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April 4, 2011

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Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina (22-5) returns to action on Tuesday night hosting USC Upstate (11-18). First pitch at Carolina Stadium is set for 7 p.m. The game can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network with live video broadcast at South Carolina is the consensus No. 3 team in the country in the latest rankings by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and the ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll.

South Carolina Patrick Sullivan (So. RHP) 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 4.1 IP, 2 BB, 4 SO
USC Upstate Scott DeCecco (So. LHP) 3-2, 4.60 ERA, 43.0 IP, 25 BB, 40 SO

The South Carolina pitching staff continues to have success with a strong series against Kentucky. The Gamecock pitching staff allowed just five runs the entire weekend and Kentucky hit only .181 as a team with just three extra base hits. The staff ERA for the weekend was 1.61.

At this point last season, South Carolina was also 7-2 in the SEC. After three weeks of conference play, the Gamecocks are in a four-way tie for first place in the conference with Alabama, Florida and Vanderbilt.

For the season, the Gamecocks are hitting .288 (257-for-892) as a team with a .389 on-base percentage and a .459 slugging percentage, tops in the SEC. The team is among SEC leaders as well with 26 home runs. The Gamecock pitching staff owns a 2.73 ERA in 241.0 innings pitched with 226 strikeouts to 85 walks. Opponents are hitting just .216 against the squad.

Junior left-hander Michael Roth was stellar in Friday’s victory over the Wildcats. Roth went eight innings and allowed one run on three hits while striking out six batters in the 3-1 win. For the season, Roth is 6-1 with a 1.44 ERA in a team-high 50.0 innings pitched. He has 50 strikeouts to just 12 walks and opponents are hitting only .216 against him.

South Carolina’s top hitter for the weekend vs. Kentucky was junior shortstop Peter Mooney, who hit .444 (4-for-9) with four runs scored. He also walked twice and had two sacrifice hits. Mooney hit a solo home run in Friday’s 3-1 win and also tied a season-high with three hits in Sunday’s 4-1 victory. In the last nine games, Mooney has hit .353 (12-for-34) with 13 runs scored. For the season, Mooney is batting .267 (27-for-101) with six doubles, a triple and a homer.

Sophomore right-hander Matt Price was strong out of the bullpen with two saves and a win in three appearances for the Gamecocks. He has not allowed a run in 13 of 15 relief appearances for the season. Price pitched a scoreless ninth in the 6-4 win over The Citadel. He also went 3-up, 3-down in the 3-1 win on Friday vs. Kentucky. In Saturday’s win over the Wildcats, Price pitched two perfect innings to earn his third win of the year. For the season, Price is 3-2 with a 3.26 ERA with seven saves. He has 22 strikeouts in 19.1 innings, opponents hitting just .194 against him.

Sophomore first baseman Christian Walker is one of the top run producers for the Gamecocks. On the year, Walker is hitting .337 (35-for-104) with 28 RBI and 26 runs scored. Walker drove homered and drove in a season-high four runs in the 6-4 win over The Citadel. He also had a pair of RBI in Sunday’s 4-1 win over Kentucky.

South Carolina freshman right-hander Forrest Koumas pitched a career-high 6.1 scoreless innings in the 4-1 win over Kentucky. Koumas, who spent three days in the hospital earlier in the week due to an allergic reaction, was effective in his second career start as he limited the Wildcats to just two hits and one walk while striking out three batters. He is now 3-0 on the year. For the season, Koumas is 3-0 with a 2.10 ERA in 25.2 innings with 26 strikeouts. Opponents are only hitting .174 against him.

Senior right-hander John Taylor has been a workhorse out of the bullpen for the Gamecocks. He leads the team with 17 relief appearances and is 2-0 with a 0.73 ERA. Taylor was key in Sunday’s 4-1 win as he allowed just one run on three hits in 2.1 innings with four strikeouts and kept the victory in check after relieving Koumas. Taylor had two innings of no-hit ball to earn the victory in the 6-4 win over The Citadel.

Senior infielder Adrian Morales tied a school record for doubles in a game with three in the 4-3 win over Kentucky on Saturday. Morales reached base five times and was 3-for-3 in the win. He scored the game-winning run in the victory as well. He is the 24th player in school history to have three doubles in a game; the last was Christian Walker on May 2010 at Kentucky. Morales leads the team with a .359 batting average (33-for-92) with 23 runs scored. He has a .479 on-base percentage and a .554 slugging percentage.

Senior catcher Brady Thomas had three hits including a game-winning RBI single in the 4-3 10-inning win over Kentucky. Thomas is hitting .256 (21-for-82) for the season with three homers and 15 RBI.

Junior outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in the first run of the game in the 3-1 win over Kentucky with a RBI base hit. Bradley is hitting .299 (29-for-97) for the season. He has a team-high six homers and 23 RBI with eight doubles and a triple as well. He has a .426 on-base percentage and a .588 slugging percentage.