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June 8, 2012

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina (43-17) and Oklahoma (42-23) begin NCAA Super Regional action on Saturday evening at Carolina Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 8 p.m. with the game televised live on ESPNU and available on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station 107.5 FM, “The Game.” Game two of the Super Regional is set for 7 p.m. on Sunday. The Monday, “If Necessary,” game is set for 7 p.m. as well.

South Carolina – Michael Roth, LHP, Sr. (6-1, 2.68 ERA)
Oklahoma – Jordan John, LHP, So. (8-7, 2.26 ERA)

South Carolina – Colby Holmes, RHP, Jr. (7-1, 3.00 ERA)
Oklahoma – Jonathan Gray, RHP, So. (8-4, 3.32 ERA)

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

Television: Saturday and Sunday televised live on ESPNU and streamed on ESPN3. Monday if necessary televised live on ESPN2 and streamed on ESPN3. Mark Neely and Danny Kanell will call the action.

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

South Carolina (43-17) is making its 10th appearance in the last 13 years in the NCAA Super Regional as the Gamecocks host Oklahoma (42-23) this weekend with the winner of the series advancing to Omaha and the 2012 College World Series.

The Gamecocks are one of four teams from the SEC to make the NCAA Super Regionals along with Arkansas, Florida and LSU. South Carolina is the back-to-back defending national champion after winning the consecutive titles in the 2010 CWS and 2011 CWS. Carolina has reached 10 College World Series as well.

The super regional at Carolina Stadium is set to begin on Saturday, June 9 with first pitch at 8 p.m. and the game televised on ESPNU. Sunday’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU. The if necessary game for Monday will start at 7 p.m. and be televised on ESPN2. South Carolina is making its 10th NCAA Super Regional appearance in the last 13 years, one of only two schools in the country to have accomplished the feat in that span.

This is South Carolina’s 28th overall appearance in the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament. The Gamecocks are one of eight teams from the SEC to make the 2012 NCAA Tournament. South Carolina’s 13 consecutive trips to the NCAA Baseball Tournament is the longest current streak of the 12 SEC schools. Carolina is one of only six schools in the nation that has reached the NCAA Regional in the last 13 consecutive years.

The Gamecocks are 11-0 all-time at Carolina Stadium in NCAA Tournament games, and the program has won 22 consecutive postseason games at home, dating back to the 2002 Super Regional vs. Miami.

Carolina has won an NCAA record 19 NCAA Tournament games in a row (last six at the 2010 College World Series, 10 victories in the 2011 Postseason, three victories in the 2012 postseason). The Gamecocks are 24-1 in their last 25 postseason games.

NCAA DIVISION I SCHOOLS TO REACH NCAA REGIONALS IN LAST 13 CONSECUTIVE SEASONS(2000-12)1)      SOUTH CAROLINA2)  Cal State Fullerton3)  Florida State4)  Miami (Fla.)5)  Oral Roberts6)  Rice

South Carolina and Oklahoma have met three previous times on the baseball diamond with the Gamecocks owning a 2-1 record over the Sooners. Both teams met twice in the 2010 College World Series with Oklahoma defeating the Gamecocks 4-3 and South Carolina earning a 3-2 win in 12 innings over the Sooners in an elimination game in the 2010 CWS.

South Carolina (3) Oklahoma (2) (12 inn.) June 24, 2012

A pair of two-out RBI singles by Jackie Bradley Jr. and Brady Thomas erased a one-run deficit as South Carolina rallied for a dramatic 3-2 win over Oklahoma in 12 innings.

It was a dramatic night at Rosenblatt Stadium with both teams battling back and forth with the result in question until the final play. After Oklahoma took a 2-1 lead in the top of the 12th on a solo home run by Tyler Ogle, the Gamecocks made their move as Robert Beary singled to open the frame and give the Gamecocks the tying run on the base paths. With two outs and Beary on second base in scoring position, Bradley battled Oklahoma closer Ryan Duke to a full count before lacing a RBI single past Oklahoma’s diving first baseman Cameron Seitzer to score Beary and tie the game. Jeffery Jones then walked moving Bradley into scoring position setting the stage for Thomas, who roped the first pitch he saw from Duke up the middle for a RBI single to win the game and setting off a celebration among the Gamecock players on the field.

Gamecock left-hander Tyler Webb earned the win in relief after one scoreless inning of relief with a strikeout. Ryan Duke suffered the loss after allowing two runs on three hits in 0.2 innings.

“It was another great baseball game between the Gamecocks and the Sooners,” said South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner. “The first time we met, it was a heck of a game and it really was the same thing tonight. It was a battle. We got a great start out of Blake Cooper. We just fought and they fought and we got out of a jam there early with a double play ball. We just kept scrapping and trying to stay in position to win. And it was late, but Jackie came up with a big hit and Brady hits one through the middle. It was an incredible win for us. Just never give up day. Charlie Peters, our buddy here in Omaha, we met back in 2003 at the Children’s Hospital, he came out early tonight. He had a little sign: Never give up. Battle hard. And I told Charlie, I said, if we win this game, it’s because of you. If we lose it, it’s because of me. And I thought I was going to have to shoulder it there for a while. But just a great game by both teams fighting hard. You hate to have anybody lose tonight, really. But I just kept thinking, you know, we lost a close one. Maybe now it’s our turn to win a close one. Very difficult to come by. But these guys battled and it worked out for us.”

Both Gamecock starting pitcher Blake Cooper and Oklahoma starter Zach Neal had quality starts and kept each of their respective teams in position to win the game. Cooper worked 5.2 innings allowing just one run on four hits with six strikeouts and two walks. Neal lasted seven-plus inning and yielded one run on five hits with seven strikeouts and a walk. Cooper made his 19th start of the year, the most by any pitcher in the country. He has a 2-1 record with a 2.52 ERA in four NCAA Tournament starts with Thursday’s no-decision.

The Sooners broke ahead 1-0 in the top of the second inning. Ogle led off with a single and after a one-out walk to Cameron Seitzer would score on a RBI base hit to right center off the bat of Caleb Bushyhead. With runners on the corners, Carolina starter Blake Cooper escaped further damage as he was able to get Danny Black to ground out into a 3-6 double play limiting Oklahoma to just one run in the frame. The Gamecocks looked to score in the bottom of the fifth inning loading the bases on a two-out walk to Kyle Enders, a double by Bobby Haney and a hit by pitch against Scott Wingo. Neal worked himself out of the jam, as he was able to coax Evan Marzilli into fouling out to third baseman Garrett Buechele. Carolina would touch Neal for a run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Evan Marzilli led off with a double off the wall in left field and scored on Christian Walker’s one-out RBI single.

The relief efforts by both teams was strong as neither team could muster the run until the dramatic 12th inning. Michael Roth worked 1.1 scoreless innings, John Taylor had one scoreless inning of relief and Matt Price had a strong three innings of relief with five strikeout for Carolina. Jeremy Erben was equally effective in four scoreless innings for Oklahoma as he allowed just two hits and one walk.

South Carolina finished with a 10-5 advantage in hits. Walker led the way with a 3-for-5 day at the plate. Marzilli also had two hits. Ogle finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored for Oklahoma.

Bradley’s single in the 12th inning extended his hitting streak to 19 games. He is now 6-for-13 in the CWS; his seven RBI is the most by any player in the 2010 CWS. South Carolina is now 4-1 in extra inning games this year. South Carolina’s pitching staff finished with 14 strikeouts on the night, the 24th time this season that Carolina has struck out 10 or more batters.

South Carolina senior pitcher Michael Roth was named SEC Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and junior first baseman Christian Walker earned first-team All-SEC honors, as the league announced its annual baseball honors on May 28.

A total of seven Gamecocks received recognition. Junior relief pitcher Matt Price was a second team All-SEC selection, while outfielder Tanner English, shortstop Joey Pankake and catcher Grayson Greiner made the All-Freshman Team. Roth and junior outfielder Evan Marzilli also garnered All-Defensive Team accolades.

Roth adds to his already lengthy list of honors for his efforts on the field and in the classroom, as he is also the 2012 SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, one of 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award and is on the Golden Spikes Award watch list.

This marks the third-consecutive season Walker has earned All-SEC accolades, as he was named to the second team and earned All-Defensive honors last season and was an All-Freshman Team selection in 2010. Price becomes a three-time All-SEC honoree as he was a first-team selection last season and garnered second-team honors in 2010. English, Pankake and Greiner have all turned in stellar freshman campaigns for the Gamecocks.

Senior left-hander Michael Roth is 6-1 with a 2.68 ERA in 16 starts with 107.1 innings pitched. He has 76 strikeouts to 35 walks and opponents are batting just .215 against him. He ranks third in earned run average, fourth in innings pitched and fifth in opposing batting average in the conference. In SEC games, Roth went 3-1 with a 3.43 ERA. He hurled 65.2 innings in 10 league starts.

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.

Roth has a career record of 23-6 at South Carolina. He has 90 career appearances as a Gamecock, second only to current teammate Matt Price. He also has hurled 324.2 innings in his career, just four innings shy of the Top 10 career list.

Top 10 Career Innings Pitched List at South Carolina482.0   Kip Bouknight (1998-2001)377.0   Blake Cooper (2007-10)370.0   Aaron Rawl (2002-05)361.1   Jason Haynie (1993-96)350.2   Matt Threehouse (1989-93)345.0   Rich Pratt (1990-93)340.1   Dennis Lubert (1979-82)340.1   Greg Ward (1972-75)330.0   Tim Lewis (1973-76)328.2   Earl Bass (1972-75)-----------------------------------------------324.2   Michael Roth (2009-present)

Junior right-hander Matt Price is 4-4 on the year with a 3.68 ERA in 22 games with 10 saves. Nine of his 10 saves have come against SEC teams this year. Opponents are batting just .198 against him, second best mark in the league. Price picked up a save in the 5-3 win over Auburn at the SEC Tournament.

Price is the all-time saves leader at South Carolina with 40 as well as appearances with 96 for the Garnet & Black. Price is just one save shy of the SEC record of 41 set by Joshua Fields of Georgia (2005-08).

Top 10 Career Saves List in NCAA Division I History53  Blair Erickson, UC Irvine (2004-07)49  Jack Krawczyk, Southern California (1995-98)48  Tom Hickox, Stetson (1988-91)46  Gabe Gonzalez, Long Beach State (1992-95)44  Marc Bluma, Wichita State (1996-99)43  Casey Lambert, Virginia (2004-07)43  Daniel Latham, Tulane (2004-07)41  Joshua Fields, Georgia (2005-08)41  Huston Street, Texas (2002-04)41  Thad Chrismon, North Carolina (1992-95)-------------------------------------------------------40  Matt Price, South Carolina (2009-present)

South Carolina is 14-12 in one-run games this year. South Carolina is also 27-14 in games decided by three runs or less, 68 percent of games played this year.

South Carolina is tied with LSU in the SEC in fielding with a .980 fielding percentage. The Gamecocks also lead the conference on the mound in opposing batting average at .224. The Gamecocks 3.14 ERA is fourth best in the league. South Carolina is hitting .271 as a team with a .358 on-base percentage.

Junior first baseman Christian Walker continues to be productive for the Gamecocks. Walker hit his team-leading 11th homer in the 7-0 win over Manhattan in the NCAA Super Regional.

He continues to lead the Gamecocks in hitting with a .319 average (67-for-210) 44 runs scored, 11 doubles, two triples, 11 homers and 53 RBI. Walker has a .447 on-base percentage and a .548 slugging percentage.

In SEC games, Walker was also among the best as he ranks first in walks (28), second in runs scored (28), second in on-base percentage (.463), tied for second in home runs (7), tied for second in runs batted in (25), third in slugging percentage (.578) and sixth in total bases (59). Walker is up to 238 career hits for the Garnet & Black, seven hits shy of Hank Small (1972-75) for 10th on the All-Time hits list at South Carolina.

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 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.

Top 10 Career Hits List at South Carolina303 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)238     Christian Walker (2010-present)

Walker is also tied for 10th on the All-Time singles list at South Carolina with 159 in his three-year career.

Top 10 Career Singles List at South Carolina209 Drew Meyer (2000-02)201 Michael Campbell (2003-06)198 Mac White (1991-94)194 Whit Merrifield (2008-10)191 Andrew Crisp (2005-09)176 Derick Urquhart (1995-98)172 Greg Jonson (1977-80)165 Dave Willman (1989-92)162 Mike Curry (1996-98)159 Christian Walker (2010-present)159 Landon Powell (2001-04)

Senior outfielder Adam Matthews was named 2012 Columbia Regional MVP after hitting .385 with a homer, four runs scored and six RBI. Matthews had three RBI in the 7-0 win over Manhattan, hit a two-run homer in the 5-4 win over Clemson and tallied a RBI single in the 4-3 victory over the Tigers.

Matthews collected three hits in the 5-3 win vs. Auburn at the SEC Tournament that tied a season-high. Matthews also went 3-for-4 with a RBI double in the 5-4 win over LSU with two stolen bases a few weeks ago.

He was stellar in the outfield in the Arkansas series with two key assists in Sunday’s 10-7 victory over the Razorbacks. Matthews threw out a runner attempting to score on a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning and threw out a runner trying to score off a base hit from second base in the seventh inning. He also drove in the first run of the game for the Gamecocks with a two-out RBI single on Sunday in the seventh inning in the Gamecock victory. Matthews has four assists from the outfield this year.

Matthews hit a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to help lift South Carolina to a 1-0 win over the Crimson Tide. Matthews followed that up with a solo home run in the 12-11 win. Three of Matthews’ four home runs have come in SEC play. Matthews hit .271 in league games (26-for-96).

Junior right-hander Colby Holmes carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning of the 7-0 win over Manhattan. He struck out a career-high nine batters and yielded just one hit in the outing to earn the victory. He was named to the NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team.

Holmes is 7-1 on the year with a 3.00 ERA in 69.0 innings pitched with 58 strikeouts to just 13 walks.

Freshman shortstop Joey Pankake was named to the NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team and has moved his batting average to .286 (58-for-203) with 40 runs scored, a team-high 15 doubles, three triples, two homers and 25 RBI. He has a .380 on-base percentage.

Pankake had a two-run single in the 12-5 win over Auburn. He also scored two runs in the 11-7 win on Sunday. Pankake gave the Gamecocks some insurance in the 6-4 win over Mississippi State with a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning. Pankake, who moved to the leadoff role that weekend, 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 outfielder Evan Marzilli continues to show why he is one of the best defensive outfielders in the country with several key catches and diving grabs all over the field throughout the season. He has four assists on the year from the outfield and was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team.

Marzilli tallied three hits and a run scored in the 5-4 win over Clemson. He is hitting .288 (68-for-236) and is tied for sixth in the SEC in runs scored with 50. He has a .371 on-base percentage as well.

Marzilli is tied for the school’s single-season record of eight sacrifice flies. Marzilli is tied with Jim Curl (1981) and Jim Pankovits (1974)

Marzilli had two sacrifice flies for the weekend series vs. the Crimson Tide as well as a sacrifice fly vs. Davidson and now leads the team with seven for the season, one short of the school single-season record of eight. Marzilli also leads the Gamecocks with eight stolen bases. He stole a base and scored two runs in the 9-1 win on Saturday vs. Alabama.

Marzilli reached base in the first 31 games of the 2012 season but saw his streak snap in the 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.

Junior second baseman Chase Vergason made the NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team after recording a .538 on-base percentage with four walks and three hits. He also drove in a pair of runs.

Vergason has been strong as of late as he went 4-for-9 (.444) in the SEC Tournament at the plate. He also hit .500 (5-for-10) in the Arkansas series with a .545 on-base percentage and a 1.000 slugging percentage with a homer, two doubles, three runs scored and three RBI.

Vergason hit .245 in SEC games (13-for-53) with a .406 on-base percentage in the league as well. For the season he is batting .250 (26-for-104) with a .403 overall on-base percentage.

LB LIGHTS IT UP – #FearTheFish
Junior third baseman LB Dantzler made the NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team after hitting .400 (4-for-10) including a walk-off RBI single in the 12th inning of the 5-4 win over Clemson.

Dantzler is hitting .260 (60-for-231) with 12 doubles, nine homers and 44 RBI. His nine homers is eighth best in the SEC with his RBI total 10th best in the conference. In SEC games, Dantzler has six homers and 24 RBI.

Dantzler hit a solo home run in the 3-0 win over Georgia and had a two-run double in the ninth inning of the 6-5 loss to the Bulldogs on Saturday.

Dantzler had a clutch bat in the Auburn series as he went 5-for-13 (.385) with five runs scored, two homers and four RBI. His slugging percentage was .923. Dantzler belted a two-run homer in the 5-3 win on Saturday. He added three hits, three runs scored a RBI double and a homer in the 11-7 win over the Tigers on Sunday. 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.

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.

Freshman outfielder Tanner English leads the Gamecocks with 21 multi-hit games and is second on the team in batting average with a .307 mark (66-for-215). He also has nine stolen bases. He has a team-high four triples as well.

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.

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 left-hander Tyler Webb is tied for eighth all-time for appearances in a single season at South Carolina with 33 on the year. Webb is 5-1 with a 2.01 ERA and has 46 strikeouts to just 11 walks in 44.2 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting just .234 against him.

Top 10 Single-Season Appearances List at South Carolina50  John Taylor (2011)37  Michael Roth (2010)37  Chad Blackwell (2004)37  Blake Taylor (2002)36  Matt Price (2011)36  Lee Gronkiewicz (2001)36  Craig Ross (1994)33  Tyler Webb (2012)33  Jose Mata (2010)32  Scott Barber (2000)

Freshman left-hander Jordan Montgomery is 5-1 with a 4.05 ERA in 66.2 innings with 51 strikeouts to just nine walks. He was named to the NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team after allowing just two runs on five hits in 6.2 innings with six strikeouts in the 4-3 victory over Clemson.

Montgomery won his first SEC road start with his third victory in league play in the 5-3 win vs. Auburn. He allowed two runs on six hits in 5.1 innings with one walk and one strikeout.

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.

Freshman right-hander Evan Beal picked up the win in the 5-4 victory over Clemson after 1.1 perfect innings with two strikeouts.

Beal is 4-4 on the year with a 3.83 ERA in 26 appearances with 52 strikeouts in 47.0 innings and opponents batting .201 against him.

Beal pitched two scoreless innings in the 2-1 win over Davidson and followed that up with three scoreless innings of relief in the 8-6 win over Arkansas to earn the win.

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.

South Carolina is among the nation leaders in attendance. South Carolina has totaled 278,905 in attendance for 37 home games for an average of 7,537.

The Gamecocks own a 125-26 (.828) record since opening the facility on Feb. 21, 2009.