May 5, 2011
|Michael Roth Press Conference|
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina (36-8, 17-4 SEC) is back in action in conference play with a weekend series at Ole Miss (25-20, 9-12 SEC). Friday’s opener has a first pitch at 7:30 p.m. ET and can be heard live on the Gamecock Radio Network and at GamecocksOnline.com with Andy Demetra and Tommy Moody on the call. Saturday’s game is 3 p.m. ET and will be televised live on SportSouth. Sunday’s series finale is at 2:30 p.m. ET. South Carolina is ranked No. 1 by Collegiate Baseball, No. 2 by Baseball America and No. 3 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll.
Probable Starting Pitchers
South Carolina – Michael Roth (Jr. LHP) 9-1, 1.24 ERA, 79.2 IP, 19 BB, 72 SO
Ole Miss – Matt Crouse (Jr. LHP) 6-3, 3.41 ERA, 71.1 IP, 12 BB, 48 SO
South Carolina – Colby Holmes (So. RHP) 4-1, 3.86 ERA, 46.2 IP, 12 BB, 45 SO
Ole Miss – David Goforth (Jr. RHP) 3-6, 4.96 ERA, 65.1 IP, 24 BB, 50 SO
South Carolina – Forrest Koumas (Fr. RHP) 5-0, 2.93 ERA, 46.0 IP, 15 BB, 40 SO
Ole Miss – Austin Wright (Jr. LHP) 4-4, 4.79 ERA, 56.1 IP, 20 BB, 51 SO
South Carolina-Ole Miss Series
Series Record: South Carolina leads 29-19
Series Began/Last Meeting: 1994/2011
Last Score: 5/26/10 – UM (3), SC (0)
SC Current Streak: L2
WALKER AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS
Sophomore first baseman Christian Walker continues to be hot at the plate. He leads the Gamecocks with a .386 batting average (66-for-171) He has a .465 on-base percentage and a .637 slugging percentage. He is among SEC leaders with 45 RBI and nine home runs. His 109 total bases are also tied for first in the league. Walker has an eight-game hitting streak and has reached base in 30 consecutive games.
Walker earned SEC Player of the Week after a solid series at Mississippi State. 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.
MOONEY KEEPS RISING
Junior shortstop Peter Mooney was stellar at the plate in the leadoff role the entire weekend for the Gamecocks. In Sunday’s 7-3 victory, Mooney was 2-for-2 with two RBI. He also had two hits in the 2-1 win over Auburn on Friday. Mooney has a season-high nine-game hitting streak. He has raised his batting average to .282(46-for-163) with 31 runs scored and a .398 on-base percentage.
ROTH FACTORS IN
Junior left-hander Michael Roth had a stellar start in Friday’s 2-1 win over Auburn despite a no-decision. Roth allowed just one run on seven hits with six strikeouts and a walk in eight innings of work. He remains 9-1 with a 1.24 ERA in 79.2 innings with 72 strikeouts and 19 walks. Opponents are hitting just .206 against him. His ERA ranks second in the league with opposing batting average third best. His innings pitched is second highest, strikeouts third highest. He is tied with two other pitchers for wins in the SEC also.
Roth was SEC Pitcher of the Week after earning a win vs. Vanderbilt. 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.
THE PRICE IS RIGHT
Sophomore right-hander Matt Price earned his 13th save of the season with two scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts in the 7-3 win over Auburn on Sunday. Price is 4-2 on the year with a 1.97 ERA in 32 innings with 45 strikeouts to just nine walks. Price has 23 career saves, third highest in school history. He has not allowed a run in 21 of 23 relief appearances this year.
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 third at Carolina in all-time saves with 32. HIs 13 saves this year is fifth highest in a single season at Carolina.
Top 3 Saves All-Time
30 Rob Mosser (1990-93)
28 Brian Beatson (1987-90)
23 Matt Price (2009-11)
Top 5 Saves Single-Season
21 Blake Taylor (2002)
20 Chad Blackwell (2004)
19 Lee Gronkiewicz (2001)
15 Scott Barber (2000)
13 Matt Price (2011)
PUT IT IN PLAY
The 10-2 win over Auburn saw the South Carolina offense not strike out one single time. It was the first time since Feb. 19, 2005 vs. Radford that the Gamecocks had accomplished that feat in a game.
TAYLOR MAKES AN APPEARANCE
Senior right-hander John Taylor factored in both Friday and Sunday’s wins for the Gamecocks over Auburn. Taylor earned the victory with one perfect inning of relief in the 2-1 win on Friday. Taylor leads the SEC in ERA (0.82), opposing batting average (.158) and appearances (28). For the season he is 4-1 in 44 innings pitched with 46 strikeouts to just 14 walks.
South Carolina’s pitching staff continues to be one of the best in the nation after the weekend sweep vs. Auburn. For the season, the Gamecocks own a team ERA of 2.59 with 361 strikeouts to just 140 walks. Opponents are hitting only .220 in 392.0 innings pitched. The opposing batting average is second best mark in the conference with the ERA third best. In 21 SEC games this year, Carolina’s pitching staff has compiled a 17-4 record and a 2.06 ERA. Through conference play, opponents have just 48 runs on 135 hits in 188 innings and are hitting just .206. The 2.06 ERA and .206 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.
BY THE NUMBERS
For the season, the Gamecocks are hitting .296 (436-for-1471) as a team with a .441 slugging percentage. The team has 35 home runs.
FLASH THE LEATHER
South Carolina has flashed the leather as of late. The Gamecocks lead the SEC with a .977 fielding percentage and just 38 errors in 44 games for the season. The team’s .981 fielding mark in 21 SEC games is also the best in conference play.
South Carolina is 29-0 after six innings with a lead and 33-0 on the year after eight innings with a lead. The Gamecocks are 28-2 when out-hitting an opponent and 12-6 in games decided by two runs or less. Carolina is 33-5 when holding an opponent to five runs or less. Carolina outscores its opponent 75-33 in the first two innings.
WINGO & RECORDS
Senior second baseman Scott Wingo tallied a game-winning RBI single in the 2-1 win over Auburn on Friday night. Wingo tied a single-game record for the Gamecocks on Sunday in the 7-3 win with four walks vs. the Tigers. Wingo has a .317 batting average (46-for-145) with three HR and 22 RBI. His on-base percentage of .454 is second best on the team.
Wingo is fifth on the all-time list at Carolina in games played with 229, seven games short of Mac White for fourth place. Wingo has played stellar defense as well with a .987 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.
PACK THE HOUSE
The crowds at Carolina Stadium continue to be some of the best in the country including a sellout of 8,242 on Saturday in the 10-2 win over Auburn. Carolina has a total attendance of 214,865 fans in 29 games for an average of 7,409.
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 eight 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.
SEC HIGH AT STARKVILLE
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 junior outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. has a tendon injury in his left wrist. Bradley underwent surgery on Friday, April 29 and is out indefinitely with his injury.
Junior outfielder Adam Matthews continues to rehab after straining his hamstring on April 16 vs. Vanderbilt.
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.
The Gamecock bullpen has been a strength for this year’s team with 15 different pitchers providing relief appearances on the year. The bullpen has earned 15 wins and tallied 15 saves heading into Wednesday. The group has a 2.39 ERA and 172 strikeouts in 162.0 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.
HOLMES PROVIDES ANSWER
South Carolina sophomore right-hander Colby Holmes worked a career-high 7.1 innings and allowed just two runs on four hits to pick up the win. He is now 4-1 on the year. Holmes also tied his career-high with seven strikeouts in the victory.
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 4-1 on the year. Holmes has a 3.86 ERA in 46.2 innings pitched with 45 strikeouts to 12 walks. Opponents are hitting only .230 against him.
BRADY BEHIND THE PLATE
Senior catcher Brady Thomas had a stellar weekend vs. Auburn and raised his batting average to .326 (47-for-144). He has a .400 on-base percentage and a .465 slugging percentage. Thomas is second on the team in batting average.
THE VERSATILE MR. BEARY
Senior Robert Beary was stellar in the Auburn series going 5-for-8 (.625) with three runs scored and three RBI vs. the Tigers. His batting average was the highest on the team for that weekend.
Beary has played left field, right field, third base, designated hitter and catcher this season for the Gamecocks and is the most versatile player on the team.
For the season, Beary is hitting .283 (34-for-120) with a pair of homers and 24 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.
KOUMAS KEEPS IT GOING
Freshman right-hander Forrest Koumas is 5-0 with a 2.93 ERA in 46.0 innings pitched with 40 strikeouts to just 15 walks. Opponents are hitting only .212 against him. Koumas earned the win in the 7-3 victory vs. Auburn. He allowed two runs on four hits in five innings with three strikeouts and two 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.
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 2.57 ERA in 28.0 innings pitched. He has 21 strikeouts to just seven walks as well. Neff had 1.2 scoreless innings at College of Charleston.
MORALES LEADS THE WAY
Senior infielder Adrian Morales went 3-for-5 with a RBI and run scored in the 7-3 win over Auburn. He also had two sacrifice flies in the 10-2 win over The Tigers. Morales is hitting .289 (44-for-152) for the season with three HR and 30 RBI. He has a .396 on-base percentage and a .421 slugging 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 has a .286 average (36-for-126). He has a pair of homers and 22 RBI as well. Williams’ slugging percentage is at .353.