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April 19, 2012

South Carolina-Auburn Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina (27-11, 8-7 SEC) returns to conference play this weekend with a three-game series at Auburn (21-16, 7-8 SEC). First pitch for the opener on Friday night is 7 p.m. ET. Saturday’s game is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET and will be televised live on SportSouth. Sunday’s series finale is at 2 p.m. ET. All three games can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College and at including flagship station 107.5 FM, “The Game.” South Carolina is ranked No. 8 in this week’s USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll, No. 9 by Baseball America and No. 13 by Collegiate Baseball.

Gamecock IMG Network affiliates/Flagship WNKT FM 107.5 “The Game” in Columbia. Andy Demetra and Tommy Moody will call the action.

Television: Saturday/SportSouth. Dave Neal and Larry Conley will call the action. Live video available at on Friday and Sunday.

Internet: Live Gametracker Stats at Additional coverage on Twitter @GamecockBasebll and Facebook/Gamecocksonline


South Carolina Michael Roth (Sr. LHP) 3-0, 2.55 ERA, 60.0 IP, 14 BB, 49 SO
Auburn Derek Varnadore (Sr. RHP) 1-5, 5.20 ERA, 55.1 IP, 17 BB, 39 SO

South Carolina Jordan Montgomery (Fr. LHP) 3-0, 2.48 ERA, 36.1 IP, 4 BB, 31 SO
Auburn Jon Luke Jacobs (Sr. RHP) 5-0, 2.37 ERA, 38.0 IP, 15 BB, 40 SO

South Carolina Colby Holmes (Jr. RHP) 5-0, 2.87 ERA, 47.0 IP, 10 BB, 37 SO
Auburn Daniel Koger (Fr. LHP) 2-3, 2.66 ERA, 50.2 IP, 17 BB, 28 SO

In four seasons, Carolina Stadium has a total attendance of 963,363. That is 36,637 fans away from the 1,000,000 mark.

Overall: SC leads 38-19

Last 5 Years:  SC leads 13-4Date    Winner  Score   Site4/13/07 AUB 16-1    Columbia4/14/07 SC  10-1    Columbia4/15/07 SC  18-4    Columbia4/11/08 SC  7-6 Auburn4/12/08 SC  8-6 Auburn4/13/08 SC  7-6 Auburn4/17/09 SC  8-3 Columbia4/18/09 AUB 6-4 Columbia4/19/09 SC  10-4    Columbia3/26/10 SC  11-5    Auburn3/27/10 SC  2-0 Auburn3/28/10 AUB 10-6    Auburn5/27/10 AUB 3-1 (12)Hoover4/29/11 SC  2-1 Columbia4/30/11 SC  10-2    Columbia5/1/11  SC  7-3 Columbia5/25/11 SC  7-3 Hoover

Senior left-hander Michael Roth had a no-decision in Friday’s 7-6 win over Mississippi State. Roth is still 3-0 with a 2.55 ERA. He has pitched 60.0 innings, second highest in the league. His opponents batting average of .181 is second in the league, just behind Price.

Roth’s victory vs. Vanderbilt was his 20th career win, making him the 20th player in school history to tally 20 or more career victories.

Junior right-hander Matt Price picked up two saves in the 7-6 and 5-3 wins over Mississippi State. Price hurled a perfect inning of relief in the 7-6 win and followed that up with two scoreless innings on Saturday in the 5-3 victory. Price is now 3-3 with three saves and a 2.93 ERA. He has 53 strikeouts in 46.0 innings pitched and opponents are hitting only .159 against him. That .159 mark is the best mark by a pitcher in the SEC. Price is also tied for eighth in strikeouts. He is the career saves leader at Carolina with 33 over the past three years.

Both Matt Price and Michael Roth are among career leaders in appearances at South Carolina. With his two appearances this weekend, Price tied himself with Jamie Poston (1997-2000) for fourth all-time in appearances in a career at South Carolina with 86. Price is two short of Rob Mosser’s (1990-93) school record of 88.

Appearance List88  Rob Mosser (1990-93)87  Aaron Rawl (2002-05)87  Jason Pomar (1996-99)86  Jamie Poston (1997-00)86  Matt Price (2009-present)83  Michael Roth (2009-present)

South Carolina catcher Grayson Greiner has been named SEC Freshman of the Week, the conference office announced on Monday afternoon. It marked the second straight week a Gamecock has earned Freshman of the Week accolades. Greiner had a key solo home run that jumpstarted a four-run rally in the bottom of the eighth as the Gamecocks came from behind to defeat MSU 7-6. Greiner collected three hits over the weekend with a pair of doubles and the home run. He also scored two runs. He also had a grand slam in the 8-0 win over The Citadel on Tuesday night.

Greiner has reached base 11 consecutive games. He has raised his batting average to .230 (23-for-100) with four homers and 17 RBI.

Freshman left-hander Jordan Montgomery tallied his second consecutive quality start with a win over MSU in Saturday’s 5-3 victory. Montgomery allowed just one run on five hits in 6.1 innings with two walks and four strikeouts. For the season, Montgomery is 3-0 with a 2.48 ERA with four walks and 31 strikeouts in 36.1 innings pitched. Opponents hit just .206 against him.

Montgomery earned SEC Freshman of the Week after his first career SEC start. He worked a career-high eight innings and limited Tennessee to just one run on three hits on the way to a 2-1 South Carolina victory over the Volunteers. Against a Tennessee team that was on an eight-game winning streak, Montgomery kept UT at bay with 12 batters retired at one point in the game. Montgomery did not walk a batter and tallied seven strikeouts.

Junior first baseman Christian Walker continues to sit among the league leaders in many categories. Walker drove in three runs in the MSU series and finished with a .462 on-base percentage as he tallied two hits, three walks and was hit once in the three-game set. Walker ranks third in runs batted in (38), fifth in on-base percentage (.465), sixth in walks (26), tied for sixth in home runs (7), tied for eighth in total bases (75) and tied for ninth in hits (47). In SEC contests, through 15 leagues games he leads the league in walks (16), is tied for second in runs batted in (14), homers (4) and runs scored (14), fourth in on-base percentage (.471), and eighth in slugging percentage (.558). Walker sits in 17th place all-time in hits at South Carolina with 217 for his career. He has reached base in 18 consecutive games.

Walker was the top hitter for the Gamecocks in the Vanderbilt series as he hit .500 (6-for-12) with a .625 on-base percentage and a phenomenal 1.250 slugging percentage. Walker belted three homers in the series and drove in five runs with five runs scored as well. Walker tallied his first two-homer game of his career at South Carolina with three RBI and three runs scored in the 8-3 win on Friday vs. the Commodores. In Sunday’s 6-4 win, he reached base five times including a game-winning two-run homer in the top of the 13th in the victory.

Walker also became the 25th player in South Carolina history to reach the 200 career hit total with his homer in the 8-3 win over Vanderbilt. He is now at 218 for his three-year career with the Garnet & Black, 17th best in school history.

Top 10 Career Hits List303 Mac White (1991-94)299 Michael Campbell (2003-06)285 Drew Meyer (2000-02)265 Landon Powell (2001-04)265 Derick Urquhart (1995-98)263 Whit Merrifield (2008-10)262 Andrew Crisp (2005-09)250 Mike Curry (1996-98)246 Justin Smoak (2006-08)245 Hank Small (1972-75)218     Christian Walker (2010-present) (17th)

South Carolina is 16-9 in games decided by three runs or less through 38 games. The Gamecocks also own an 8-8 record in one-run contests.

Sunday’s 6-4 win over Mississippi State featured a 3-for-4 day at the plate with a triple and two runs scored for Evan Marzilli. The junior center fielder was tremendous in the outfield as well with several key defensive putouts. Marzilli raised his batting average to .301 (46-for-153) with 31 runs scored, eight doubles, two triples, one homer and 16 RBI on the year.

Marzilli reached base in the first 31 games of the 2012 season but saw his streak snap in Sunday’s 6-1 victory vs. the Volunteers.

Marzilli had four hits including a three-run homer in the 8-5 win over Furman and was 3-for-4 win the 9-3 win over Florida. Marzilli had a game-winning three-run double as well as a career-high four RBI in the 6-4 win over Appalachian State. 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 key in the 13-1 victory as he went 2-for-4 with a triple, run scored and two RBI.

The Gamecocks have also been playing pretty good defense with 19 errorless games on the year. South Carolina is fielding .978 with only 31 errors for the season. That is tied for second best in the Southeastern Conference.

The Gamecock pitching staff owns a 3.00 ERA in 344.2 innings pitched with 251 hits allowed, 123 runs, 115 earned runs, 109 walks and 334 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting just .200 against the Gamecocks. South Carolina leads the SEC in opposing batting average.

Freshman shortstop Joey Pankake gave the Gamecocks some insurance in Sunday’s 6-4 win with a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning. Pankake, who moved to the leadoff role on Friday, is now hitting .308 (37-for-120) with 10 doubles, a triple, two homers and 14 RBI. He had five hits and hit .357 vs. the Bulldogs.

He had a 5-for-6 game with a pair of RBI in the 8-5 win over Furman. The last Gamecock player with five hits in a game was Christian Walker on April 5, 2011 vs. USC Upstate.

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. 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 left-hander Tyler Webb made four appearances this past week and he leads the SEC with 21 on the year. Webb is 3-0 with two saves and a 1.57 ERA in 28.2 innings pitched with six walks and 30 strikeouts. Webb retired the final two batters in Sunday’s 6-4 win over the Bulldogs to pick up the save.

Freshman left fielder Tanner English led the Gamecocks in hitting in the MSU series with a .455 average (5-for-11). English scored four runs over the weekend with a triple and also a RBI.

English leads the Gamecocks with 14 multi-hit games. He is hitting .307 (42-for-137) with 24 runs scored. He was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI in the 5-3 victory over Mississippi State. He tied a season-high with three hits in the 8-0 win over The Citadel.

He tallied two hits in the 9-3 win over Florida. 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.

Junior outfielder Sean Sullivan tied Friday’s game with a pinch-hit two-out triple and scoring the winning run on a wild pitch on the way to a 7-6 victory over Mississippi State in the series opener. 10 different Gamecocks had at least one hit in Friday night’s victory.

Junior third baseman LB Dantzler drove in five runs over the weekend vs. Mississippi State. Dantzler is hitting .238 (34-for-143) with 19 runs scored, six doubles, five homers and 31 RBI. His 31 RBI is 11th best in the SEC.

Dantzler tallied a walk-off RBI single in the 2-1 win on Saturday night vs. Tennessee. He hit his fifth homer of the year and finished with three RBI in the 6-4 win over Vanderbilt. He 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 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.

Junior right-hander Colby Holmes improved to 5-0 with a win in Sunday’s 6-4 victory over Mississippi State. Holmes worked into the ninth inning and allowed four runs on eight hits with no walks and three strikeouts. He has a 2.87 ERA with 10 walks, 37 strikeouts and opponents hitting just .223 against him in 47.0 innings pitched. In wins over Tennessee and MSU over the last two weeks, Holmes went 2-0 with a 2.93 ERA in 15.1 innings pitched with no walks and nine strikeouts.

Junior left-hander Nolan Belcher hurled 5.2 scoreless innings in his first start of the year as Carolina defeated The Citadel 8-0. Belcher is 2-2 for the year with a 3.05 ERA in 13 appearances. He has 23 strikeouts in 20.2 innings pitched as well as two saves. Belcher combined with relievers Tyler Webb and Hunter Privette for a five-hit shutout vs. the Citadel.

Belcher had a productive week with a win and two saves in all three victories over Presbyterian and Clemson in late February/early March. Belcher earned his first win since May 11, 2010 with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief in the 2-1 win over Presbyterian. He allowed just one hit and struck out three batters. He followed that up with saves in both the 3-2 and 9-6 wins over Clemson.

South Carolina hit .313 (31-for-99) in the weekend series vs. Mississippi State. The Gamecocks are now hitting .276 (352-for-1275) on the year.