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April 6, 2010

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Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina (22-6) closes out its homestand on Wednesday night hosting College of Charleston (23-7) with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. at Carolina Stadium. The game will be televised live on SportSouth and is also available on the Gamecock Radio Network and at This week, South Carolina is ranked No. 8 by Collegiate Baseball, No. 11 by Baseball America and No. 17 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll.

Carolina leads the all-time series history 41-5 including a pair of wins last year vs. the Cougars. Carolina defeated College of Charleston 14-2 in Charleston and 20-6 in Columbia. College of Charleston enters Wednesday’s game fresh off of a weekend sweep vs. Georgia Southern. The Cougars are led by head coach Monte Lee, who is in his second season at the helm. Lee served as an assistant from 2003-08 to head coach Ray Tanner at South Carolina.

Probable Starting Pitchers

South Carolina
Colby Holmes (Fr. RHP) 1-0, 4.50 ERA, 12.0 IP, 5 BB, 13 SO
Coll. of Charleston Jake Zokan (Fr. LHP) 2-0, 6.23 ERA, 21.2 IP, 8 BB, 17 SO

South Carolina has reached the halfway point of the 2010 season and is 22-6 and 7-2 in the Southeastern Conference. The Gamecocks sit tied with LSU for the lead in league play and one game ahead of Florida in the SEC Eastern Division. Carolina went 3-1 this past week with a win over nationally ranked The Citadel, 10-1, last Tuesday, and two of three wins over the weekend vs. Mississippi State. South Carolina has now defeated Mississippi State in five consecutive series in Columbia dating back to the 2000 season. Carolina leads the all-time series 30-25.

South Carolina tied a season-high for runs scored and the Gamecocks belted out 21 hits on its way to a 20-6 victory over College of Charleston on April 14, 2009 at Carolina Stadium. Jackie Bradley, Jr. set a career-high with five hits, Nick Ebert went 4-for-5 with a homer and five RBI and Bobby Haney hit a grand slam homer.

After spotting College of Charleston a 1-0 lead, the Gamecocks struck back with five runs in the bottom half of the first. Bradley, Jr. started it off with a one-out double and after a walk issued to DeAngelo Mack, would score on Nick Ebert’s RBI base hit to left field. Parker Bangs followed with a two-run double to right field and Andrew Crisp added a RBI base hit. Crisp would also eventually score on a throwing error by second baseman Justin Brewer as Carolina went ahead 5-1.

Along with Bradley, Jr.’s five hits and Ebert’s four hits, the Gamecocks also received multi-hit games from Merrifield (3-for-6), Crisp (3-for-3) and Adam Matthews (2-for-4). Ebert’s five RBI was the most by a Gamecock player in a game this season. Haney’s four RBI was also a career-high. College of Charleston’s 12 hit day was featured by Clay McCord’s 3-for-5 game, three hits by Matt Mansilla and a pair by first baseman Joash Brodin.

South Carolina reliever Adam Westmoreland picked up the win in 4.2 innings of scoreless relief. He allowed just three hits, walked none and struck out four batters. Casey Lucchese suffered the loss. He allowed 10 runs, nine earned, on two walks in two-plus innings.

The Gamecock pitching staff continues to succeed on the mound. The pitching staff has a 3.48 ERA, second best in the SEC and leads the conference in lowest opponents batting average (.218) and strikeouts (288) in 253.2 innings pitched.

South Carolina is batting .305 (294-for-965) as a team with a .409 on-base percentage and a .487 slugging percentage. The Gamecocks are fielding .971 on the year as well.

Senior right-hander Blake Cooper continues to excel on Friday night for the Gamecocks. Cooper went 8.1 innings, his longest outing of the season in Friday’s 10-2 win over Mississippi State. He allowed two runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. For the season, Cooper is 5-0 with a 3.11 ERA in 46.1 innings pitched with 44 strikeouts and 16 walks allowed. Opponents are batting just .209 against him. He is tied in the SEC rankings with Sonny Gray of Vanderbilt in innings pitched, ranks second in victories, fifth in opponents batting average, tied for sixth in strikeouts and 12th in ERA. He is now tied with Rich Pratt (1990-93) for 11th on the All-Time victories list with 26 career wins.

South Carolina Career Victories List    45  Kip Bouknight   1998-01        (45-12)    36  Tim Lewis   1973-76                (36-6)    35  Aaron Rawl  2002-05        (35-15)    34  Earl Bass   1972-75                (34-3)    34  Greg Ward   1972-75                (34-13)    31  David Marchbanks 2001-03        (31-8)    31  Matt Threehouse 1989-93        (31-14)    31  Dennis Lubert   1979-82                (31-9)    30  Mike Cook   1983-85                (30-8)    27  Jason Haynie    1993-96        (27-18)    26  Blake Cooper  2006-09        (26-12)    26  Rich Pratt  1990-93        (26-16)

Junior Whit Merrifield continues to be one of the top bats in the Southeastern Conference. Merrifield was 6-for-16 (.375) in this weekend’s series vs. Mississippi State. He has hit safely in 27 of 28 games this year and currently owns a 15-game hitting streak. He is the only Gamecock player to have started all 28 games and is batting .353 (42-for-119) with six HR and 21 RBI. He has a .434 on-base percentage and a .571 on-base percentage. Merrifield leads the SEC in runs scored (38) is tied for seventh in hits (42) and is eighth in total bases (68). He is 14-for-37 (.378) in SEC games.

Merrifield now sits tied for 17th on the all-time hits list at Carolina with 210. He is also approaching the Top 10 for runs scored and singles at Carolina. Earlier this year Merrifield set the school record for consecutive games with a hit. He hit safely in 26 straight games, 14 at the end of 2009 and the first 12 games of 2010.

Runs Scored    223 Derick Urquhart1995-96-97-98    215 Mike Curry  1996-97-98    212 Drew Meyer  2000-01-02    209 Mac White   1991-92-93-94    188 Justin Smoak  2006-07-08    182 Jeff Parnell    1990-91-92-93    181 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06    176 Landon Powell    2001-02-03-04    174 Garrett Carter  1985-86-87-88    166 Ryan Bordenick  1995-96-97-98    166 Jim Curl     1978-79-80-81-------------------------------------------------    163 Whit Merrifield    2008-09-10
Singles 209 Drew Meyer 2000-01-02 201 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06 198 Mac White 1991-92-93-94 191 Andrew Crisp 2005-06-07-08-09 172 Greg Jonson 1977-78-79-80 176 Derick Urquhart 1995-96-97-98 165 Dave Willman 1989-90-91-92 162 Mike Curry 1996-97-98 159 Landon Powell 2001-02-03-04 156 Skeets Thomas 1988-89-90 156 Hank Small 1972-73-74-75------------------------------------------------- 153 Whit Merrifield 2008-09-10
Hits 303 Mac White 1991-92-93-94 299 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06 285 Drew Meyer 2000-01-02 265 Landon Powell 2001-02-03-04 265 Derick Urquhart 1995-96-97-98 262 Andrew Crisp 2005-06-07-08-09 250 Mike Curry 1996-97-98 246 Justin Smoak 2006-07-08 245 Hank Small 1972-73-74-75 231 Dave Willman 1989-90-91-92 230 Skeets Thomas 1988-89-90 227 Jeff Barns 1985-86-87 225 Jeff Parnell 1990-91-92-93 224 Chris Boyle 1981-82-83-84 215 Reese Havens 2006-07-08 211 Ryan Bordenick 1995-96-97-98 210 Whit Merrifield 2008-09-10

Senior catcher Brady Thomas hit a pair of two-run homers in Friday’s 10-2 win over Mississippi State. He was 3-for-4 with four RBI and three runs scored in the win. Thomas is batting .408 (20-for-49) with 12 of his 20 hits extra base hits (eight doubles, one triple, three homers). He has also driven in 15 runs on the year. He owns a .796 slugging percentage. He is 8-for-14 (.571) in SEC games.

Junior Parker Bangs had a key three-run homer in Sunday’s win over Mississippi State. Bangs is 6-for-18 (.333) against SEC teams with a pair of HR an a team-high nine RBI in SEC games. For the season, he is bating .321 (9-for-27) with three HR and 13 RBI. Bangs also has 19 strikeouts in 12 innings pitched on the mound in a relief role.

Having recovered from a couple of injuries, sophomore outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. has also been a key part of the Gamecock lineup. Bradley went 4-for-9 (.444) with five walks and a hit by pitch in the series vs. Mississippi State. Bradley had an on-base pct. of .667 vs. the Bulldogs and scored six runs. Bradley is batting .380 (27-for-71) on the year with a pair of HR and 13 RBI as well as 17 runs scored. He ranks fifth in the SEC in on-base percentage (.511) as well as 10th in batting average.

Freshman reliever Ethan Carter continues to put together stellar appearances out of the pen. Carter is now 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA in 10 appearances and 12.0 innings pitched. He has 13 strikeouts and opponents are batting just .103 against him. Carter was perfect in one inning vs. The Citadel on Tuesday as well as one inning in Sunday’s win over Mississippi State.

Freshman right-hander Matt Price has provided strong relief for the Gamecocks this season. Price earned a win in Sunday’s victory over Mississippi State with five scoreless innings and allowed just two hits and struck out six batters to improve to 3-0 on the year. Price has a 1.40 ERA in 11 appearances and 19.1 innings pitched with 31 strikeouts and just five walks allowed. Opponents are batting just .149 against him. He also owns a pair of saves on the year.

Depth has been a key ingredient for the Gamecocks this year. For the season, South Carolina has used 26 different starting lineups in 28 games. In addition, 13 different pitchers have accounted for the 22 victories on the year. Also, 16 position players have been in the starting lineup at least once this season. Production has come from all parts in the lineup as well as 12 different players have recorded double-digit RBI totals. Merrifield leads the team with 21 RBI with Adrian Morales and Jeffery Jones behind him at 20 RBI.

Junior right-hander John Taylor has been key out of the bullpen in recent outings. Taylor has six consecutive scoreless outings for the Gamecocks including a two-inning stint this past Tuesday vs. The Citadel. He struck out a pair of batters in the win.

Sophomore outfielder Adam Matthews had a key three-run homer in the 11-5 win vs. Auburn and went 4-for-9 with four RBI and two runs scored over the weekend vs. the Tigers. He was also 2-for-3 with a double, two runs scored and two walks in the 8-5 win over Georgia Southern on Tuesday.

Matthews owns a .313 batting average (25-for-80) on the year with six doubles, two triples, two homers and 17 RBI.

Junior right-hander Sam Dyson was stellar in a pitcher’s duel at Auburn and earned a victory in the 2-0 win over the Tigers that helped the Gamecocks clinch the series. Dyson pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out nine batters and walked none to help lead Carolina to the victory.

For the season, He is 2-1 with a 4.79 ERA. Dyson has 39 strikeouts and just six walks in 35.2 innings pitched.

Junior infielder Scott Wingo homered in the 10-1 win over The Citadel and he also had a homer in the 11-5 win vs. Auburn and finished the Auburn series with four hits and three runs scored. Wingo had the game-winning RBI double in the 2-0 victory vs. the Tigers.

He is hitting .316 (24-for-76) with 25 runs scored, four doubles, two triples, five HR and 18 RBI. He owns a .485 on-base percentage and a .618 slugging percentage.

He drove in a career-high four runs in the at Furman at Fluor Field and tied a career-high with three hits in the 8-3 win vs. Davidson. He was 3-for-9 with a homer in this weekend’s series vs. Tennessee.

Dyson and relievers Michael Roth and Matt Price combined for the 2-0 shutout vs. Auburn. South Carolina’s shutout of Auburn was the first time that Auburn has not scored at home in a game since a loss to South Alabama on March 1, 2005 (a span of 166 games).

The 4-0 victory over Tennessee saw four Gamecock pitchers limit the Volunteers to one bunt hit in the win. The one-hitter was the first by the Gamecocks since Feb. 21, 2009 when Carolina one-hit Duquesne in a 13-0 victory at Carolina Stadium.

South Carolina freshman left-handed pitcher Tyler Webb earned SEC Freshman of the Week after his first SEC start when he earned his first career win in the 4-0 victory over Tennessee. He combined with three Gamecock relievers to limit the Volunteers to one hit on the afternoon and he struck out six batters and tied his season-high with 5.2 innings pitched. He also did not allow a base runner past second base.

Webb is 1-2 for the season with a 3.91 ERA and has 24 strikeouts to 11 walks in 23.0 innings pitched. Opposing hitters are hitting just .257 against him.

In the 10-7 win vs. Tennessee, Christian Walker’s two-out two-run triple in the bottom of the seventh inning broke a 5-5 tie and Jeffery Jones homered and drove in four runs as South Carolina defeated Tennessee 10-7.

In the 8-3 win vs. Davidson, Gamecock reliever Jose Mata would earn the win in relief and is now 2-0 on the year. He pitched 1.2 scoreless innings and allowed no hits and just one walk while striking out one batter.

Mata has a 2.84 ERA in 11 appearances with opponents batting only .209 against him for the season.

Senior right-hander Jay Brown earned his first victory of the season in relief of the nightcap of the doubleheader vs. the Brown Bears. Brown settled in with a strong 4.1 innings of relief. He would yield just one run, a solo homer in the seventh inning and struck out four and walked none to earn the victory.

Brown is 1-0 with a 3.79 ERA in 19.0 innings with 20 strikeouts and 10 walks.

Sophomore left-hander Michael Roth is among SEC leaders in appearances with 14 stints out of the bullpen this season. He is 0-1 with a 3.24 ERA, 12 strikeouts in 8.1 innings pitched. He also has earned a pair of saves.

Junior infielder Adrian Morales has been a consistent performer in the lineup through the first part of the season. Morales, who has started at both second base and third base is batting .259 (21-for-81) with 18 runs scored and 20 RBI as well. His 20 RBI is tied for second highest on the team.

Senior catcher Kyle Enders went 3-for-5 with a career-high four RBI including a two-out RBI base hit in the 10th inning to lift South Carolina to a 6-5 win over Brown and sweep a three-game series. Enders has been another consistent bat as he owns a .329 batting average (27-for-82) with seven doubles, 14 runs scored and 15 RBI.

Former South Carolina catcher Landon Powell is a nominee for the College World Series Legends Team that will be honored at the 2010 College World Series in Omaha, Neb. The Legends Team will represent those student-athletes who had the best CWS performances in the 60 years the even has been played at Rosenblatt Stadium. The 2010 CWS will be the last to be played in Omaha’s Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium. Voting for the CWS Legends Team begins Thursday, March 11 and will run until Noon on Friday, April 16. Fans are encouraged to vote at

Powell played in the College World Series three consecutive years (2002, `03, `04) and twice was named to the CWS All-Tournament Team in 2002 and 2004. He had nine hits, six RBI and a HR as the Gamecocks finished as National Runner-Up in the 2002 CWS. Powell is currently with the Oakland A’s. He was a two-time All-SEC selection at catcher (2003, `04) and earned All-America honors in 2004 as well.

The team will have 27 members: two student-athletes per fielding position, four pitchers, two designated hitters, three head coaches and two “utility players”. The utility players will be determined after fan voting and represent those student-athletes deserving recognition who may not have been selected by fans, media and coaches at a particular position. From the list of names, please cast your vote for the best players best coaches based solely on their performance during the NCAA Men’s College World Series. Fans will only be able to submit a vote once.

The CWS Legends Team members will be invited to attend the final College World Series at Rosenblatt Stadium. Those in attendance will be formally honored during the CWS Opening Ceremonies in Rosenblatt Stadium on Friday, June 18.