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April 14, 2011

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Gamecock Baseball Media Availability
April 14, 2011 • Columbia, S.C.
Coach Tanner
Jackie Bradley Jr. Adrian Morales
Christian Walker Colby Holmes
Forrest Koumas

COLUMBIA, S.C. – One of the top matchups in college baseball will take place this weekend at Carolina Stadium in Columbia as third ranked South Carolina (26-6, 10-2 SEC) hosts top ranked Vanderbilt (31-3, 10-2 SEC) for a three-game SEC baseball series. Friday night’s series opener is at 7 p.m. with Saturday’s contest also at 7 p.m. and Sunday’s series finale set for 1 p.m. All three games can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network and at with Andy Demetra and Tommy Moody on the call. Saturday’s game will be televised on CSS with Chuck Hussion and Rusty Ensor on the call. Sunday’s game will be televised on ESPN2 with Clay Matvick, Kyle Peterson and Jenn Brown on the telecast. Sirius/XM College Sports Nation will also have all three games available with the SC radio broadcast. Sirius 122 and XM 143 are the channels.

Probable Starting Pitchers

South Carolina – Michael Roth (Jr. LHP) 7-1, 1.25 ERA, 57.2 IP, 13 BB, 54 SO
Vanderbilt – Sonny Gray (Jr. RHP) 7-1, 1.54 ERA, 52.2 IP, 24 BB, 66 SO

South Carolina – Colby Holmes (So. RHP) 3-0, 3.00 ERA, 30.0 IP, 8 BB, 28 SO
Vanderbilt – Grayson Garvin (Jr. LHP) 6-1, 2.04 ERA, 53.0 IP, 10 BB, 50 SO

South Carolina – Forrest Koumas (Fr. RHP)4-0, 1.91 ERA, 33.0 IP, 12 BB, 33 SO
Vanderbilt – Taylor Hill (Sr. RHP) 2-0, 3.19 ERA, 42.1 IP, 11 BB, 42 SO

South Carolina-Vanderbilt Series
Series Record: South Carolina leads 42-18
Series Began/Last Meeting: 1992/2010
Last Score: 4/11/10 – SC (2) VU (0)
SC Current Streak: W1

South Carolina sophomore right-hander Colby Holmes has been named the SEC Pitcher of the Week. Holmes worked a career-high seven innings and struck out career-high seven batters to earn the win in a 2-0 victory over Tennessee. Holmes was stellar the entire night as he limited the Vols to just three hits and no walks. He is now 3-0 on the year. Holmes has a 3.00 ERA in 30.0 innings pitched with 28 strikeouts to eight walks. Opponents are hitting only .212 against him.

South Carolina’s pitching staff had its best weekend of the season with just one run allowed in 27 innings pitched at Tennessee. The Volunteers has just 15 hits for three games with a .179 batting average and Carolina finished with 24 strikeouts and just six walks allowed as well.

In 12 SEC games this year, Carolina’s pitching staff has compiled a 10-2 record and a 1.58 ERA. Through conference play opponents have just 21 runs, 19 earned, on 69 hits in 108 innings and are hitting just .189 against the Gamecocks. That 1.58 ERA and the .189 opponents batting average, leads the SEC in SEC games.

For the season, Carolina’s pitching staff is at a team ERA of 2.46. Opponents are hitting just .214 against the staff and the team has 262 strikeouts to just 96 walks in 285 innings pitches. 10 of 14 Gamecock pitchers who have seen action have ERAs at 3.00 or less. The team’s ERA ranks third in the SEC while the opposing average is second best in the conference.

In its last home series vs. 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.

The South Carolina pitching staff also has a tremendous weekend against the Gators in Gainesville. The Gamecock pitching staff allowed just six earned runs in 26 innings of play and the Gators hit just .217 in the series at McKethan Stadium. The staff ERA for the weekend was 2.08.

Junior left-hander Michael Roth leads the SEC in earned run average (1.25) and innings pitched (57.2). He is tied with Sonny Gray of Vanderbilt with a league-high seven victories and sits at third right now with 54 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting just .219 against him as well, seventh best in the SEC. Roth allowed no runs on six hits in 7.2 innings and had four strikeouts to just one walk in Thursday’s 4-0 win at Tennessee.

For the season, the Gamecocks are hitting .289 (307-for-1064) as a team with a .450 slugging percentage, tops in the SEC. The team also leads the SEC with 30 home runs. Carolina also has a .388 on-base percentage. South Carolina has played stellar defense of late with six straight error-less games as well as no errors in nine of the last 12 games. The team fielding percentage has climbed up to .976 for the season as well as .981 in SEC games.

South Carolina is 21-0 after six innings with a lead and 24-0 on the year after eight innings with a lead. The Gamecocks are 21-2 when out-hitting an opponent and 9-4 in games decided by two runs or less. Carolina is 24-4 when holding an opponent to five runs or less.

After earning SEC Co-Freshman of the Week honors last week, right-hander Forrest Koumas served up an encore top performance as the Gamecock righty worked a career-high 7.1 innings and struck out a career-high seven batters and the Gamecocks rallied with two runs in the sixth inning to come from behind and defeat Tennessee 2-1 to sweep a three-game SEC baseball series at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. After yielding a run in the first inning, Koumas settled in and limited the Vols to just three hits on the afternoon and two walks while tallying seven strikeouts. He improves to 4-0 on the year with the win. He has a 1.91 ERA in 10 appearances and 33 innings pitched. He also has 33 strikeouts and opponents are hitting just .168 against him.

Koumas earned SEC Co-Freshman of the Week honors after he pitched 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.

Sophomore right-hander Matt Price showed why he is one of the game’s best closers, as he picked up saves in all three games this weekend vs. the Volunteers. With three saves, Price has vaulted himself into a tie for fifth on the all-time saves list at Carolina with Chad Blackwell (2004) at 20 career saves. Price is 3-2 on the year with a 2.82 ERA and 10 saves in 22.1 innings with 26 strikeouts to just six walks. He has not allowed a run in 16 of 18 relief appearances for the season.

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 Matt Price (2009-11)

All three games 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 a 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 four 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 and the 4-3 10-inning win over Kentucky on April 2. For the season, the Gamecocks have a total attendance of 159,457 for an average of 7,248.

Sophomore first baseman Christian Walker has been the top run producer for the Gamecocks as he leads the team with a .344 batting average as well as seven HR and 37 RBI. He currently leads the SEC with 37 RBI and is second with his seven home runs. Walker also sits at third with a .616 slugging percentage and has a .415 on-base percentage. His two-run homer helped lift Carolina to a 2-0 victory over Tennessee and he also had the game-winning RBI single in the 2-1 win over the Volunteers. Walker had a career night on Wednesday in the 18-2 win over USC Upstate as he went 5-for-6 with a grand slam and five RBI in the victory.

All nine position starters had at least one hit in the 18-2 win over USC Upstate. The 20 hits by the Gamecocks are the most in the game this season for Carolina. In addition to Walker’s five-hit evening, five more Carolina players tallied multi-hit games. Peter Mooney, Adrian Morales, Brady Thomas, Evan Marzilli and Robert Beary had two hits apiece.

Senior right-hander John Taylor has been a workhorse out of the bullpen for the Gamecocks. He leads the team and the SEC with 20 relief appearances and is 2-0 with a 0.61 ERA. Taylor was key in game two and game three of the Tennessee series. He worked 1.2 scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts in the 2-0 win vs. the Vols and retired the lone batter he faced in the 2-1 win over UT.

The Gamecock bullpen has been a strength for this year’s team with 14 different pitchers providing relief appearances on the year. The bullpen has earned 10 wins and tallied 12 saves heading into the weekend. The group has a 2.75 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 121.0 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting just .213 against the pen.

Carolina’s bullpen came up big in relief in the rubber game victory vs. Florida as three relievers combined to shut the Gators down as Carolina rallied for a 4-3 win over Florida. Sophomore right-hander Colby Holmes went three scoreless allowing just one hit and striking out a pair of batters. Senior right-hander John Taylor followed and allowed just two hits in 1.2 scoreless. Sophomore right-hander Matt Price closed it down to get his second win of the year. He allowed just one hit in 2.1 innings with a strikeout.

Four South Carolina relievers also combined to limit Georgia to just one run on three hits in eight innings of work I as South Carolina defeated Georgia 8-3 to also win a rubber game. Gamecock freshman right-hander Forrest Koumas allowed just one run on two hits in 3.1 innings of work to earn the win. 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 the save. The four relievers along with Gamecock starter Adam Westmoreland combined for 14 strikeouts, a season-high in a game for the Gamecock pitching staff.

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.

Mooney went 2-for-4 with two runs in Tuesday’s win over USC Upstate. For the season, Mooney is batting .258 (31-for-120) with seven doubles, a triple and a homer.

Senior infielder Scott Wingo has come on with the bat as of late and was 6-for-10 (.600) in the Tennessee series with a .636 on-base percentage as a well as a sacrifice and a stolen base. Wingo leads the team in SEC games with a .359 average (14-for-39) in 12 league games. For the season Wingo is hitting .314 (32-for-102), third highest on the team, with three HR, 13 RBI as well as 22 runs scored. He has a .449 on-base percentage for the year and heads into the Vandy series with a nine-game hitting streak

Wingo has played in 217 career games tied with Derick Urquhart (1995-98) for seventh on the Carolina all-time list. Wingo has played stellar defense as well with a .982 fielding percentage and just three errors this year in 172 chances. Wingo holds the school records for putouts and assists for a second baseman. He has fielded .972 in his career. Wingo also holds the school career record for hit by pitches with 52 so far in his career.

All-Time Games Played List
255 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06
251 Landon Powell 2001-02-03-04
238 Andrew Crisp 2005-06-07-08-09
236 Mac White 1991-92-93-94
223 Jeff Parnell 1990-91-92-93
221 Trey Dyson 1999-00-01-02
217 Derick Urquhart 1995-96-97-98
217 Scott Wingo 2008-09-10-11

Gamecock senior catcher Brady Thomas has started 23 games behind the plate for the Gamecocks and is coming off a career-high four hits in the 2-0 loss at The Citadel. Thomas had three hits including a game-winning RBI single in the 4-3 10-inning win over Kentucky. Thomas is hitting .296 (29-for-98) for the season with three homers and 18 RBI.

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 is second on the team with a .333 batting average (36-for-108) with 25 runs scored. Morales is second on the team with a .448 on-base percentage and also owns a .509 slugging percentage.

Junior outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. scored twice and went 2-for-4 in the 4-0 win over Tennessee. Bradley is hitting .286 (32-for-112) for the season. He has six homers and 24 RBI with nine doubles and a triple as well. He has a .403 on-base percentage and a .545 slugging percentage.

With a home run. Rhode Island, Bradley became the 24th player in South Carolina history to record 200 or more career hits with his home run on Wednesday vs. URI. Bradley currently has 210 career hits.

Junior outfielder Adam Matthews was 2-for-4 with two key doubles in the 4-3 win over Florida on Sunday. He also had a triple in Friday’s 9-2 win over the Gators. 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. Six of his seven hits in the five games that week were extra base hits (three doubles, a triple, two homers).

For the season, Matthews is hitting .276 (27-for-98) with four doubles, two triples, two homers, 13 RBI and 24 runs scored.

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 hit .353 (6-for-17) in the five games (vs. College of Charleston, Rhode Island, Florida series) with five runs scored.

Beary is hitting .256 (20-for-78) with a pair of homers and 12 RBI. He has a .310 on-base percentage and a .385 slugging percentage.

South Carolina has added a non-conference baseball game with Liberty on Tuesday, April 26 at 1 p.m. at Carolina Stadium. The game is a makeup date for Carolina after the March 9 game vs. Davidson was canceled due to rain. Fans with tickets for the March 9 game are asked to bring those tickets for entry into the game between the Gamecocks and Liberty.

Liberty is coached by former Gamecock assistant Jim Toman, who served on South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner’s staff from the fall of 1996 to the summer of 2007. South Carolina is 5-2 vs. Liberty in all-time series history with the last meeting between the two schools in 2007 in Charleston, S.C. Carolina defeated the Flames 10-2 in the last contest.