Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

June 19, 2010

College World Series Guide in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

College World Series Central

Omaha, Neb. – South Carolina (48-15) begins College World Series play on Sunday afternoon against Oklahoma (49-16) with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. ET with the game televised live on ESPNHD. Karl Ravech, Nomar Garciaparra and Kyle Peterson will be on the call. Fans cans also listen to the Gamecock Radio Network and at with Andy Demetra and Tommy Moody calling the action. South Carolina will start senior right-hander Blake Cooper (12-1, 2.81 ERA) with Oklahoma countering with junior right-hander Michael Rocha (7-2, 3.57 ERA).

This is South Carolina’s ninth College World Series appearance and the first by the Gamecocks since the 2004 season. South Carolina previously has been in the College World Series in 1975, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1985, 2002, 2003, and 2004. Oklahoma is making its 10th appearance in the College World Series and its first since 1995.

South Carolina and Oklahoma have met once previously on February 9, 2007 in the season opener at the Hughes Brothers Challenge in Wilmington, N.C. Carolina came out on top 13-2 against the Sooners.

South Carolina picked up an award last night at the Opening Ceremonies as the Gamecocks enter the CWS with the best cumulative grade point average among the eight schools. South Carolina as a team has a cumulative GPA of 3.12.

NCAA College World Series Appearances The Last 11 Years (2000-2010)1.  Cal State Fullerton 6   2001-03-04-06-07-09    Texas               6   2000-02-03-04-05-093.  LSU         5   2000-03-04-08-09    Miami (Fla.)        5   2001-03-04-06-08    Rice            5   2002-03-06-07-08    Stanford        5   2000-01-02-03-087.  South Carolina          4   2002-03-04-10    Arizona State       4   2005-07-09-10    Clemson             4   2000-02-06-10    Georgia             4   2001-04-06-08    North Carolina      4   2006-07-08-09
NCAA Super Regional Appearances The Last 11 Years (2000-2010)1. Cal State Fullerton 9 2001-03-04-05-06-07-08-09-10 Florida State 9 2000-01-02-03-04-05-08-09-10 Miami (Fla.) 9 2000-01-02-03-04-05-06-08-104. South Carolina 8 2000-01-02-03-04-06-07-10 Clemson 8 2000-01-02-05-06-07-09-10 Rice 8 2001-02-03-05-06-07-08-09
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

South Carolina senior right-hander Blake Cooper earned third-team All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball and was named to the Golden Spikes Award Watch List as well.

Cooper won his 12th game of the year at the NCAA Super Regional in the 4-3 victory over Coastal Carolina. He allowed three runs on six hits in seven-plus innings of work. Cooper also was victorious in the NCAA Regional as he did not allow an earned run and struck out a career-high 12 batters as South Carolina defeated The Citadel 9-4 in the Gamecocks second game of the regional. He is 3-0 in his career in the postseason for the Gamecocks.

Cooper leads the Southeastern Conference in victories with an 12-1 record including seven wins in conference play, tying him for the most conference wins as well. Cooper has pitched a SEC high 118.1 innings. He has 105 strikeouts to 35 walks with opponents hitting just .227 against him and an ERA of 2.81. In SEC games, Cooper pitched a SEC-high 71.2 innings, was fifth in opposing batting average (.231), fifth in earned run average (3.01) and sixth in strikeouts (58).

Blake Cooper’s 12 wins on the year gives him 33 now for his career at Carolina and puts him at sixth on the South Carolina career victories list.

South Carolina Career Victories List1)  45  Kip Bouknight   1998-01        (45-12)2)  36  Tim Lewis   1973-76        (36-6)3)  35  Aaron Rawl  2002-05        (35-15)4)  34  Earl Bass   1972-75        (34-3)    34  Greg Ward   1972-75        (34-13)6)  33  Blake Cooper  2007-present        (33-13)
South Carolina Career Innings Pitched List1) 482.0 Kip Bouknight 1998-012) 370.0 Aaron Rawl 2002-053) 361.1 Jason Haynie 1993-964) 358.1 Blake Cooper 2007-present
South Carolina Career Games Started List1) 66 Kip Bouknight 1998-012) 61 Jason Haynie 1993-963) 59 Blake Cooper 2007-present

South Carolina’s pitching staff has a tremendous season and it has shown with the Gamecocks ranking among the best in the conference and in the nation. Heading into the College World Series, the Gamecock pitching staff holds an earned run average of 3.61 with opponents batting just .230 on the year. The Gamecocks have 568 strikeouts to 208 walks allowed as well as 269 runs allowed and 482 hits allowed.

South Carolina also led the Southeastern Conference in SEC games in opposing batting average (.243); hits allowed (238) and is second in earned run average (3.82), strikeouts (244) and runs allowed (134).

Freshman right-hander Matt Price is among the top relievers in the country and recently earned Freshman All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball. Price showcased his skills at the NCAA Super Regional as he earned a pair of saves vs. Coastal Carolina to help the Gamecocks clinch a spot in Omaha at the College World Series. In the first game, Price came in with the bases loaded and no outs with a one-run lead in the bottom of the eighth inning and struck out a pair of Chanticleer batters and induced the third into a ground out to preserve the one-run lead. He worked through the ninth inning as well to pick up the save. In the clincher, Price retired all three batters he faced in the ninth inning.

Price owns a 3-1 record with a 2.54 ERA in 27 appearances and is among SEC leaders with 10 saves. He has hurled 46 innings and has 68 strikeouts to 18 walks. Opponents are batting just .182 against him. Price also picked up a save in the 9-5 win over The Citadel in the NCAA Regional.

South Carolina junior right-hander Sam Dyson earned SEC Pitcher of the Week honors following his six-hit complete game shutout as the Gamecocks defeated nationally ranked Arkansas 5-0 clinching a three-game SEC baseball series at Baum Stadium. Dyson had a tremendous outing as he limited the Razorbacks, who came in ranked second in the league in hitting and runs scored, to just six hits and walked only two on the afternoon. He struck out eight batters and went to only three three-ball counts in the game. This was the second time this year that Dyson has earned SEC Pitcher of the Week honors. He also earned the award after he hurled a seven-inning complete game shutout in a win at Georgia on April 25. This is the fourth time this year that a Gamecock pitcher has earned SEC Pitcher of the Week honors.

For the season, Dyson is 5-5 with a 4.35 ERA in 89.0 innings pitched. He has 93 strikeouts and opponents are batting just .2590 against him.

Senior right-handed pitcher Blake Cooper earned first-team All-SEC honors and sophomore outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and freshman reliever Matt Price received second-team All-SEC accolades highlighting the 2010 SEC Awards for the Gamecocks as announced by the conference office on May 25, 2010. Price, Christian Walker and Evan Marzilli were named to the SEC All-Freshman Team with Bradley and infielder Scott Wingo picking up SEC All-Defensive Team honors.

Jackie Bradley Jr. leads the Gamecocks with a .371 batting average (79-for-213) with 51 runs scored, 11 doubles, a triple, 11 HR and 51 RBI. He also has a .477 on-base percentage and .587 slugging percentage. Bradley was named to the NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team after hitting a pair of homers including a two-run game-winner in the 9-5 win over Bucknell.

Bradley was stellar as well at the SEC Tournament batting 5-for-9 in the two games to lead the Gamecocks at the plate. He leads Carolina with 25 multi-hit games and is second on the team with 12 multi-RBI games. Bradley is in the middle of a career-best 16-game hitting streak as well.

Bradley has been invited to the 2010 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Trials set for July 5-July 11 at the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. Bradley will be fighting for a spot on the final 22-man roster that will be selected on Sunday, July 11. The team will then tour across the USA with the summer season culminating on July 30- Aug. 7 at the FISU World University Baseball Championships in Tokyo, Japan.

Several former Gamecocks have played on the Collegiate National Team including most recently, Justin Smoak (2007), who made his Major League Baseball debut this past Friday with the Texas Rangers. In addition to playing for Team USA in 2007, Smoak also played on the 2009 USA Baseball World Cup team that won a gold medal last September at the IBAF World Cup. Smoak earned the 2009 Richard W. “Dick” Case Award recognizing him as USA Baseball’s Athlete of the Year. Smoak helped lead Team USA to the gold medal at the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup in September in Europe. He set a U.S. World Cup record with nine home runs in the event, and he was named to the All-World Cup Team as well as the event’s Most Valuable Player. Smoak finished the tournament with a .291 average, and in addition to pacing the team in home runs; he also topped the club with 22 RBIs and 16 runs scored.

Current Major Leaguers and former Gamecocks Landon Powell (2002) and Adam Everett (1997) also represented the Red, White & Blue on the Collegiate National Team. Everett also was on the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team that won a gold medal at the Sydney Olympic Games. South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner also has association with USA Baseball. He has served five stints with the Red, White & Blue including his latest in 2003 as head coach for the USA National Baseball Team. At the helm of some of the top freshmen and sophomores in the country, Tanner’s club finished with a 27-2 record, the best record for a U.S. National Team (.931 winning percentage) and won a silver medal at the 2003 Pan American Games. He was named the U.S. National Coach of the Year for his work that season. Prior to his head coaching stint, Tanner served as an auxiliary coach for the 2000 Olympic Team under Tommy Lasorda that won a gold medal at the XXVII Olympiad in Sydney, Australia. He was also an assistant with the 1995-1996 USA teams under former LSU coach Skip Bertman that culminated in a bronze medal win at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Ga. Tanner also served alongside former Mississippi State coach Ron Polk on Bertman’s staff. Tanner’s first stint with USA Baseball came as an assistant coach to the national team in the summer of 1993.

Christian Walker lived for the moment in the NCAA Super Regional as he hit a game-winning three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning in the 10-9 victory over Coastal Carolina. Walker also had a two-run single in the 4-3 win in the opener vs. the Chanticleers.

A SEC All-Freshman selection, Walker owns a .315 batting average (62-for-197) with seven HR and 46 RBI as well. He has 12 doubles and a pair of triples also. He hit .346 in SEC games, the best average among Gamecock players in conference play.

Adrian Morales earned NCAA Regional MVP along with earning All-Tournament Team honors. Morales hit a homer in all three games of the regional and finished the weekend batting .500 (7-for-14) with five runs scored, and seven RBI as well.

Morales leads Carolina in doubles (15), RBI (52) and multi-RBI games (13). He is hitting .282 (61-for-213) for the season and has started at both third base and second base.

Freshman outfielder Evan Marzilli has found his way on the field in the last couple of weeks including a pair of starts in the NCAA Super Regional and NCAA Regional. Marzilli had a pair of doubles vs. Coastal Carolina and currently owns a seven-game hitting streak. He was named to the All-Tournament Team at the NCAA Regional and was the team’s top hitter that weekend hitting .600 (6-for-10) with four runs scored as well as a homer and five RBI. His two-run homer helped jumpstart a rally in the 9-5 win over Bucknell. He also had a career-high three hits in the 10-2 win over Virginia Tech.

Marzilli, a SEC All-Freshman selection, has played in 56 games with 12 starts. He is hitting .391 (25-for-64) for the season, has scored 23 runs and has a .512 on-base percentage. He is also 5-for-5 in stolen bases.

Another key ingredient of the bullpen has been sophomore left-hander Michael Roth, who has been key in a match-up situation. Roth is among SEC leaders with 33 appearances on the year. He owns a 1.50 ERA in 24.0 innings and has struck out 26 batters. Opponents are batting just .214 against him. He also has three saves.

Roth pitched a perfect 3.1 innings and retired all 10 batters he faced to earn his first win of the year in the 9-5 victory over Bucknell in the NCAA Regional. He also closed out the regional with a perfect inning of relief in the 10-2 win over Virginia Tech.

Junior right-hander Jose Mata is another key ingredient to the bullpen. In 31 appearances, Mata has a 2.34 ERA with 40.1 innings pitched. He is 7-1 on the year. Opponents are batting just .211 against him.

Mata picked up his seventh win of the season in a relief outing vs. Virginia Tech in the regional. Mata allowed just two hits in 4.1 scoreless innings as the Gamecocks defeated the Hokies 10-2 to clinch a spot in the super regionals.

The Gamecocks finished for the first time in modern history (1970-present) with an undefeated record in non-conference midweek games in the regular season with a 14-0 mark.

Senior shortstop Bobby Haney has been hot at the plate lately including a 3-for-3 game vs. Coastal Carolina in the 10-9 victory at the NCAA Super Regional. His batting average is up to .263 (50-for-190) for the season with 30 runs scored. Haney tied a career-high with four hits and three runs scored in the 11-6 win over Florida.

Whit Merrifield is now batting .327 (86-for-263) on the year with a team-leading 12 HR and 38 RBI on the year. He leads the SEC in runs scored with 70 and leads the SEC as well with 13 sacrifice bunts. With 254 career hits, he is now seventh on the USC All-Time hits list. He is 10 behind Andrew Crisp (2005 -09) for sixth on the all-time list.

Junior Whit Merrifield continues to be one of the top bats in the Southeastern Conference and recently received 2009-10 Earnest Brooks Co-Male Student-Athlete of the Year honors at South Carolina along with men’s golfer George Bryan IV.

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.


South Carolina Career ListsRuns Scored1)  223 Derick Urquhart 1995-96-97-982)  215 Mike Curry  1996-97-983)  212 Drew Meyer  2000-01-024)  209 Mac White   1991-92-93-945)  195 Whit Merrifield    2008-09-10
Singles1) 209 Drew Meyer 2000-01-022) 201 Michael Campbell2003-04-05-063) 198 Mac White 1991-92-93-944) 191 Andrew Crisp 2005-06-07-08-095) 188 Whit Merrifield 2008-09-10
Hits1) 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) 262 Andrew Crisp 2005-06-07-08-097) 254 Whit Merrifield 2008-09-10

Senior catcher Brady Thomas homered in the 3-1 loss vs. Auburn at the SEC Tournament and had a key two-run homer in the 5-0 win over Arkansas a few weeks ago. He is batting .322 (38-for-118) on the year. 21 of his 38 hits have been extra base hits (12 doubles, one triple, eight homers).

South Carolina is now 39-4 on the year when it out-hits the opponent and 37-8 when hitting at least one home run. The Gamecocks are also 32-6 on the year when scoring first in the game. Carolina holds a 37-1 advantage when owning a lead entering the seventh inning and 7-3 when the game is tied heading into the seventh. South Carolina is 18-11 in games decided by three runs or less.

South Carolina is hitting .302 (661-for-2187) as a team on the year with the squad’s on-base percentage .396 and slugging percentage at .493 for the season. The Gamecocks have scored 464 runs with 124 doubles, 12 triples, and 90 homers.

South Carolina has been stellar defensively as the team has committed just 60 errors in 63 games with the squad fielding .975 for the season.

(Opening Statement)

“Of all the great things that happened with the NCAA and BCS Bowls and Final Fours, it’s hard for me to imagine that there’s a greater championship than the College World Series in Omaha. The city of Omaha and the NCAA, it’s just such a wonderful event. Not having been a part of the other things that I mentioned, this is so special. It’s more than just a championship. It’s about the atmosphere. It’s about the environment.

There’s going to be a champion crowned here, but we all feel great about who we are and our players and coaches. We’re excited. And on behalf of our players at the University of South Carolina to be a part of this, it’s one of those deals that you’re excited but you’re just very grateful. You pinch yourself for being a part of such a storybook that will close the chapter at Rosenblatt, and it’s really just great to be here.”

(On this year’s team)
“Our team never has been a great team throughout the entire season. We’ve never been a bad team either. I think we’ve been kind of steady. We’ve stayed the course. We don’t have a lot of high draft picks. We’re not the big and sexy team. I think it’s a team that really has confidence. They’re not arrogant. They just believe in themselves. They think we’ll find a way. We certainly respect our opponents. We try to do great scouting reports as a coaching staff. I’m not sure they listened to that a lot. They really try not to get immersed in things they can’t control.They try to play who they are. We’ve been kind of labeled this year as a pitching and defense team. Although, we got here with a three-run homer. So it’s been an interesting group. They have a lot of fun. They don’t get too upset even when I do. It doesn’t seem to bother them a whole lot. That’s good. I always talk about perspective and respecting your opponents and trying not to play against the game and stay level. And they’ve done a good job of that. We trailed in all three of our regional games. We were able to come back. They’ll just play like they can and hope we find a way.”