April 25, 2011
Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina (31-8) is back in action on Tuesday afternoon at Carolina Stadium with a non-conference tilt vs. Liberty (22-18). First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. with a live video broadcast available at GamecocksOnline.com. The game can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network. South Carolina remains ranked No. 2 in this week’s Baseball America Top 25 and Collegiate Baseball Top 30. $1 hot dogs will be on sale for Tuesday afternoon’s game.
Tuesday’s 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.
Parking in the business lots will be curtailed based on the specific lots. Parking in lots 6; 7; 9 will be relocated to lot #1 for those patrons. Parking in business lots 4 and 10 will be allowed beginning at 10 a.m. Limited parking will be allowed in lot 8 beginning at 10 a.m. on the Williams St. side of the building. Some parking may be permissible on the Huger St. side as long as it does not interfere with the loading dock and surrounded area. Others in lot 8 may be directed into Lot 1 on the corner of Blossom, Williams and Wheat St.
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.
South Carolina continued the 2011 season with a non-conference win at College of Charleston and winning two of three games at Mississippi State in a three-game SEC baseball series. Carolina has now won all 10 three-game series it has played. South Carolina sits in a three-way tie for first place in the SEC, 31-8 overall with a 14-4 record in league play. Carolina’s three-way tie in the SEC is with Vanderbilt and Florida, both teams the Gamecocks defeated in two of three games earlier in the year.
Sophomore first baseman Christian Walker had a phenomenal weekend at the plate to earn SEC Player of the Week after batting .909 (10-for-11) along with a sacrifice fly RBI and four walks against the Bulldogs in 16 plate appearances. He had 14 total bases for the weekend and a 1.273 slugging percentage as well. In the rubber game of the series vs. the Bulldogs and with the Gamecocks missing three primary position starters, Walker was at his best as he went 4-for-4 with a double and a home run and four RBI in the 13-4 victory to help the Gamecocks take the series. Had a sacrifice fly in his first at-bat, tied the game up at 3-3 in the fourth inning with a two-out single and closed it out with a two-run homer in the ninth inning. A 4-for-5 day at the plate and two runs scored also helped the Gamecocks in the series opener, an 8-2 win over Mississippi State. Walker raised his batting average 42 points from .329 to .371 after the weekend. Walker is tied for first in the SEC with 41 RBI, second in slugging percentage at .623 and total bases with 94, is third in batting average (.371), runs scored (41) and home runs (8). He also sits at sixth with a .449 on-base percentage.
Junior left-hander Michael Roth leads the SEC with a 9-1 record after earning a win in Friday’s 8-2 victory at Mississippi State. Roth allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits with four strikeouts and three walks. His nine victories are the most in the SEC. Roth has a 1.26 ERA on the year in 71.2 innings with 66 strikeouts to just 18 walks. Opponents are batting just .204 against him. His ERA is second best in the league as well as third highest in innings pitched and strikeouts and fifth in opposing batting average.
Senior right-hander John Taylor hurled a career-high four innings of relief to pick up the win in Sunday’s 13-4 victory in the rubber game at Mississippi State. Taylor allowed just one run on four hits while striking out three batters. He leads the SEC with 25 appearances on the year and a SEC best 0.89 ERA as well. He has 42 strikeouts in 40.2 innings with just 21 hits allowed. Opponents are batting only .157 against him.
Sophomore right-hander Matt Price closed out the 13-4 win at Mississippi State with 2.1 scoreless innings and four strikeouts in the win. 19 of his 21 relief appearances he has not allowed a run and he has a 4-2 record with a 2.17 ERA and 11 saves. Price has 41 strikeouts in 29 innings, opponents hitting just .198 against him.
South Carolina’s pitching staff continues to be one of the best in the nation after the weekend series victory at Mississippi State. For the season, the Gamecocks own a team ERA of 2.57 with 320 strikeouts to just 122 walks. Opponents are hitting only .217 in 347.0 innings pitched. The ERA and opposing batting average is second best mark in the conference. In 18 SEC games this year, Carolina’s pitching staff has compiled a 14-4 record and a 2.07 ERA. Through conference play, opponents have just 42 runs on 15 hits in 161 innings and are hitting just .205. The 2.07 ERA and .205 opponents batting average leads the SEC in SEC games.
South Carolina has flashed the leather as of late. The Gamecocks lead the SEC with a .977 fielding percentage and just 35 errors in 39 games for the season. The team’s .981 fielding mark in 18 SEC games is also the best in conference play.
For the season, the Gamecocks are hitting .292 (382-for-1309) as a team with a .444 slugging percentage, second best in the SEC. The team leads the SEC with 34 home runs. Carolina also has a .389 on-base percentage, third best in conference play.
Carolina’s 13 runs and 18-hit total on Sunday at Mississippi State were the most runs and hits by the Gamecocks in a conference game this year.
Senior catcher Brady Thomas hit .400 (6-for-15) for the MSU series with four runs scored and four RBI. Thomas tallied three hits in Sunday’s 13-4 victory and four RBI and two runs scored. He had a three-run triple in the win. Thomas for the season is hitting .320 (40-for-125) the second best batting average on the team and has four doubles, two triples, four HR and 25 RBI.
Junior outfielder Jake Williams returned to the lineup and was solid at the plate this weekend batting .429 (6-for-14) with three runs scored and a pair of RBI in the series vs. the Bulldogs. Williams had a career-high four hits and drove in a pair of runs in the 13-4 win on Sunday. For the season, Williams is hitting .305 (32-for-105) with 14 runs scored and 20 RBI.
In his first career start on Sunday, freshman outfielder DeSean Anderson had a stellar day batting 3-for-4 with a run scored and two doubles in the 13-4 win at Mississippi State. The three hits were the first of his career with the Garnet & Black.
South Carolina is 25-0 after six innings with a lead and 29-0 on the year after eight innings with a lead. The Gamecocks are 25-2 when out-hitting an opponent and 11-5 in games decided by two runs or less. Carolina is 29-5 when holding an opponent to five runs or less. Carolina outscores its opponent 66-31 in the first two innings.