March 24, 2011
By Andrew Kitick
Assistant Media Relations Director
|Coach Tanner Press Conference|
COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 4 South Carolina (16-4, 2-1 SEC) heads on the road this weekend for a three-game series at No. 1 Florida (20-2, 3-0 SEC). First pitch for Friday’s opener at McKethan Stadium is 7 p.m. Saturday’s tilt is also scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be televised live on Fox Sports Florida. The Sunday series finale is a 1 p.m. start and will be broadcast live on Sun Sports. All three games are also available on the Gamecock Radio Network.
The Gamecocks lead the all-time series history 36-28 over the Gators.
Probable Starting Pitchers
South Carolina Michael Roth (Jr. LHP) 4-1, 1.34 ERA, 33.2 IP, 9 BB, 38 SO
Florida Brian Johnson (So. LHP) 4-0, 1.53 ERA, 29.1 IP, 4 BB, 26 SO
South Carolina Steven Neff (Jr. LHP) 2-0, 2.49 ERA, 21.2 IP, 6 BB, 18 SO
Florida Hudson Randall (So. RHP) 3-0, 0.85 ERA, 31.2 IP, 1 BB, 21 SO
South Carolina TBA
Florida Karsten Whitson (Fr. RHP) 3-0, 2.52 ERA, 25.0 IP, 9 BB, 26 SO
AN OFFENSIVE STATEMENT
The South Carolina bats made a statement during a pair of midweek contests. Carolina knocked off College of Charleston 24-4 on Tuesday night followed by a 17-8 win over Rhode Island on Wednesday evening. The Gamecocks hit .442 (38-for-86) in the two games with 13 doubles and seven homers as well. That raised the team batting average for the season to .306 (204-for-667) along with 23 homers. Carolina now has a .406 on-base percentage and a .498 slugging percentage.
Tuesday’s 24-4 win over College of Charleston set a new Carolina Stadium record for runs in a game and was the most runs by the Gamecocks since a 38-0 win over Charleston Southern on Feb. 14, 2004 at Sarge Frye Field. All nine position starters had at least one hit in both games as well.
PACK THE HOUSE
All three games last weekend vs. Georgia were near-capacity crowds at Carolina Stadium. Friday’s game drew 8,069 fans, Saturday’s game the attendance was 8,105 and Sunday was an 8,012 mark. The three-game total was 24,186. That is the second highest three-game series total in Carolina Stadium history.
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 124,210 for an average of 7,306.
LAST WEEK’S RECAP
South Carolina continued the 2011 season with a non-conference win vs. Wofford, a non-conference loss vs. Furman and winning two of three games in a series vs. Georgia this weekend at Carolina Stadium. Carolina has won all five three-game series it has played this year.
BEARY HAS CAREER NIGHT
Senior Robert Beary had a career night for the Gamecocks in the 17-8 win over Rhode Island. Beary tied his career-high with four hits and drove in a career-high four runs. He also homered in the game. Beary is hitting .324 (12-for-37) for the season with a pair of HR and 12 RBI.
MORALES GETS ON BASE
Senior infielder Adrian Morales was 3-for-3 in Tuesday’s win over College of Charleston as well as 3-for-5 in Wednesday’s win over Rhode Island. He was 5-for-11 (.455) in the Georgia series with a pair of RBI as well as a run scored. He was 3-for-4 with a run scored in the 2-1 win over Georgia on Saturday. His run was the game-winner in that victory.
Morales currently leads the team in hitting with a .431 average (28-for-65), third best in the SEC, with three homers and 16 RBI as well as 21 runs scored. His .552 on-base percentage is third best in the SEC as well.
NEFF MAKES A CASE
Junior left-hander Steven Neff had his second consecutive quality start in Saturday’s victory over Georgia. In a no-decision, Neff worked a career-high seven innings and allowed one run on three hits with four strikeouts and one walk. For the year, Neff is 2-0 with a 2.49 ERA in 21.2 innings pitched. He has 18 strikeouts to just six walks as well.
THE PRICE IS RIGHT
Sophomore right-hander Matt Price made three scoreless relief appearances this week including two appearances in both the Saturday and Sunday wins vs. Georgia. Price earned his first win of the year after hurling a scoreless ninth inning in the 2-1 victory over Georgia with a pair of strikeouts. He then earned his fifth save of the year with two scoreless innings and four strikeouts in the 8-3 win over Georgia. For the season, Price has five saves and has struck out 14 batters in 11 innings pitched. He is tied for second in the SEC in saves. He has not allowed a run in nine of 10 relief appearances for the season. With 15 career saves, Price is tied for eighth on the all-time list at Carolina.
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 Matt Price (2009-11)
15 Bobby Kish (1979-81)
15 Craig Ross (1993-95)
Junior outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. became the 24th player in school history to record 200 or more career hits with his home run on Wednesday night. He had two hits and a homer in both the wins over College of Charleston and Rhode Island.
For the season, Bradley is batting .311 (23-for-74) with six HR and 20 RBI as well as six doubles. He has a 424 on-base percentage and a .662 slugging percentage. Bradley is tied for the league lead with six home runs along with Mikie Mahtook of LSU. His slugging percentage is fourth best in the SEC as well.
WINGO & RECORDS
Senior infielder Scott Wingo tallied the game-winning RBI single in the 2-1 victory over Georgia. Wingo is hitting .290 (18-for-62) on the year with 10 RBI and 15 runs scored. He was 2-for-3 with a run scored and a RBI in the 8-3 win over Georgia on Sunday with his third double of the season.
Wingo holds several career records that he continues to add to in his final season with the Gamecocks. Wingo is the 15th player in school history to play 200 or more games. Wingo played in his 200th in the 8-4 win over Wofford and now has played in 205 career games heading into Friday night.
Wingo holds the school records for putouts and assists for a second baseman. He has fielded .972 in his career with just 27 errors. His lone errors this year also came at shortstop. Wingo also holds the school career record for hit by pitches with 50 so far in his career.
MATTHEWS GETS IT GOING
Junior outfielder Adam Matthews went 3-for-6 with a pair of homers and a career-high eight RBI in Tuesday’s 24-4 win over College of Charleston. The eight RBI was one short of the individual game school record at South Carolina.
Matthews was 3-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI in the 8-3 win over Georgia. His three hits are a season-high. Matthews is hitting .307 (23-for-75) with 20 runs scored. He also leads the team with four stolen bases.
TAYLOR – A RELIEF
Senior right-hander John Taylor has been stellar out of the bullpen and is 1-0 on the year with a 0.55 ERA in 12 relief appearances. Taylor leads the SEC in appearances and has struck out 20 batters to just four walks in 16.1 innings. He made relief appearances in all three games vs. Georgia this weekend.
Four South Carolina relievers combined to limit Georgia to just one run on three hits in eight innings of work and six different Gamecocks tallied at least one RBI as South Carolina defeated Georgia 8-3 winning the rubber game of three-game SEC baseball series on Sunday afternoon. Gamecock freshman right-hander Forrest Koumas allowed just one run on two hits in 3.1 innings of work to earn the win. He is now 2-0 on the year. Senior right-hander John Taylor worked 2.1 hitless innings and tallied a strikeout, junior left-hander Bryan Harper struck out the lone batter he faced and sophomore closer Matt Price worked two scoreless innings with four strikeouts to pick up his fifth save of the year. The four relievers along with Gamecock starter Adam Westmoreland combined for 14 strikeouts, a season-high in a game for the Gamecock pitching staff.
ROTH AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS
Junior left-hander Michael Roth had a quality start despite the loss on Friday vs. Georgia. Roth allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits with eight strikeouts and two walks in the 4-2 loss to Georgia. For the season, Roth is 4-1 on the year with a 1.34 ERA in a team-high 33.2 innings. He has 38 strikeouts to just nine walks. He is currently third in the SEC in strikeouts, tied for third in earned run average, tied for third in victories, tied for fifth in innings pitched and 11th in opposing batting average.
WALKER DRIVES THEM IN
Sophomore first baseman Christian Walker had a game-tying double in the 2-1 win over Georgia. Walker is 11th in the SEC in slugging percentage at a .632 clip. He is also tied for fifth with four home runs and is 11th for with 48 total bases. On the year, Walker is hitting .355 (27-for-76) with 18 RBI and 23 runs scored. He has a team-high 10 multi-hit games and a team-high five multi-RBI games as well.
ON THE MOUND
South Carolina’s pitching staff ranks third in the SEC with a 2.93 earned run average. The staff has allowed just 144 hits in 178 innings pitched with 179 strikeouts to 65 walks. Opponents are hitting just .221 against the staff, also second best in the SEC.
AT THE PLATE & ON THE FIELD
South Carolina is hitting 306 (204-for-667) as a team. The Gamecocks are first in the league with 23 home runs and a .498 slugging percentage the team has a .406 on-base percentage as well. South Carolina is fielding .966 on the year.
Gamecock junior shortstop Peter Mooney has some ties to the Gators as his brother Mike Mooney lettered for Florida in 2009. Mike Mooney hit. .306 for the Gators and went 3-for-7 at the plate in the series in Gainesville in 2009 vs. the Gamecocks. For the season, Peter Mooney is batting .244 for the Gamecocks and is one of six players to have started in all 20 games.