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May 24, 2011

Gamecock Baseball Media Availability
May 23, 2011 • Columbia, S.C.
Coach Tanner
Michael Roth Christian Walker

HOOVER, Ala. – South Carolina is in Hoover, Ala. for the 2011 SEC Baseball Tournament. The Gamecocks are the No. 1 seed in this year’s conference tourney and will face the No. 8 seed Auburn Tigers in the third game of the tournament on Wednesday evening. It will be televised live on CSS and and can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network and at The game is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. ET. It can also be seen in Columbia on Time Warner Cable Channel 506.

Carolina heads into the weekend tournament with a 44-12 mark and claimed a share of the SEC championship, the school’s third conference title and first since the 2002 regular season. South Carolina and Auburn met in the regular season with the Gamecocks taking all three games at Carolina Stadium in Columbia, S.C.

Probable Starting Pitchers
South Carolina – Michael Roth (Jr. LHP) – 10-3, 1.28 ERA, 98.2 IP, 25 BB, 87 SO
Auburn – Jon Luke Jacobs (Jr. RHP) – 1-4, 3.59 ERA, 57.2 IP, 24 BB, 57 SO

2011 SEC Tournament May 25-29 Regions Park Hoover, Ala.

Wednesday, May 25
Game 1 10:30 a.m. #7 Alabama vs. #2 Arkansas [CSS]
Game 2 TBA #6 Mississippi State vs. #3 Florida [CSS]
Game 3 5:30 p.m. #8 Auburn vs. #1 South Carolina (CSS)
Game 4 TBA #5 Georgia vs. #4 Vanderbilt (CSS)

Thursday, May 26
Game 5 10:30 a.m. Loser G1 vs. Loser G2 (SPSO)
Game 6 TBA Loser G3 vs. Loser G4 (SPSO)
Game 7 5:30 p.m. Winner G1 vs. Winner G2 (SPSO)
Game 8 TBA Winner G3 vs. Winner G4 (SPSO)

Friday, May 27
Game 9 4 p.m. Winner G5 vs. Loser G7 (CSS)
Game 10 TBA Winner G6 vs. Loser G8 [CSS)

Saturday, May 28
Game 11 10:30 a.m. Winner G8 vs. Winner G9 (SPSO)
Game 12 TBA Winner G7 vs. Winner G10 (SPSO)
Game 13* 6 p.m. Winner G11 vs. Loser G11 (CSS)
Game 14* TBA Winner G12 vs. Loser G12 (CSS)

Sunday, May 29
Game 15* 2 p.m. Winner G13 vs. Winner G14 (ESPN2)

All Times are Eastern

* – If both bracket winners are undefeated, there will be no games 13 or 14 on Saturday and the championship game Sunday would be Game 13.

[SPSO] – Includes SportSouth, Sun Sports, FOX Sports Southwest, FOX Sports Houston and FOX Sports South in Kentucky
[CSS] – Includes Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast, CST (Louisiana, Arkansas, Florida), Brighthouse Sports Network (Florida), Time Warner Cable (Carolinas), Insight Cable (Kentucky)

All games will be streamed live on and broadcast in high definition

The second and fourth games each day will begin 30 minutes following the previous game.

South Carolina has reached the SEC Tournament for the 15th consecutive season under head coach Ray Tanner. Carolina’s 15 straight appearances is the longest current streak among the 12 SEC schools. Carolina won the SEC Tournament in 2004 defeating Vanderbilt in the championship game and also finished second in 2002 to Alabama.

SEC CHAMPS!!! Second ranked South Carolina (44-12, 22-8 SEC) broke out of the gates with an early two-run lead and behind solid work from starter Colby Holmes and three relievers the Gamecocks defeated Alabama (32-24, 14-16) 3-2 on Saturday afternoon to claim a share of the SEC Championship. It is the school’s third SEC Championship in baseball and the first since the 2002 regular season. Carolina also claims a share of the SEC Eastern Division title, the school’s fifth (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2011).

With a 6-5 win on May 14 vs. Arkansas, it marks South Carolina’s 12th consecutive season with 40 or more wins; the Gamecocks are the only team in the Southeastern Conference to win 40 or more games in each of the last 12 seasons.

Sophomore outfielder Evan Marzilli was 3-for-4 with three runs scored in a 6-3 win vs. Alabama and followed that up with a 4-for-4 day in the 3-2 win at Alabama as well. Marzilli raised his batting average for the season to .302 (51-for-169) with nine doubles, two triples a pair of homers and 24 RBI. In SEC games, Marzilli hit .349 (29-for-83), second best on the team with 13 RBI and 16 runs scored.

Senior second baseman Scott Wingo continues to lead on the field with a solid weekend at Alabama as well.

For the season, Wingo is hitting .340 (65-for-191) with four homers, 25 RBI a .450 slugging percentage and a .469 on-base percentage. Wingo has also walked a team-high 39 times. He led Carolina in SEC games hitting at a .382 clip, among the league leaders in conference play. Wingo is now third on the all-time games played list at Carolina with 241 games with the Garnet & Black, 10 behind Landon Powell for second.

Wingo also holds the school career record for hit by pitches with 56 so far in his career.

All-Time Games Played List
255 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06
251 Landon Powell 2001-02-03-04
241 Scott Wingo 2008-09-10-11

His leadoff solo home run in the bottom of the ninth gave South Carolina a thrilling 6-5 victory over Arkansas on Saturday at Carolina Stadium. He had three hits in the victory. It was Wingo’s third walk-off hit of the year along with a game-winning RBI single in a 2-1 win over Auburn on April 29 and also drove in the winning run in the ninth in a 2-1 win over Georgia.

South Carolina sophomore first baseman Christian Walker has been selected to the 22-man roster for the 2011 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, it was announced on Sunday evening. It is the 11th time in school history for a Gamecock player to be selected to the collegiate team and it is the second straight season a Gamecock has been on the team as Jackie Bradley Jr. played for the Red, White & Blue last year.

Walker is in the midst of a strong sophomore campaign as he leads the Gamecocks with a .358 batting average (78-for-218) as well as a team-high nine HR and 57 RBI. His .573 slugging percentage also tops the squad. Walker is one of two Gamecocks this year to start all 56 games. His 57 RBI are second highest in the SEC. He is also third in the league in hits (78), fourth in runs scored (53), fifth in slugging percentage, home runs and total bases (125) and ninth in batting average. In addition, Walker hit .316 (37-for-117) in 30 SEC games and had eight doubles, a pair of homers and 24 RBI vs. conference teams.

Team USA will have an SEC flavor this year with four other SEC players already announced to the team. DJ Baxendale (RHP) and Dominic Ficociello (INF) of Arkansas and Nolan Fontana (INF) and Brian Johnson (LHP) of Florida have also been selected to the team.

2011 – Christian Walker, 1B
2010 – Jackie Bradley Jr., OF
2007 – Justin Smoak, 1B
2003 – Matt Campbell, P
2002 – Landon Powell, C
1997 – Adam Everett, SS
1994 – Jason Haynie, P
1993 – Jason Haynie, P
1991 – Jared Baker, P
1989 – Brian Williams, P/OF
1986 – Dave Hollins, 3B

South Carolina sophomore right-hander Colby Holmes improved to 6-2 on the year with the win in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Alabama. He allowed one run on four hits with five strikeouts and four walks.

For the season, Holmes is 6-2 with a 3.46 ERA in 65.0 innings with 60 strikeouts to just 18 walks. Opponents are hitting just .222 against him.

Against Arkansas, Holmes earned SEC Pitcher of the Week honors for the second time this season. Holmes came within one pitch of a complete game shutout as South Carolina clinched a series victory over Arkansas with a 7-1 win on Sunday afternoon. Holmes pitched 8.2 innings – the longest outing by a South Carolina pitcher this season – giving up just one run on six hits while tying a career-high with seven strikeouts and walking just one Razorback hitter. 8.2 innings is a career-high as well for Holmes.

Holmes earned SEC Pitcher of the Week the first time after he worked 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.

Despite taking a loss on Thursday night at Alabama, junior left-hander Michael Roth gave the Gamecocks another quality start. For the season, Roth is 10-3 with a 1.28 ERA in 98.2 innings. He has 87 strikeouts to 25 walks and opponents hitting .224 against him. Roth’s 1.28 ERA is listed as the best in the SEC. His 10-win total is second best as well. Innings pitched is third highest in the league as is strikeouts.

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 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.

Steven Neff continues to swing a hot bat as his solo home run helped Carolina in the 3-2 victory at Alabama. Neff was a key bat for Carolina in the series victory over Arkansas. In the 6-5 win, Neff hit his first career home run, a two-run shot, and was 3-for-4 with a double as well as Carolina defeated the Razorbacks. Neff followed that up with three more hits in Sunday’s 7-1 victory including two more home runs, only the second time this season that a Gamecock player has had two home runs in a game.

In addition, Neff also showed off his arm last week as the left-hander earned a win in the 6-1 midweek victory over Presbyterian as he worked five innings and allowed one run on five hits with five strikeouts and a walk. He is now 3-1 on the year on the mound.

At the plate for the season, Neff is hitting .267 with nine of his 12 hits extra base hits (5 doubles, four homers). He is 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA on the mound also.

Senior catcher Brady Thomas has been hot at the plate as well with his average at .326 (61-for-187) for the season. Thomas collected three hits in the 6-5 win over Arkansas. He was also 3-for-5 with two RBI in the win over Charleston Southern.

Senior outfielder/catcher Robert Beary was 3-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored in the 7-1 win over Arkansas. Beary’s average has climbed up to .287 (47-for-164) and he has 28 RBI to go along with 25 runs scored. His batting average is fifth highest on the team.

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.

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 .271 (45-for-166) with seven doubles, two HR and 30 RBI as well.

Senior reliever John Taylor leads the SEC with 38 relief appearances. He is 4-1 with a 1.16 ERA in 54.1 innings with 56 strikeouts to just 20 walks. Opponents are hitting only .171 against Taylor. Taylor appeared in all three games last weekend vs. Alabama. His 38 appearances, is a school record by a Gamecock pitcher, besting the previous high of 37 set by Michael Roth (2010), Chad Blackwell (2004) and Blake Taylor (2002).

Junior shortstop Peter Mooney has been stellar at the plate in the leadoff role. Mooney had three hits in the 6-3 win over Alabama. He has raised his batting average to .281 (59-for-210) with 40 runs scored and a .389 on-base percentage.

Sophomore right-hander Matt Price picked up two saves in the Alabama series with three innings of work in the 6-3 win and 1.1 hitless innings with a pair of strikeouts in the 3-2 victory that helped clinch the conference championship.

He has finished a league-high 17 SEC games with five victories and nine saves in those conference tilts. His 1.71 ERA is second best among all SEC pitchers in SEC games also.

For the season, Price is 5-3 with a 2.59 ERA and 15 saves in 27 appearances. He has struck out 56 batters in 41.2 innings; opponents are only hitting .207 against him. His 15 saves are second highest in the conference with his 26 games finished also the best in league play.

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 25. HIs 15 saves this year is tied for fourth highest in a single season at Carolina.

Top 3 Saves All-Time
30 Rob Mosser (1990-93)
28 Brian Beatson (1987-90)
25 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)
15 Matt Price (2011)

South Carolina’s pitching staff continues to be one of the best in the nation. South Carolina’s pitching staff owns a 2.64 ERA, second best in the league. Opponents are hitting just .229 against the team and the team has 453 strikeouts; both marks are second best in the SEC as well. The Gamecocks led the SEC in SEC games with a 2.46 ERA in 30 conference contests. Opponents are hitting just .227 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 .298 on the year as a team (559-for-1878) sixth best in the conference. Carolina’s .390 on-base percentage is second best in the conference and the team’s .437 slugging percentage is fourth best in the SEC. Carolina has 41 home runs, fourth best also in the SEC.

South Carolina is among SEC leaders with a .975 fielding percentage. Carolina’s .976 fielding mark in SEC games is second best in the conference.

South Carolina is 37-0 on the year when leading after six innings and 40-0 on the year when leading after eight innings. Carolina is 41-6 when limiting teams to just five runs or less. Also in superlatives, Carolina owns a 34-3 record when out-hitting the opponent. South Carolina is 14-8 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 258,651 fans in 35 games for an average of 7,390.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.

Freshman right-hander Forrest Koumas is 6-0 with a 3.05 ERA in 59.0 innings pitched with 53 strikeouts to just 22 walks. Opponents are hitting only .234 against him. Koumas earned the win in the 6-3 victory vs. Alabama. He allowed one run on five hits in five innings. Five of Koumas’ six victories have come against SEC teams.

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 had the game-winning RBI single in the 3-2 win at Alabama. Morales is hitting .280 (56-for-200) for the season with three HR and 35 RBI. He has a .374 on-base percentage and a .390 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.

Sophomore left-hander Tyler Webb is the tallest pitcher on the Gamecock staff at 6-6. He earned the win in the 9-5 win over UNC Asheville. He has had a good season with a 3-1 record and a 2.81 ERA in 32 innings pitched. He has 26 strikeouts to 14 walks allowed.

Webb hurled a career-high 7.1 innings and tied a career-high with seven strikeouts and teamed with relievers Bryan Harper and John Taylor to hurl a five-hit shutout as South Carolina defeated Southern Illinois 4-0 in game two of a weekend series. Webb was effective throughout the game allowing just four hits in his longest start of his career. His seven strikeouts tied the career-high he set March 14, 2010 vs. Brown.