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March 5, 2012

Columbia, South Carolina – South Carolina remains No. 2 in this week’s Collegiate Baseball Top 30 as well as No. 3 in the Baseball America Top 25 and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches’ poll it was announced on Monday afternoon. Last week, South Carolina defeated Presbyterian 2-1 and won two out of three games in a weekend series with Clemson. South Carolina has defeated Clemson in 16 of the last 23 contests between the two schools dating back to the 2007 season. The Gamecocks return to action on Wednesday night hosting UNC Asheville with first pitch at 7 p.m. at Carolina Stadium.

South Carolina owns a 7-0 record all-time vs. UNC Asheville including a 9-5 victory last year on May 17, 2011. In last year’s game, the two teams were tied at 2-2 when the Gamecocks made their move in the fifth inning. After loading the bases with one out, Christian Walker was walked to put the Gamecocks up a run. With the bags still full, Jake Williams drilled a two-run double to left field that was followed up by a two-run double by Adrian Morales. After allowing three unearned runs in the top of the seventh, Carolina scratched across a pair of runs in the seventh inning with Williams tallying a RBI single on his fourth hit of the game and Robert Beary driving in a run as well with a single to give South Carolina a 9-5 lead. Gamecock reliever Tyler Webb went two innings and allowed two hits and three unearned runs while striking out two batters to earn the win. He is now 3-1 on the year. Jose Mata earned his first save with 2.1 scoreless innings of work. UNC Asheville starting pitcher David Ricker suffered the loss and is now 1-2 on the year. He allowed five runs, four earned, on five hits in 4.1 innings with two walks.

South Carolina’s pitching staff continues to post some of the best numbers in the nation. Through 10 games, the Gamecocks have a 1.77 ERA with opposing hitters batting just .153 against him. Both those numbers lead the Southeastern Conference. The Gamecocks have 100 strikeouts to just 26 walks in 91.1 innings pitched and have allowed just 22 runs on 49 hits also. Eight different pitchers have accounted for the nine Gamecock wins. Colby Holmes leads the way with a 2-0 record and a 1.26 ERA.