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March 22, 2012

South Carolina-UF Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina (16-5) returns to action on Thursday night hosting top ranked Florida (20-1) in a three-game SEC baseball series. Thursday’s opener at Carolina Stadium is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and will be televised nationally on ESPNU with Dave Neal and Kyle Peterson on the call. It can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College with Andy Demetra and Tommy Moody behind the microphone. Live Gametracker stats are available at Florida is the consensus No.1 team in the country. The Gamecocks are ranked No. 6 by Collegiate Baseball and No. 8 by Baseball America and in the ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll.


South Carolina – Michael Roth (Sr. LHP) 2-0, 1.26 ERA, 35.2 IP, 7 BB, 36 SO
Florida – Hudson Randall (Jr. RHP) 3-0, 3.45 ERA, 31.1 IP, 1 BB, 23 SO

South Carolina – Matt Price (Jr. RHP) 2-1, 3.71 ERA, 26.2 IP, 10 BB, 32 SO
Florida – Brian Johnson (Jr. LHP) 3-0, 3.16 ERA, 25.2 IP, 5 BB, 24 SO

South Carolina – Colby Holmes (Jr. RHP) 3-0, 1.88 ERA, 24.0 IP, 9 BB, 25 SO
Florida – Jonathon Crawford (So. RHP) 2-1, 4.43 ERA, 22.1 IP, 8 BB, 25 SO

Overall: SC leads 40-29
Last 4 Years: SC leads 8-7

Date    Winner  Score   Site5/2/08  FLA 9-3 Columbia5/3/08  SC  6-5 Columbia5/4/08  SC  9-6 Columbia5/22/08 SC  11-3    Hoover4/24/09 FLA 9-4 Gainesville4/25/09 FLA 8-3 Gainesville4/26/09 FLA 9-5 Gainesville5/20/10 FLA 3-2 Columbia5/21/10 FLA 5-2 Columbia5/22/10 SC  11-6    Columbia3/25/11 SC  9-2 Gainesville3/26/11 FLA 2-1 Gainesville3/27/11 SC  4-3 Gainesville6/27/11 SC  2-1 (11)Omaha6/28/11 SC  5-2 Omaha

South Carolina is 11-5 in games decided by three runs or less through 21 games. The Gamecocks also own a 6-4 record in one-run contests.

The Gamecocks have totaled double-digits in hits in five of the last seven games. The Gamecocks had 11 vs. Charleston Southern, 10 in both the Friday and Saturday games at Kentucky as well as 11 in the series finale vs. the Wildcats. Carolina tied a season-high with 16 on Tuesday vs. Furman. The team batting average has risen in that span up to .288 as well.

The Gamecocks have also been playing pretty good defense lately with just four errors in the last 11 games. South Carolina is fielding .979 with only 16 errors for the season.

South Carolina’s pitching staff continues to post stellar numbers through the first part of the season. The Gamecocks own a team ERA of 2.47 with 56 runs allowed, 52 earned, in 189.2 innings on 126 hits. Opponents are hitting only .184 against the Gamecock pitching staff. The staff has 208 strikeouts to 59 walks. Carolina leads the conference in ERA, opposing batting average and saves.

Despite a no-decision on Friday at Kentucky, senior left-hander Michael Roth had a quality start. He allowed just two runs on five hits in 6.2 innings of work. Roth is 2-0 on the year with a 1.26 ERA. He has 36 strikeouts to just seven walks. Opponents are hitting only .151 against him.

Roth carried a shutout into the ninth inning and limited Princeton to just one run on six hits in a 2-1 victory over the Tigers. He also struck out a career-high 10 batters, the most strikeouts by a Gamecock pitcher since June 28, 2010 when Blake Cooper had 10 vs. UCLA in the CWS Championship Series. At one point in the game, he had retired 12 batters in a row.

Sophomore infielder Erik Payne had a stellar week at the plate. He was 6-for-11 (.545) in the Kentucky series as well as 3-for-7 in the midweek contests vs. CSU and ASU. Payne had two hits apiece in all three games at Kentucky as well as a solo home run in Friday’s 4-3 loss. Payne is hitting .351 (13-for-37) for the season with a double, triple, homer, five runs scored and five RBI. He owns a .595 slugging percentage

Junior outfielder Evan Marzilli tied a career-high with four hits and had a three-run homer and four runs scored in the 8-5 win over Furman. He also had a game-winning three-run double as well as a career-high four RBI in the 6-4 win over Appalachian State. He is hitting .341 (29-for-85) for the season with 16 runs scored, a team-high seven doubles and 12 RBI. He has reached base in all 21 games this year. He also tied a school record with three doubles in the 2-1 win over Princeton. It is the 25th time in school history that a player has tallied three doubles in one game.

Marzilli’s defense was essential for the Gamecocks in the 3-2 win over Clemson in 11 innings. Marzilli had his first assist of the year with a throw to home plate to nab a Tiger runner trying to score and his diving catch with two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning sealed the Gamecock victory.

Marzilli was effective in the first weekend vs. VMI as he hit .500 (6-for-12) with a .538 on-base percentage. Marzilli had a 3-for-4 day at the plate on Opening Day. He scored the game-winning run in the opener and also was keyt in the 13-1 victory as he went 2-for-4 with a triple, run scored and two RBI.

Junior first baseman Christian Walker tied a season-high in hits with a 3-for-4 day and a RBI in the 6-4 win over Appalachian State as well as three hits including two doubles in the 4-3 loss at Kentucky on Saturday. Walker is hitting .333 (26-for-78) with six doubles, nine runs scored and 21 RBI. His on-base percentage is .430 with a .487 slugging percentage.

He also had a season-high three hits as well as three RBI in the 8-1 win over UNC Asheville. In the 8-1 win over Elon, Walker reached base all four times at the plate including two hits, a homer and five RBI in the victory. The five RBI tied a career-high. Walker hit safely in all three games of the series

Junior right-hander Matt Price has been steady on the mound. Price is 2-1 on the year with a 3.71 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 26.1 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting just .181 against him.

Both Matt Price and Michael Roth have appeared in 79 games in their careers with the Garnet & Black. That is tied for fifth all-time in school history with Brian Beatson (1987-90) and nine shy of the school record set by Rob Mosser (1990-93)

Appearance List88  Rob Mosser (1990-93)87  Aaron Rawl (2002-05)87  Jason Pomar (1996-99)86  Jamie Poston (1997-00)79  Brian Beatson (1987-90)79  Matt Price (2009-present)79  Michael Roth (2009-present)

Junior right-hander Colby Holmes is the team’s leader in victories with a 3-0 record. Holmes hurled five scoreless innings with just four hits allowed in the 3-1 victory over Princeton He struck out six and walked one. Holmes owns a 1.88 ERA in five starts with 24.0 innings pitched. He has 25 strikeouts to nine walks.

Freshman right-hander Evan Beal struck out the side for his fourth save of the year in the 8-5 win over Furman. He is 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA. He has 19 strikeouts and just four walks in 12.1 innings.

Beal earned his first career win in the 9-6 victory vs. Clemson. Beal entered the game in the bottom of the fifth and retired nine in a row and lasted four innings allowing just two runs on three hits while striking out five and walking one.

Freshman catcher Grayson Greiner became the first Gamecock to hit two home runs in a game this season when he belted a pair in the 6-5 loss at Clemson. Greiner had a three-run homer and a solo shot. The last Gamecock player to hit two homers in a game was Steven Neff on May 11 in a 7-1 win over Arkansas. The last freshman to accomplish the feat was Adam Matthews in 2009 against East Carolina in the NCAA Regional, a 12-2 win over the Pirates. Greiner is hitting .250 (14-for-56) with a pair of homers and 11 RBI.

Not to be outdone is junior catcher Dante Rosenberg, who played a pivotal role in the 3-2 win over VMI on Saturday. Rosenberg was 2-for-4 with two doubles, a run scored and a RBI including the game-winning RBI hit in the bottom of the sixth inning in the victory.

Sophomore right-hander Forrest Koumas did not allow a run in four relief appearances this past week. He pitched 2.1 perfect innings with four strikeouts in the 5-2 win over Charleston Southern. He is 1-1 with three saves and a 2.13 ERA in 12.2 innings pitched. He has 15 strikeouts to six walks.

Junior left-hander Tyler Webb picked up the win in relief in Wednesday’s 6-4 win over Appalachian State. He has been a steady reliever thus far with a 1.15 ERA in a team-high 13 relief appearances. Webb has allowed just one earned run in 15 innings while striking out 19 and walking three.

=Another key offensive contributor early in the season has been freshman outfielder Tanner English. He was 2-for-5 with a run scored in the 8-5 win over Furman He had a season-high three hits and a run scored in the 5-2 win over Charleston Southern. English went 2-for-4 with two runs in the 8-1 win over UNC Asheville. He scored a run in all three games of the Elon series and hit safely in all three games as well. English drove in three runs for the weekend with a key two-run triple to left-center in 6-0 win over Elon in the second inning.

English is hitting .300 (24-for-80) with a .348 on-base percentage.

English also factored in all three victories of the VMI series. He tallied two hits in the opener vs. VMI, had a RBI base hit in the 3-2 victory and capped that off with two runs scored and a RBI in the 13-1 win in the series finale.

Freshman infielder Joey Pankake had his best day in a Gamecock uniform at Furman going 5-for-6 with a pair of RBI in the 8-5 win. He is the first player this year to tally five hits and the first since Christian Walker last year on April 5, 2011 vs. USC Upstate. Pankake owns a .346 batting average (18-for-52) with 14 runs scored.

He tallied his first career homer and RBI in the 2-1 win vs. Presbyterian. The game-winning hit came in the bottom of the fourth inning. Pankake was productive in the Elon series. He was 2-for-4 with a triple and three runs scored in the 8-1 win in the opener. He had two walks in game two and a hit and a run scored in the Sunday series finale.

Junior third baseman LB Dantzler was 2-for-4 with a season-high three runs scored in the 6-4 win vs. Appalachian State. He also went 2-for-4 with a RBI in the 6-3 loss at Kentucky. Dantzler is hitting .253 (20-for-79) with three homers, three doubles, 11 runs scored and 14 RBI.

Dantzler was solid in his debut vs. VMI as he tallied a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning as South Carolina defeated VMI 2-1 in the opener. Dantzler followed that up with a three-run homer, a double and four RBI in the 13-1 win over VMI that helped Carolina sweep the Keydets. Dantzler finished the weekend 4-for-11 (.364) at the plate with five RBI and a .727 slugging percentage.