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May 12, 2011

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Coach Tanner Press Conference

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina (39-10, 18-6 SEC) is back in action hosting Arkansas (32-15, 12-12 SEC) in a three-game series this weekend. Friday’s opener is set for 8 p.m. and will be televised live on ESPNU. Saturday’s game is at 4:30 p.m. and will be on SportSouth and is Senior Day. Sunday’s series finale is at 1:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live on Cox Sports. All three games can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network. South Carolina is ranked No. 3 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll as well as No. 4 in the Baseball America Top 25 and Collegiate Baseball Top 30. Arkansas is No. 17 in the coaches’ poll and No. 23 in the Baseball America Top 25.

South Carolina – Michael Roth (Jr. LHP) 10-1, 1.23 ERA, 87.2 IP, 20 BB, 78 SO
Arkansas – DJ Baxendale (So. RHP) 7-1, 1.58 ERA, 57.0 IP, 11 BB, 53 SO

South Carolina – Forrest Koumas (Fr. RHP) 5-0, 3.14 ERA, 48.2 IP, 18 BB, 42 SO
Arkansas – Randall Fant (So. LHP) 2-3, 3.09 ERA, 55.1 IP, 12 BB, 30 SO

South Carolina TBA
Arkansas TBA

South Carolina batted around in the second inning to score six runs and sophomore right-hander Patrick Sullivan worked a career-high six innings to earn his second win of the year as Carolina defeated Charleston Southern 11-1 on Wednesday evening in non-conference action at Carolina Stadium. In his second start of the season, Sullivan limited CSU to one run on six hits with six strikeouts and one walk. The six strikeouts tie a career-high as well.

Junior left-handed pitcher Steven Neff limited Presbyterian to just one run on five hits in five innings of work as third ranked South Carolina bounced back on Tuesday with a 6-1 win over the Blue Hose on Tuesday evening in non-conference action at Carolina Stadium. Making his first start since April 12 at The Citadel, Neff had a solid outing as he limited the Blue Hose to a single run in the fifth inning. Neff struck out five and walked just one. With the win, Neff improves to 3-1 on the season. Presbyterian starter Bud Jeter suffered the loss and is now 5-6 on the year. He allowed four runs on four hits in four innings of work.

Last week, South Carolina continued the 2011 season with a non-conference win at Wofford and winning one of three games in a series at Ole Miss last weekend. The series loss at Ole Miss was the first three-game series the Gamecocks have lost this year after having won 11 straight to start the season. South Carolina is tied for second place in the SEC Eastern Division, one game behind SEC leader Vanderbilt.

Junior left-hander Michael Roth became a 10-game winner for the season with his victory on Friday night in the 6-1 win over Ole Miss. Roth allowed one run on six hits in eight innings with six strikeouts and a walk. Roth is one of just two pitchers in the SEC with 10 wins on the year (Grayson Garvin, Vanderbilt has 10). Roth’s ERA of 1.23 is second best in the league with his .206 opposing batting average third best in the league as well. He is tied for the SEC lead with 87.2 innings pitched and has struck out 78 batters, third highest in the SEC. He is one of 25 pitchers in the country named a quarterfinalist for the National Pitcher of the Year Award selected by the College Baseball Hall of Fame.

Roth has been named to the Capital One Academic All-District 3 First Team as selected by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America). An international business major, Roth now moves on to the national ballot with results announced on May 24 for the Academic All-America team. To be nominated for the team, a student-athlete must have a 3.3 or better cumulative GPA and be in their second year of competition and academically at a school.

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.

Sophomore first baseman Christian Walker had his 32-game reaching base streak snapped in Sunday’s 7-6 loss at Ole Miss. Despite the streak being snapped, Walker is having a heck of a season leading the team with a .372 batting average (71-for-191), third best in the conference. He also leads the team with 14 multi-RBI games and 20 multi-hit games. His slugging percentage (.607) is fourth best in the league with his on-base percentage sixth best (.455). He has nine HR and 50 RBI on the year.

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.

Senior outfielder/catcher Robert Beary was the Gamecocks’ top hitter in the Ole Miss series going 5-for-11 (.455) with a run scored and a RBI. Beary has raised his batting average for the season to .292 (40-for-137) with nine doubles, a pair of homers and 25 RBI for the season. His batting average is fifth highest on the team. Beary was 3-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored in the 6-1 win over Ole Miss on Friday.

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.

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.

Senior catcher Brady Thomas was 2-for-4 with a triple, two runs scored and two RBI in the 7-6 loss at Ole Miss. Thomas had four hits in the series and currently owns an eight-game hitting streak. His 12 multi-RBI games are second highest on the team. Thomas is hitting .333 (55-for-165), second best on the team with a .479 slugging percentage as well.

The 6-1 win over Ole Miss also saw Scott Wingo go 3-for-4 with two runs and a RBI. Wingo is hitting .318 (50-for-157) for the season, third best on the team and he has a .452 on-base percentage. That on-base percentage is second best on the team and seventh best in the SEC. Wingo has now played in 234 career games and is two short of Mac White (1991-94) at 236 for fourth highest in school history.

He has fielded .972 in his career. Wingo also holds the school career record for hit by pitches with 54 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
234 Scott Wingo 2008-09-10-11

Junior outfielder Jake Williams tallied his fifth triple in the 7-6 loss at Ole Miss. Williams is now one short of the school record of six set by current Gamecock student assistant coach Brian Buscher in 2002. Williams also had two RBI in the 9-3 win at Wofford. For the season, Williams is hitting .269 (39-for-145) with six doubles, two HR and 25 RBI as well.

Senior right-handed reliever John Taylor leads the SEC with a 0.94 ERA and 32 appearances. Taylor made relief appearances all three games vs. Ole Miss. Taylor had a perfect inning of relief in the 6-1 win over Ole Miss. He is 4-1 for the season in 47.2 innings pitched with 50 strikeouts to just 16 walks. Opponents are hitting only .163 against him.

Top 10 Appearances Single-Season
37 Michael Roth (2010)
37 Chad Blackwell (2004)
37 Blake Taylor (2002)
36 Lee Gronkiewicz (2001)
36 Craig Ross (1994)
33 Jose Mata (2010)
32 John Taylor (2011)
32 Scott Barber (2000)

Evan Marzilli tied a career-high with three hits in Wednesday’s 9-3 win over Wofford. He was 3-for-3 with a triple and two runs scored. Marzilli has come on as of late with a .278 average (40-for-144) for the season. He is also hitting .306 in SEC games.

Despite a loss on Sunday at Ole Miss, sophomore right-hander Matt Price is one of the top relievers in college of baseball. He has not allowed a run in 21 of 24 relief appearances this year. Price has 13 saves and a 2.06 ERA with 46 strikeouts in 35 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting only .192 against him.

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 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 23. 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)

Junior shortstop Peter Mooney has been stellar at the plate in the leadoff role. In a 7-3 victory vs. Auburn, Mooney was 2-for-2 with two RBI. He also had two hits in the 2-1 win over Auburn on Friday. He has raised his batting average to .283 (52-for-184) with 35 runs scored and a .391 on-base percentage.

South Carolina’s pitching staff continues to be one of the best in the nation. South Carolina’s pitching staff owns a 2.69 ERA, third best in the league. Opponents are hitting just .223 against the team and the team has 395 strikeouts; both marks are second best in the SEC as well. The Gamecocks lead the SEC in SEC games with a 2.44 ERA in 24 conference contests. Opponents are hitting just .217 in conference games as well.

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, South Carolina is hitting .296 on the year as a team (486-for-1641) fourth best in the conference. Carolina’s .392 on-base percentage is third best in the conference as is the team’s .439 slugging percentage.

South Carolina leads the SEC with a .977 fielding percentage. Carolina’s .979 fielding mark in SEC games is also tops in the conference.

South Carolina is 32-0 on the year when leading after six innings and 36-0 on the year when leading after eight innings. Carolina is 36-5 when limiting teams to just five runs or less. Also in superlatives, Carolina owns a 31-3 record when out-hitting the opponent. South Carolina is 12-7 in games decided by two runs or less.

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 227,956 fans in 31 games for an average of 7,353.

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.

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 in a 10-2 victory over Auburn.

For the season, Holmes is 4-2 with a 4.17 ERA in 49.2 innings pitched. He has 48 strikeouts to 13 walks. Opponents are hitting .235 against him.

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.

Freshman right-hander Forrest Koumas is 5-0 with a 3.14 ERA in 48.2 innings pitched with 42 strikeouts to just 18 walks. Opponents are hitting only .222 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.

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 .295 (51-for-173) for the season with three HR and 32 RBI. He has a .395 on-base percentage and a .416 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.