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March 10, 2011

Game Notes in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

By Andrew Kitick
Assistant Media Relations Director

Coach Tanner Press Conference

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina (9-1) returns home this weekend hosting a three-game series vs. Cal State Bakersfield (11-3). First pitch for the opener is 7 p.m. with Saturday’s game at 4 p.m. and Sunday’s series finale set for 1:30 p.m. All three games can be heard live on the Gamecock Radio Network including flagship station 107.5 FM “The Game.” Live video broadcast and Gametracker stats are also available at

South Carolina enters this weekend’s ranked No. 4 by Baseball America and in the USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll as well as No. 6 by Collegiate Baseball. Cal State Bakersfield is ranked No. 30 by Collegiate Baseball.

Probable Starting Pitchers

South Carolina – Michael Roth (Jr. LHP) 3-0, 1.40 ERA, 19.1 IP, 6 BB, 21 SO
Cal State Bakersfield – Mike McCarthy (Sr. RHP) 1-1, 1.71 ERA, 21.0 IP, 7 BB, 21 SO

South Carolina – Steven Neff (Jr. LHP) 1-0, 4.32 ERA, 8.1 IP, 5 BB, 11 SO
Cal State Bakersfield – Jonathan Montoya (Jr. LHP) – 2-0, 2.95 ERA, 21.1 IP, 7 BB, 15 SO

South Carolina – Forrest Koumas (Fr. RHP) 1-0, 4.26 ERA, 6.1 IP, 2 BB, 8 SO
or – Tyler Webb (So. LHP) 2-0, 1.10 ERA, 16.1 IP, 5 BB, 11 SO
Cal State Bakersfield – Tommy Hoenshell (Jr. RHP) 2-2, 2.05 ERA, 30.2 IP, 1 BB, 20 SO

South Carolina scored five runs in their final two at-bats and held off a Clemson rally in the ninth to earn a 5-4 victory in the Reedy River Rivalry game before a crowd of 7,125 at Fluor Field on Tuesday night.

With the win, South Carolina (9-1) earns a victory in the season series against the Tigers, getting a 6-3 win on Friday night in Columbia and falling by a 10-6 count on Sunday at Clemson (7-3). The Gamecocks have won four out of five against the Tigers and 14 of the last 20 in the series.

The Gamecocks got four runs in the seventh after struggling offensively through the first six innings. A leadoff walk to Christian Walker led to a sacrifice bunt from Brady Thomas, moving Walker to second. A single from Adrian Morales put runners at the corners with one out, and then Peter Mooney hit a high chopper to first that was mishandled by the first baseman, scoring Walker to tie the game at 1-1.

Junior Jake Williams then made the most of a pinch-hit opportunity, blasting a three-run home run – the first of his Carolina career – over the “Green Monster” in left field scoring Morales and Mooney to give the Gamecocks their first lead of the game at 4-1.

With one out in the eighth, junior Jackie Bradley Jr. poked one through the right side and stretched it into a double after the right fielder hesitated on his throw back to the infield. That led to Walker ripping a base hit up the middle to score Bradley from second and give the Gamecocks a 5-1 lead. Walker would then steal second and move to third on a groundout, and a walk to Morales would put runners at the corners, but the threat for more runs ended when Mooney hit a hot shot to right field but directly to the fielder to end the inning.

Clemson would not go quietly in the ninth. Brad Miller and Jeff Schaus led off the inning with back-to-back singles, and a walk to Richie Shaffer loaded the bases with no out, leading to a call to the bullpen for Friday starter Michael Roth. However, Roth would give up a single to the only batter he faced as John Hinson drove in Miller to make it 5-2. Closer Matt Price would then relieve Roth, inducing a 4-6-3 double play that scored Schaus from third to make it 5-3 with two out. Clemson center fielder Will Lamb then laced one into the right field corner for an RBI triple, cutting the deficit to 5-4 and putting the tying run 90 feet away. But Price would bear down and catch pinch-hitter Jon McGibbon looking at strike three to end the ballgame.

The first six innings were a pitchers’ duel as Carolina’s Adam Westmoreland allowed just one run on four hits through 5.1 innings, and Tiger starter David Haselden hurled six shutout innings while striking out five. The Tigers’ lone run in the first eight innings came on a solo home run by Shaffer in the fourth.

Freshman Forrest Koumas (1-0) earned his first collegiate victory, pitching 2.1 innings of strong relief as he struck out three of the nine batters he faced, giving up three runs on three hits. Price earned his fourth save of the season, giving up just one hit and striking out one. Clemson’s Alex Frederick (0-1) was charged with the loss as he surrendered three earned runs on two hits while facing just two batters in the seventh.

Offensively, Bradley, Morales and Mooney led the Gamecocks with two hits apiece. Walker’s RBI single in the eighth extended his hitting streak to 15 games, dating back to last season’s College World Series.

Williams earned the Tom Price Award as the South Carolina MVP of the 2011 Carolina-Clemson series. The Bob Bradley Award for the Clemson MVP went to catcher Spencer Kieboom.

Under head coach Ray Tanner, the Gamecocks are 30-25 against the Tigers. Dating back to 2007, the Gamecocks have defeated Clemson in 14 of the last 20 meetings between the two schools.

In earning the Tom Price Award, Williams also had a pair of hits in the 6-3 victory vs. the Tigers. Williams has played in eight games with five starts and is hitting .450 (9-for-20) with four runs scored and eight RBI.

Sophomore first baseman Christian Walker continues to shine with the bat as he posted three multi-hit games last week and homered in three consecutive games for the Gamecocks. He had a key two-run homer that gave Carolina the lead for good in the 6-3 win vs. fourth-ranked Clemson and also homered against the Tigers in Sunday’s game. Walker extended his hitting streak to 15 games on Tuesday with a RBI single.

He currently leads the SEC with a .528 batting average as well as a .614 on-base percentage and a .972 slugging percentage. He has eight multi-hit games in 10 games this year for Carolina and owns a 15-game hitting streak that dates back to last season. He has four HR and 16 RBI on the year as well.

Junior left-hander Michael Roth improved to 3-0 with a win last Friday night vs. Clemson. Roth, who hurled a complete game vs. the Tigers last year at the College World Series, was effective again as he allowed three runs, all unearned, on seven hits with six strikeouts and three walks in seven innings pitched.

Roth has a team-high 21 strikeouts in a team-high 19.1 innings with opponents batting just .219 against him and a 1.40 ERA.

Junior outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. homered in Sunday’s loss at Clemson and also went 2-for-4 with a run scored in Tuesday’s 5-4 victory. He also went 2-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored in the 14-1 win over Furman. Bradley had a double and triple in that game.

Bradley is hitting .359 (14-for-39) on the year with 14 runs scored as well as three HR and nine RBI. His on-base percentage is .444 with a slugging percentage of .769.

Bradley has 192 career hits and is eight hits away from becoming the 24th player in school history to accomplish the feat.

Junior shortstop Peter Mooney had a pair of hits including a RBI single in the 5-4 win over Clemson. Mooney raised his batting average to .256 (10-for-39) with four runs scored and five RBI on the year.

Senior third baseman Adrian Morales was 2-for-3 with a run scored in the 5-4 win over Clemson. Morales has started all 10 games this year and is batting .323 (10-for-31) with nine runs scored and nine RBI. His on-base percentage is .452 as well.

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 tied the career-high he set March 14, 2010 vs. Brown.

On the season, Webb is 2-0 with a 1.10 ERA in 16.1 innings pitched. He has 11 strikeouts to five walks.

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.

Taylor has not allowed a run in six relief appearances this year. He has nine strikeouts in six innings pitched.

Sophomore right-hander Matt Price picked up his third and fourth saves of the year in both wins over Clemson. He hurled 1.2 perfect innings of relief and struck out the side in the top of the ninth inning in the 6-3 victory and pitched a scoreless ninth in the 5-4 win. Price has four saves in six appearances this year with six strikeouts in 6.1 innings pitched. Price has 14 career saves in a Gamecock uniform that is 10th best in school history.

Top 10 Saves All-Time
30 Rob Mosser (1990-93)
28 Brian Beatson (1987-90)
22 Blake Taylor (2001-02)
22 Lee Gronkiewicz (1999-2001)
20 Chad Blackwell (2004)
19 Jason Pomar (1996-99)
18 Scott Barber (1998-2000)
15 Bobby Kish (1979-81)
15 Craig Ross (1993-95)
14 Matt Price (2009-11)

There have been great crowds at Carolina Stadium this year including three sellouts already on the year. The Gamecocks had sellouts of 8,242 in the first two games vs. Santa Clara as well as the Friday victory over Clemson. For the season, the Gamecocks have a total attendance of 60,191for an average of 7,523.

For the season, South Carolina is hitting .305 (98-for-321). The Gamecocks own a 2.73 ERA, fifth best in the league as well as a .971 fielding percentage.