March 3, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. — College baseball’s premier rivalry is this weekend as South Carolina (9-0) meets Clemson (6-1) for three games in three different sites. The series opens on Friday at Founders Park with first pitch at 7 p.m.
Game two of the series shifts to Greenville and the Reedy River Rivalry contest at Fluor Field with first pitch at 2:30 p.m. The series concludes on Sunday in Clemson at Doug Kingsmore Stadium at 2 p.m.
Carolina has had success against Clemson in recent years winning 24 of the last 34 contests between the two schools dating back to the 2007 season. Friday’s game will be broadcast on SEC Network Plus with Saturday streamed on ClemsonTigers.com and Sunday’s game live on ESPN3.
All three games can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station 107.5 FM “The Game.” Andy Demetra, Derek Scott and Tommy Moody will have the call this weekend.
We encourage visitors to use public parking lots illustrated on the parking map. The cost is $5/$10 per vehicle. Fans can also park for free at Capital City Baseball Stadium and the Colonial Life arena and ride the shuttles for $3.00 round trip to and from the parking lots. We strongly recommend that fans use the Capital City Shuttle over the CLA shuttle for the convenience, spacious parking and less congestion.
Visitors who need handicap parking should park at the Capital City Baseball Stadium lot and ride the handicapped shuttle to the baseball stadium for $3.00
Please see link for additional information.
For the 2016 baseball season, the baseball shuttle will be operational at the Capital City Baseball Stadium and in Lot D of the Colonial Life Area parking lot. We strongly recommend that fans use the baseball shuttle from Capital City to Founders Park over the CLA shuttle for the convenience, spacious parking (800 spaces) and less congestion than at the arena. Please remember that at the arena shuttle, parking will be limited to 50 to 100 spaces because of the student demand for parking in this area. There is a high student demand Monday through Thursday that lasts until 7 p.m. because of classes. For GPS purposes, the address for Capital City Stadium is 300 Assembly St., Columbia, SC 29201.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUP
South Carolina – Clarke Schmidt (So. RHP) 2-0, 0.69 ERA, 13.0 IP, 5 BB, 14 SO
Clemson – Charlie Barnes (So. LHP) 1-0, 2.38 ERA, 11.1 IP, 4 BB, 14 SO
South Carolina – Braden Webb (Fr. RHP) 2-0, 1.80 ERA, 10.0 IP, 6 BB, 10 SO
Clemson – Clate Schmidt (Sr. RHP) 2-0, 3.00 ERA, 12.0 IP, 4 BB, 9 SO
South Carolina – Taylor Widener (Jr. RHP) 0-0, 1.86 ERA, 9.2 IP, 2 BB, 10 SO
Clemson — TBA
South Carolina is ranked No. 13 by D1Baseball, No. 15 by the NCBWA, No. 18 by Collegiate Baseball and No. 23 in the USA TODAY coaches poll. Clemson is unranked heading into the series this weekend.
PRICE AWARD & BRADLEY AWARD
For the 16th consecutive year, the Tom Price Award and Bob Bradley Award will be presented to the MVP for South Carolina and Clemson respectively. The presentation will be made at the end of Sunday’s game.
Both Price and Bradley had a tremendous positive influence on the baseball programs at Clemson and South Carolina as the school’s sports information directors.
Price passed away on Feb. 1, 2008 at the age of 81 after 45 years of service to the Gamecock program. Bradley passed away on Oct. 30, 2000. He served as the Tigers’ baseball athletic communications director for 45 years and still served as Clemson’s official scorer for most of the 2000 season.
South Carolina sophomore catcher John Jones earned National Player of the Week honors from Collegiate Baseball and SEC Co-Player of the Week after putting together arguably one of the greatest weekends at the plate in school history. Jones reached base in all 14 plate appearances vs. Penn State batting 1.000 (8-for-8) with six walks for an OBP of 1.000 as well.
Jones went 4-for-4 with a homer and four RBI in a 7-1 series-opening win vs. the Nittany Lions. He followed that up with a grand slam and tying a single-game school record with four walks in Saturday’s 16-5 victory vs. Penn State. In the series finale, Jones went 3-for-3 including a two-run single and a walk in the 4-2 win to sweep the series vs. Penn State. Jones’ slugging percentage for the weekend was 1.750 also.
In records going back to 1997, Jones is the only Gamecock in school history to start three games in a series and put up a 1.000 OBP, besting the previous mark of .875 set by Christian Walker in 2011 at Mississippi State as well as Walker’s .909 batting average (10-for-11). Jones’ six walks tied for the most by a Gamecock in a series since Scott Wingo’s six walks vs. Brown in 2010. Jones’ 10 RBI are the most by a Gamecock in a series since LB Dantzler drove in 10 vs. Albany vs. 2013. Jones’ 1.750 slugging percentage is the best in a series since Steven Neff’s 2.000 slugging mark vs. Arkansas in 2011.
For the season, Jones is hitting .581 (18-for-31) with two doubles, three homers, 12 runs scored, 19 RBI, a .690 on-base percentage and a .935 slugging mark. Jones leads the SEC in batting average and on-base percentage. Jones has six multi-hit games and six-multi-RBI games this season. Jones has driven in 11 of his 19 runs with two outs.
SCHMIDT OFF TO GOOD START
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Clarke Schmidt pitched seven scoreless innings and allowed just one walk and one hit while striking out eight batters in Friday’s 7-1 win over Penn State. Schmidt’s seven innings was the longest stint in his career with his eight strikeouts tying a career-high as well.
Schmidt is 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA and has a team-high 14 strikeouts in a team-high in 13.0 innings pitched. Opponents are batting .100 against him as he has allowed just one run on four hits in two starts. His opposing batting average is fourth-best in the SEC with an eighth-best ERA.
THAT WAS OFFENSIVE
After a .323 opening weekend, the Gamecocks were even better at the plate the second weekend with a .373 average (41-for-110) in the Penn State series. As a team, Carolina had a .449 on-base percentage and a .536 slugging mark.
For the season, South Carolina is hitting .341 (107-for-314) with a .446 on-base percentage and a .459 slugging mark. South Carolina’s OBP is second-best in the league with a third-best batting average as well. South Carolina is fielding .975 also.
The Gamecock pitching staff continues to succeed as the staff allowed just eight runs, six earned, on 19 hits in 27.0 innings vs. Penn State with 28 strikeouts.
The South Carolina pitching staff owns a team ERA of 1.67, second-best among all 14 SEC schools. The Gamecocks have allowed 19 runs, 15 earned, on 49 hits in 81.0 innings with 29 walks and 100 strikeouts. The Gamecocks lead the SEC with a .173 opposing batting average. South Carolina has allowed five runs or less in all nine games this year.
Sophomore first baseman Alex Destino homered twice including a grand slam homer and drove in seven runs, the most by any SEC player this year in a game in South Carolina’s 16-5 win over Penn State. He was also 3-for-4 with four RBI in last Wednesday’s win over Winthrop. Destino has started all nine games and has 12 RBI, second-most on the team this year and tied for ninth-most in the SEC.
JONAH WITH A JOLT
Sophomore infielder Jonah Bride is second on the team in on-base percentage at .561 with a team-high 13 runs scored. Bride is hitting .333 (9-for-27), has walked seven times with seven hit by pitches also. Bride leads the nation and the SEC in hit by pitch. He is tied for fifth in runs scored and is seventh in on-base percentage in the league. Bride is one of only two Gamecocks to have reached base in all nine games this year.
He was 2-for-4 with a RBI and three runs in the 16-5 win over Penn State and 1-for-3 with two runs scored in Sunday’s 4-2 win over the Nittany Lions.
CULLEN CATCHING ON
Freshman catcher Chris Cullen owns a six-game hitting streak and is batting .375 (9-for-24) for the season with four runs scored and seven RBI. Cullen went 2-for-4 with a double, a RBI and a run scored Tuesday night at the Citadel.
WEBB WITH A WIN
Freshman right-hander Braden Webb improved to 2-0 on the year with a win vs. Penn State in Saturday’s contest. He allowed two runs, both unearned on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts in five innings of work.
He has 10 strikeouts in 10.0 innings with opponents batting .114 against him. Webb’s opposing batting average is fifth-best in the league.
MOONEY IN THE MIDDLE
Senior infielder Marcus Mooney is hitting .333 (8-for-24) for the season with a .515 on-base percentage. Mooney has seven walks and two hit by pitches to one walk. He has scored eight runs and driven in six as well. Mooney also is tied for the team-lead with three doubles.
He went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI in Saturday’s 16-5 win over Penn State and 2-for-3 with a run in the 7-1 win over the Nittany Lions.
REAGAN FROM THE LEFT
Junior left-hander Josh Reagan pitched a perfect inning of relief to earn his third save on Tuesday night and the Citadel and pitched a scoreless inning for his second save in Sunday’s 4-2 win over Penn State.
Reagan has not allowed a run in four relief appearances and just one hit in 4.2 innings while striking out nine batters.
Junior right-hander Reed Scott picked up his first win of the season with 3.1 scoreless innings in Sunday’s 4-2 win over Penn State. Scott did not allow a hit, walked just one and had a strikeout to earn the victory.
Junior outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams has reached base in all nine games this year and is hitting .371 (13-for-35) for the season with 10 runs scored and five RBI. He has seven walks and a .488 on-base percentage.
He was 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored in Tuesday’s 6-3 win at The Citadel.
THE VERSATILE LT
Freshman infielder LT Tolbert went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a double in Sunday’s 8-1 win over Albany. He also went 2-for-3 with three RBI in the 16-4 win over Winthrop.
He has started seven of nine games with three starts at second base, two starts at designated hitter and single starts at first base and shortstop. Tolbert is hitting .300 (9-for-30) with six runs scored.
HILL ON THE MOUND
Freshman right-hander Adam Hill has been impressive in his first two career starts for the Garnet & Black. Hill is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and has allowed just five hits and two walks while striking out 19 batters in 11.0 innings pitched. Opponents are batting .143 against him.
Hill pitched five scoreless with three hits allowed, two walks and eight strikeouts to earn a win in the 6-3 victory at The Citadel. He earned his first career win the week before as he pitched six scoreless innings with just two hits allowed, no walks and 11 strikeouts in Carolina’s 5-0 victory over the Mountaineers.
South Carolina freshman outfielder TJ Hopkins has seen plenty of action in the two weeks with six starts in right field. Hopkins is hitting .263 (5-for-19) with a pair of runs scored, a homer and five RBI.
Hopkins had a three-run homer and four RBI in last Wednesday’s 16-4 win over Winthrop. Hopkins tied a single-game school record with two outfield assists on Opening Day. vs. Albany.
BOWERS BRINGS IT
All six outs recorded by junior right-hander Colie Bowers in Friday’s 7-1 win over Penn State were by strikeout. Bowers has eight strikeouts in 3.1 innings in a pair of relief appearances this year.
Bowers won his first career game with the Gamecocks after pitching 1.1 scoreless innings of relief with two strikeouts in the 8-1 win over Albany.
Senior infielder DC Arendas had two hits in Saturday’s 16-5 win over Penn State and followed that up with a 2-for-2 day with a run in Sunday’s 4-2 win over the Nittany Lions. Arendas has a .417 on-base percentage for the season.
Freshman right-hander Brandon Murray retired all eight batters he faced in Tuesday’s 6-3 win at The Citadel. Murray has not allowed a run in three relief appearances with opposing batters hit .188 against him.
Three different Gamecocks have started in center field in the first nine games.
Sophomore Clark Scolamiero has four starts and is hitting .308 (4-for-13) with a pair of runs scored and three RBI.
Junior Gene Cone has seen action in seven games with five starts including two in center. He is hitting .222 (4-for-18) with a pair of RBI and six runs scored.
Freshman Danny Blair also has three starts and seen action in six games. Blair had a career day going 3-for-5 with a double, a run scored and a RBI in Saturday’s 16-5 win over Penn State. He was 2-for-5 with a RBI double on Tuesday night at The Citadel.
As a team, South Carolina has reached double-digit in hits in six of nine games this year including a season-high 19 in Saturday’s 16-5 victory over Penn State. The Gamecocks’ 19 hits tied for third-highest by a Gamecock team in the Chad Holbrook era.
MORE FROM THE MOUND
Carolina pitchers have 100 strikeouts in 81.0 innings including a season-high 16 in last Tuesday’s win over Appalachian State. Six of the nine games has seen the Gamecocks reach 10 strikeouts or more. In addition, the Gamecocks have allowed four hits or less in five of nine games as well. South Carolina has allowed five runs or less in all nine games.
WIDENER SOLID IN FIRST START
Junior right-hander Taylor Widener allowed only one unearned run on two hits with no walks and six strikeouts in five innings of work in Sunday’s victory over Albany. Widener’s six strikeouts were one short of his career-high.
JOHNSON MAKES AN APPEARANCE
Sophomore right-hander Tyler Johnson has made four appearances through the first nine games. Johnson has struck out six batters in 2.2 innings pitched.