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April 28, 2011

By Andrew Kitick
Assistant Media Relations Director
Twitter – @akitick

Game Notes in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Gamecock Baseball Media Availability
April 28, 2011 • Columbia, S.C.
Coach Tanner
Evan Marzilli Brady Thomas

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Second ranked South Carolina (32-8, 14-4 SEC) is back home this weekend with a three-game SEC baseball series vs. Auburn (23-18, 9-9 SEC) at Carolina Stadium. Friday’s series opener is at 7 p.m. with Saturday’s contest also at 7 p.m. The first two games will be televised on SportSouth with Dave Neal and Larry Conley on the call. Sunday’s series finale is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET on ESPN. All three games can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network and at with Andy Demetra and Tommy Moody behind the microphone.

Probable Starting Pitchers

South Carolina – Michael Roth (Jr. LHP) – 9-1, 1.26 ERA, 71.2 IP, 18 BB, 66 SO
Auburn – Jon Luke Jacobs (Jr. RHP) – 1-3, 3.90 ERA, 30.0 IP, 12 BB, 31 SO

South Carolina – Colby Holmes (So. RHP) – 3-1, 4.12 ERA, 39.1 IP, 9 BB, 38 SO
Auburn – Derek Varnadore (Jr. RHP) – 4-1, 3.67 ERA, 56.1 IP, 14 BB, 55 SO

South Carolina Forrest Koumas (Fr. RHP) – 4-0, 2.85 ERA, 41.0 IP, 13 BB, 37 SO Auburn – TBA

South Carolina-Auburn Series
Series Record: South Carolina leads 34-19
First/Last Meeting: 1927/2010
Last Score: 5/27/10 – AUB (3), SC (1)
SC Current Streak: L1

Second ranked South Carolina scored seven runs in the sixth inning and held off a late rally by Liberty to earn a 9-6 victory on Tuesday afternoon at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks improved to 32-8 on the year; Liberty fell to 22-19.

Jose Mata (3-0) picked up the win with 2.0 innings of relief, giving up two earned runs on one hit while walking two and striking out one. Matt Price earned his 12th save of the year, striking out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth. Adam Westmoreland earned the start for the Gamecocks, striking out a season-high seven batters in 4.1 innings of work.

Christian Walker, Adrian Morales and Peter Mooney each had two hits to lead the 10-hit effort for the Gamecocks. Walker added his ninth home run of the season to lead off the sixth, in which Carolina sent 12 batters to the plate, scoring seven runs on seven hits.

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 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.

South Carolina sophomore first baseman Christian Walker earned SEC Player of the Week. Walker had a phenomenal weekend at the plate 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. Walker 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. Walker was 4-for-5 with two runs scored in the series opener, an 8-2 win over Mississippi State.

Walker leads the SEC in total bases with 99 on the year. He is second in home runs (9) runs batted in (43), and slugging percentage (.639). He also is at third in batting average (.374), runs scored (42 and sixth in on-base percentage (.453).

This is the fourth straight week a Gamecock has earned a conference award. Last week Michael Roth was SEC Pitcher of the Week, two weeks ago Colby Holmes was SEC Pitcher of the Week and three weeks ago Forrest Koumas earned SEC Co-Freshman of the Week accolades.

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.

Roth was SEC Pitcher of the Week two weeks ago. Roth did not allow a hit until the fifth inning and limited the Commodores to just one run on three hits in a 3-1 win on Friday night in the series opener vs. Vanderbilt. The three-hit total was the lowest in a game this season for the Commodores, who came into the weekend as the top hitting team in the conference. Roth’s eight strikeout total was one short of his career high.

Sophomore right-hander Matt Price pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn his 12th save of the year in the 9-6 win vs. Liberty. Price also closed out the 13-4 win at Mississippi State with 2.1 scoreless innings and four strikeouts in the win. 20 of his 22 relief appearances he has not allowed a run and he has a 4-2 record with a 2.10 ERA and 12 saves. Price has 43 strikeouts in 30 innings, opponents hitting just .192 against him.

Price was key in both wins over top ranked Vanderbilt. The sophomore Gamecock reliever factored into two wins this weekend with a save in the 3-1 victory on Friday night and a victory in Sunday’s 5-3 win in the rubber game vs. No. 1 Vanderbilt. Price was dominant in his stints with 4.1 scoreless innings of relief. 11 of the 13 outs he tallied were by strikeout. All four batters he faced in the 43-1 win struck out as he picked up the save. In the 5-3 win over VU, he worked a season-high three innings and limited VU to just two hits and struck out a season-high seven batters to pick up his fourth win of the year.

Price is tied for third at Carolina in all-time saves with 22. His 12 saves this year is tied for fifth highest in a single season at Carolina.

Top 5 Saves All-Time
30 Rob Mosser (1990-93)
28 Brian Beatson (1987-90)
22 Matt Price (2009-11)
22 Blake Taylor (2001-02)
22 Lee Gronkiewicz (1999-2001

Top 5 Saves Single-Season
21 Blake Taylor (2002)
20 Chad Blackwell (2004)
19 Lee Gronkiewicz (2001)
15 Scott Barber (2000)
12 Matt Price (2011)
12 Brian Beatson (1990)
12 Brian Beatson (1988)

South Carolina has flashed the leather as of late. The Gamecocks lead the SEC with a .976 fielding percentage and just 36 errors in 40 games for the season. The team’s .981 fielding mark in 18 SEC games is also the best in conference play.

All three games vs. Vanderbilt were played in front of 8,242 fans, three consecutive sellouts at Carolina Stadium adding to seven for the season. The three-game series attendance was 24,726, the best three-game mark in Carolina Stadium history.

There have been great crowds at Carolina Stadium this year with seven total sellouts. 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 190,587 for an average of 7,330.

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 2.63 with 331 strikeouts to just 126 walks. Opponents are hitting only .219 in 356.0 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 115 hits in 161 innings and are hitting just .205. The 2.07 ERA and .205 opponents batting average leads the SEC in SEC games.

At Tennessee, South Carolina’s pitching staff had its best weekend of the season with just one run allowed in 27 innings pitched. 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 a 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.

For the season, the Gamecocks are hitting .292 (392-for-1344) as a team with a .444 slugging percentage, second best in the SEC. The team leads the SEC with 35 home runs. Carolina also has a .388 on-base percentage, third best in conference play.

Carolina’s 13 runs and 18-hit total at Mississippi State in the 13-4 win were the most runs and hits by the Gamecocks in a conference game this year.

South Carolina is 26-0 after six innings with a lead and 30-0 on the year after eight innings with a lead. The Gamecocks are 25-2 when out-hitting an opponent and 11-6 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 68-31 in the first two innings. In the e middle innings, the Gamecocks are outscoring the opponent 96-36.

Senior second baseman Scott Wingo is third on the team in hitting with a .308 overall average (41-for-133). Wingo has a 13-game hitting streak snapped last week. He is fifth on the all-time list at Carolina in games played with 225, 11 games short of Mac White for fourth place.

Wingo has played stellar defense as well with a .984 fielding percentage and just three errors this year. 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 53 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
225 Scott Wingo 2008-09-10-11


South Carolina sophomore outfielder Evan Marzilli was evaluated by University of South Carolina physicians on Monday morning (April 25). His information was reviewed and additional lab work was performed. Marzilli is being monitored by physicians due to a rapid heartbeat. We are not expecting any negative long-term effects. Marzilli’s status for this weekend vs. Auburn remains in question.

Junior outfielder Adam Matthews continues to rehab a strained hamstring.

Junior outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. became the 24th player in South Carolina history to record 200 or more career hits with his home run vs. Rhode Island. Bradley currently has 214 career hits.

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 26 appearances on the year and a SEC best 0.87 ERA as well. He has 43 strikeouts in 41.1 innings with just 22 hits allowed. Opponents are batting only .161 against him.

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 14 wins and tallied 14 saves heading into the weekend. The group has a 2.43 ERA and 165 strikeouts in 155.1 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting just .209 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 sophomore right-hander Colby Holmes earned SEC Pitcher of the Week after he 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 3-1 on the year. Holmes has a 4.19 ERA in 34.1 innings pitched with 32 strikeouts to nine walks. Opponents are hitting only .237 against him.

Freshman right-hander Forrest Koumas is 4-0 with a 2.85 ERA in 41 innings, 37 strikeouts to just 13 walks.

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.

After earning SEC Co-Freshman of the Week honors, 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.

Gamecock senior catcher Brady Thomas has started 30 games behind the plate for the Gamecocks and his bat came on fire as of late. He had three hits and four RBI in the 13-4 win at Mississippi State. He tallied a career-high four hits at The Citadel. For the season, Thomas is batting .310 (40-for-129) with four homers and 26 RBI.

Junior Steven Neff saw action as a position player for the first time this year and was a big part of a 5-3 win vs. Vanderbilt with a double in the seventh inning that was part of a four-run frame. Neff, a pitcher, pinch-hit on Saturday and was the starting designated hitter for Carolina on Sunday vs. Vanderbilt. He started in left field at Mississippi State in the 13-4 win.

As a pitcher for the year, Neff is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 26.2 innings pitched. He has 21 strikeouts to just seven walks as well. Neff had 1.2 scoreless innings at College of Charleston.

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.

Junior infielder Peter Mooney was 2-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI in the 9-6 win vs. Liberty. He was South Carolina’s top hitter for the weekend vs. Kentucky, when he 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 the 3-1 win and also tied a season-high with three hits in Sunday’s 4-1 victory.

For the season, Mooney is batting .273 (41-for-150) with a pair of homers and 17 RBI.

Senior infielder Adrian Morales had two hits and two RBI in the 9-6 win vs. Liberty. Morales raised his average to .299 (41-for-137) with three HR and 26 RBI. He owns a .420 on-base percentage.

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.

Junior outfielder Jake Williams tripled and scored in the 9-6 win over Liberty. Williams leads the team with four triples on the year.

Williams is the fourth best hitter currently for the Gamecocks with a .303 average (33-for-109). He has a pair of homers and 20 RBI as well. Williams’ slugging percentage of .468 is tied for second highest on the team.

Senior Robert Beary has played left field, right field, third base, first base and catcher this season for the Gamecocks and is the most versatile player on the team. For the season, Beary is hitting .259 (28-for-108) with a pair of homers and 20 RBI. 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.