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June 21, 2011

Omaha, Neb. – No. 4 national seed South Carolina (51-14) returns to the diamond this evening at the College World Series against top seeded Virginia (55-10) with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on ESPNHD and on the Gamecock Radio Network including flagship station 107.5 FM “The Game,” in Columbia.

South Carolina is scheduled to throw sophomore right-hander Colby Holmes (7-3, 3.78 ERA) with Virginia countering with junior right-hander Will Roberts (11-1, 1.58 ERA).

Holmes has allowed 72 hits in 81 innings pitched and hs 70 strikeouts to just 20 walks with opponents hitting only .232 against him. Holmes has made two starts this postseason for the Gamecocks with a win against Stetson in the NCAA Regional and a no-decision in a victory vs. Connecticut in the NCAA Super Regional. Holmes hurled 11 innings in the previous two outings with five strikeouts and a walk with 12 hits allowed.

South Carolina’s top hitter in the postseason is senior second baseman Scott Wingo, who has hit .542 (13-for-24) in six postseason contests including five consecutive multi-hit games. Wingo has scored seven runs in that span and was 4-for-4 with a game-winning RBI single in the 5-4 win over Texas A&M on Sunday in the first game of the College World Series. Wingo has raised his batting average to .350 (79-for-226) for the season and has four homers, a triple, eight doubles, 47 runs scored and 28 RBI. His .475 on-base percentage leads the team.

Senior catcher Robert Beary has also made an impact and is batting .375 in the postseason. For the year, Beary is hitting .296 (58-for-196) with 13 doubles, a triple, three homers and 35 RBI.

Tuesday night’s meeting for South Carolina and Virginia is the first since the Gamecocks defeated the Cavaliers 8-2 in the 2006 NCAA Charlottesville Regional. Phil Disher hit a grand slam home run in the bottom of the third inning and right-hander Harris Honeycutt did not allow an earned run in six innings of work as South Carolina defeated Virginia. Honeycutt gave the Gamecocks a solid outing in his six-inning performance as he yielded just five hits and limited the Cavaliers to one run while striking out five batters. Sophomore right-hander Andrew Cruse relieved Honeycutt and picked up a save with three innings of work allowing one run on three hits with four strikeouts.

After two scoreless innings, the Gamecocks stormed out to a 5-0 lead in the third inning. Ian Paxton opened the frame with a single to right field and advanced to second base on the Cheyne Hurst sacrifice bunt. Paxton would score the first USC run on a two-out RBI single from Chris Brown that saw Brown advanced to second base on a fielding error by Virginia right fielder Brandon Marsh. With Brown on second and Reese Havens on third base, Virginia elected to intentionally walk Justin Smoak to load the bases and set the stage for designated hitter Phil Disher. On Doolittle’s first pitch, Disher launched a towering shot to left center field for his first career grand slam that put the Gamecocks ahead by five runs. It was Carolina’s fifth grand slam of the season.