ninth inning tied the game and helped propel Carolina to eventual win. He finished with four RBI in the game and came back on Sunday and helped Carolina clinch the series with 2-for-5 day at the plate. He homered for second consecutive day, an inside the park home run, the first of his career, also drove in three runs.

Merrifield hit his first career grand slam in the 14-6 win over USC Upstate and set a career-high with five RBI. Merrifield was key in the leadoff role the weekend at Ole Miss with a 5-for-6 day at the plate in the series opener, a 12-10 win over the Rebels. He was just one shy of the cycle with three singles, a double and a triple.

Junior outfielder DeAngelo Mack currently leads the SEC in hits with 86 on the year. Mack is batting .366 for the season, third best in conference and has hit 14 HR with 59 RBI. Mack owns a .460 on-base percentage as well as a .617 slugging percentage. Mack hit at a .336 clip in conference games. Mack leads the team with 27 multi-hit games. He also has 16 multi-RBI games.

Mack picked up the Tom Price Award as Most Valuable Player for Carolina in the four-game Carolina-Clemson series. He hit a two-run homer and also had a RBI single in the 10-4 win over the Auburn Tigers. 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.

He tallied his first multi-homer game of his career in the Saturday win vs. Long Beach State. Mack also hit a game-winning solo homer in the 3-1 victory at Clemson on February 28. In addition, he hit a pair of three-run homers in the opening series vs. Duquesne.

Freshman outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. is closing in on a record at USC. Bradley’s 80 hits puts him two shy of the freshman record at Carolina set by Drew Meyer in 2000 when the former Gamecock shortstop tallied 82 in 65 games. Bradley is batting .338 (80-for-237) with nine HR and 41 RBI. Bradley hit .328 in SEC games with six HR and 22 RBI in 30 conference games played.

Bradley earned SEC Co-Freshman of the Week honors following his performance in the Gamecocks’ weekend sweep vs. Vanderbilt. Bradley, Jr. was stellar at the plate as he hit .643 (9-for-14) in the series with five runs scored, a homer and four RBI. He recorded three hits apiece in all three Carolina victories over the Commodores.

Bradley also is the 2008-09 South Carolina Male New Student-Athlete of the Year.

Senior third baseman Andrew Crisp continues to climb the charts in South Carolina history. Crisp is currently batting .317 with 10 HR and 48 RBI and leads the SEC with 21 doubles. Crisp is fourth in school history in games played (234) two shy of Mac White (236) and is eight hits shy of Landon Powell (265) and Derick Urquhart on the hits list. His SEC-leading 21 doubles is also five shy of the single-season record of 26 set by Steve Thomas (22).

SC All-Time Singles List1)  209 Drew Meyer  2000-01-022)  201 Michael Campbell2003-04-05-063)  198 Mac White   1991-92-93-944)  188 Andrew Crisp  2005-06-07-08-09
SC All-Time Games Played List1) 255 Michael Campbell2003-04-05-062) 251 Landon Powell 2001-02-03-043) 236 Mac White 1991-92-93-944) 234 Andrew Crisp 2005-06-07-08-09
SC All-Time At Bats List1) 950 Michael Campbell2003-04-05-062) 903 Mac White 1991-92-93-943) 866 Landon Powell 2001-02-03-044) 864 Drew Meyer 2000-01-025) 837 Andrew Crisp 2005-06-07-08
SC All-Time Hits List1) 303 Mac White 1991-92-93-942) 299 Michael Campbell2003-04-05-063) 285 Drew Meyer 2000-01-024) 265 Landon Powell 2001-02-03-04 265 Derick Urquhart 1995-96-97-986) 257 Andrew Crisp 2005-06-07-08-09

Carolina has received a boost recently with the bat and arm of Parker Bangs. The Gamecock sophomore hurled 2.2 scoreless innings of relief with six strikeouts in the 9-5 win over Alabama at the SEC Tournament. He also had a pinch-hit double in the 5-4 loss to Vanderbilt. Bangs owns a 3-2 record with a 5.29 ERA in 32.1 innings with 39 strikeouts. He is hitting .313 with four HR and 33 RBI.

The 15-12 comeback win over Tennessee had several heroes including sophomore Parker Bangs. The Gamecock utility player hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning, came on in relief in the bottom half of that frame and hurled two perfect innings of relief and struck out all six batters he faced and got the Gamecocks started off on the right foot in the ninth inning of the comeback with a leadoff single.

The Gamecocks have history with two of its opponents in the 2009 Greenville (N.C.) Regional. Carolina is 15-5 all-time vs. East Carolina and 9-1 all-time vs. George Mason. This will be Carolina’s first meeting against Binghamton.

South Carolina vs. George Mason (last meeting) Feb. 29, 2004
Carolina last met George Mason in Feb. 29, 2004 at Sarge Frye Field with Carolina picking up a 5-0 victory over the Patriots. Left-hander Matt Campbell scattered five hits and struck out 11 in eight innings and Brendan Winn drove in three runs with a home run and a single as the Gamecocks earned a win in the final game of the 2004 Gamecock Round Robin Classic. Campbell struck out seven of the first 10 batters that he faced and added four more before leaving after eight innings. Chad Blackwell retired the Patriots in order in the ninth inning and added two strikeouts to give the Gamecocks 13 for the game.

South Carolina vs. East Carolina (last meeting) Feb. 23-24, 2008
South Carolina last met East Carolina in a three-game series to open up the 2008 season at Sarge Frye Field. Carolina took two of three games vs. the Pirates. South Carolina scored 20 runs in the first five innings on its way to a 22-5 win over East Carolina in the opener for the Gamecocks and the first game of a double header. Reese Havens tied a career-high with five hits and five RBI and Phil Disher added a pair of home runs and a career-high five RBI as well as the Gamecocks finished with 18 hits on the afternoon. The 22-run total was the third largest in school history on opening day and the most on opening day since April 3, 1901 when the Gamecocks defeated Kings Mt. MA, 26-0. Eight of nine Gamecock position starters had at least one hit with Havens total of five leading the way. Disher and Justin Smoak each tallied three with Kyle Enders and James Darnell with two apiece. Carolina hit five home runs with Havens, Smoak and Enders tallying round trippers to go along with the two from Disher. East Carolina had 11 hits in the game with Harrison Eldridge and Corey Kemp leading the way with two apiece. Carolina starting pitcher Mike Cisco worked five innings to pick up the victory and is 1-0 on the year. The junior right-hander allowed one run on five hits with four strikeouts and one walk to pick up the win. East Carolina starting pitcher TJ Hose suffered the loss. He lasted only 1.1 inning and allowed 11 runs, nine earned on nine hits with one strikeouts.

The second game saw East Carolina score five runs in the third inning and added a grand slam homer from Brandon Henderson in the fifth inning on its way to a 13-4 win over South Carolina. Henderson finished 4-for-5 with five RBI with Jamie Ray adding three hits and Kyle Roller and Corey Kemp finishing with two apiece as East Carolina tallied 14 on the night. Whit Merrifield and Harley Lail had two hits apiece to lead the Gamecocks at the plate. East Carolina reliever Daniel Holder worked into the ninth inning and pitched 4.1 innings of relief to pick up the win. He allowed just one run on four hits. South Carolina starting pitcher Blake Cooper suffered the loss. He went three innings and allowed six runs, three earned on six hits with one walk.

In the third game, Kyle Enders’ two-run bases loaded single in the bottom of the 11th inning lifted South Carolina to a 7-6 come-from-behind win over East Carolina in the rubber game of a three-game series. The Gamecocks trailed 6-5 entering the bottom half of the 11th inning after a two-out RBI hit from Stephen Batts put the Pirates up a run. James Darnell started the Carolina rally with a single and Justin Smoak walked for a third time in the game to give the Gamecocks a pair of runners with no outs. Adam Crisp then layed down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to scoring position at second and third base. An intentional walk to Harley Lail loaded the bases and set the stage for Enders. Enders followed off four two-strike pitches from reliever Josh Ruhlman before connecting with the winning base hit to center field to win the series for the Gamecocks. Ruhlman suffered the loss after an inning of work and is 0-1 on the year. Carolina reliever Sam Dyson pitched 0.1 innings of relief to pick up his first win of his career.

South Carolina also has a little history with East Carolina in the postseason. The Gamecocks are 5-0 all-time in postseason meetings with the Pirates.

Carolina first met the Pirates in 1974 in the postseason in Starkville, Miss. with the Gamecocks coming out on top 5-1. South Carolina also defeated East Carolina 4-1 in the Atlantic Region Tournament in 1977 in Columbia, a tournament that the Gamecocks won on its way to the squad’s second trip to the College World Series. It would be over 25 years before the two schools met again in the postseason, this time in Atlanta when the Gamecocks opened up the 2003 Atlanta Regional with a 4-0 win over the Pirates. South Carolina also faced off vs. East Carolina in the 2004 Columbia Super Regional that saw the Gamecocks come out on top 4-2 and 5-3 to advance to the College World Series.

Jay Brown of the baseball team won the athletic department’s most prestigious award, The President’s Award, which was presented to Brown by University of South Carolina President Dr. Harris Pastides. Brown has graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science and is currently pursuing a master’s in public administration. He fought back from Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss the entire 2008 season, and also overcame a serious blood clot diagnosis last fall to contribute to the Gamecock baseball team this spring. Brown is a weekly tutor in the Midlands Reading Consortium at Watkins-Nance Elementary School, while he has also worked with the Harvest Hope Food Bank and volunteered at the Martin Luther King Jr. event in Columbia. He has been twice named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll.

Brown, who missed nearly two seasons with an arm injury, just recently received a sixth year of eligibility for next year for a medical hardship. In his last outing, Brown kept Georgia at bay with six innings of relief work allowing just one run on three hits with four strikeouts and two walks in the 6-1 win on Saturday. Brown is 3-0 with a 3.30 ERA and has 32 strikeouts in 43.2 innings pitched.

Junior catcher Justin Dalles had a good weekend at Tennessee as he hit .500 (6-for-12) with a homer, four RBI and five runs scored. Dalles also homered in a pair of wins vs. Georgia.

Dalles is hitting .295 on the year (49-for-166) with 12 HR and 37 RBI. He also had a .320 average with eight HR and 22 RBI in SEC games.

On the year, Carolina is hitting .305 (624-for-2048) with 99 HR as well as 415 RBI. Carolina is also second overall in the SEC in slugging percentage (.521)), tied for third in home runs (99),tied for third in runs scored (441) and second in doubles (124). The team’s .305 average is fifth best in the SEC with its .297 average in conference games also seventh best in the league.

The team is fielding .974 (1561 putouts, 584 assists, 58 errors) second best in the SEC. Carolina’s pitching staff is allowing just a .257 batting average by opponents that is the lowest average in the SEC overall. Carolina continues to be strong in the early innings, outscoring opponents 125-58 in the first two innings on the year. South Carolina is 36-6 in games when it out-hits the opponent. Carolina is also 34-11 when hitting at least one home run. South Carolina has a record of 30-4 when allowing five runs or less in a game.

YEAR RECORD NCAA POSTSEASON FINISH1997 N/A1998 2-2 NCAA Atlantic Regional1999 N/A2000 4-2 NCAA Super Regional2001 5-3 NCAA Super Regional2002 9-4 College World Series2003 6-2 College World Series2004 8-2 College World Series2005 3-2 NCAA Regional2006 4-3 NCAA Super Regional2007 4-2 NCAA Super Regional2008 2-2 NCAA RegionalTOTALS 47-24 (.662)
NCAA TOURNAMENT RECORD(includes College World Series games)
Year Won Lost Pct.2008 2 2 .5002007 4 2 .6672006 4 3 .5712005 3 2 .6002004 8 2 .8002003 6 2 .7502002 9 4 .6922001 5 3 .6252000 4 2 .6671998 2 2 .5001993 1 2 .3331992 2 2 .5001988 3 2 .6001986 1 2 .3331985 4 2 .6671984 2 2 .5001983 0 2 .0001982 4 2 .6671981 5 2 .7141980 2 2 .5001977 7 3 .7001976 1 2 .3331975 7 2 .7781974 4 2 .667Totals 90 53 .629
Year Won Lost Pct.2004 3 2 .6002003 1 2 .3332002 4 2 .6671985 0 2 .0001982 0 2 .0001981 2 2 .5001977 3 2 .6001975 4 2 .667Totals 17 16 .515