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Feb. 28, 2011

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Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina (6-0) returns to action on the diamond on Tuesday night hosting Furman (4-4) with first pitch at 7 p.m. at Carolina Stadium. It is the team’s first night game of the year. It will air on the Gamecock Radio Network with live video broadcast and Gametracker stats available at as well.

Carolina moved up in all three rankings released on Monday afternoon. The Gamecocks are ranked No. 4 in both the Baseball America Top 25 and USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll. South Carolina also sits at No. 6 in Collegiate Baseball’s Top 30.

South Carolina – Steven Neff (LHP, Jr.) 0-0, 16.20 ERA, 1.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO
Furman – Nate Smith (LHP, So.) 0-1, 14.73 ERA, 3.2 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO

South Carolina continued the 2011 season with a series sweep of Southern Illinois at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks defeated the Salukis 10-6, 4-0 and 9-4 to improve the team’s record to 6-0 on the year. The Gamecocks have now won 12 straight games dating back to last year when the team won six straight to win the national title in Omaha.

Sophomore first baseman Christian Walker continues to shine with the bat as he tied for the best weekend at the plate for the Gamecocks hitting .545 (6-for-11) with three doubles, four runs scored and a pair of RBI. Walker is hitting .522 (12-for-23) on the year with a homer and eight RBI. His on-base percentage is .593. He has five multi-hit games and has an 11-game hitting streak that dates back to last year as well. Walker’s on-base percentage is second best in the SEC, batting average is third best and slugging percentage is fourth best (.826).

Junior shortstop Peter Mooney was stellar at the plate as he tied Walker for the best average on the weekend also batting .545 (6-for-11) vs. the Salukis. He also had three doubles and a triple in the series including a 3-for-3 day at the plate in Sunday’s 9-4 win vs. SIU.

Senior third baseman Adrian Morales hit .400 (4-for-10) vs. Southern Illinois with a homer and a team-high six RBI in the series. Morales was 3-for-4 and tied a career-high with three RBI, doubled and homered in Sunday’s 9-4 win over Southern Illinois. Morales is hitting .409 (7-for-17) for the season and has a .520 on-base percentage. He is tied with Walker with the team lead with eight RBI for the season. Morales’ slugging percentage of .765 is eighth best in the SEC.

Junior outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. homered and drove in two runs in Sunday’s 9-4 victory over Southern Illinois. Bradley is hitting .409 (9-for-22) for the season with a pair of homers and six RBI on the year. Bradley also had three doubles and has scored nine runs. He has a .818 slugging percentage that ties him for fifth best in the league. His on-base percentage is .519 for the season.

Junior outfielder Adam Matthews has hit safely in all six games this year for the Gamecocks. He was 2-for-4 with two runs scored in the 4-0 win over Southern Illinois. Matthews also scored two runs in Sunday’s 9-4 win. He is hitting .381 (8-for-21) on the year with a team-high 10 runs scored. He has also stolen three bases this year. Matthews’ 10 runs scored is tied for fifth best in the SEC.

Senior Robert Beary hit a three-run homer in the 10-6 win over Southern Illinois. His three RBI was a career-high as well.

Senior catcher Brady Thomas was key in the 10-6 win over Southern Illinois with a 3-for-4 day at the plate with two runs scored and two RBI. He had two doubles in the Gamecocks’ victory.

Junior outfielder Jake Williams started in left field in Saturday’s 4-0 win and was the starting designated hitter in Sunday’s 9-4 win as well. Williams drove in two runs in Saturday’s victory and was 2-for-4 with a triple in Sunday’s victory.

Sophomore left-hander Tyler Webb hurled a career-high 7.1 innings and tied a career-high with seven strikeouts and teamed with relievers Bryan Harper and John Taylor to hurl a five-hit shutout as South Carolina defeated Southern Illinois 4-0 in game two of a weekend series. Webb was effective throughout the game allowing just four hits in his longest start of his career. His seven strikeouts tie the career-high he set March 14, 2010 vs. Brown. He is now 2-0 on the year. He has not allowed an earned run in a team-high 13.1 innings pitched and has 11 strikeouts to just three walks. Opponents are hitting just .159 against him.

Junior left-hander Michael Roth also improved to 2-0 after a stellar start in Friday’s 10-6 victory. Roth struck out a career-high nine batters in 6.2 innings of work and allowed just two runs, one earned, on four hits. He has 15 strikeouts in 12.1 innings with opponents batting just .174 against him and a 2.19 ERA. Roth’s 15 strikeouts are sixth best in the SEC.

Senior reliever John Taylor was key out of the bullpen in the Southern Illinois series with appearances in all three games. Taylor allowed just one hit in four innings of work with eight strikeouts. He went a career-high 2.2 innings and had a career-high five strikeouts to pick up his first win of the year in Sunday’s 9-4 win.

Sophomore right-hander Matt Price picked up his second save of the season in the 10-6 win over Southern Illinois. Price came into Friday’s game and retired both batters he faced to pick up a save. He now has two saves on the year.

Carolina hit .320 (33-for-103) vs. Southern Illinois and fielded .981 with just two errors. Carolina’s pitching staff compiled a team ERA of .300 and had 34 strikeouts to just eight walks in 27.0 innings. SIU batted just .208 in the series.

For the season, South Carolina is hitting .335 (64-for-191), fourth best in the league. The Gamecocks own a 2.33 ERA, fifth best in the league as well as a .982 fielding percentage, fifth best in the SEC as well.