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March 30, 2016

Game Information

Dates: Thurs. Mar. 31/Fri. April 1/April 2

First Pitch: 8 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. ET/3 p.m. ET

Location: Nashville, Tenn.

Stadium: Hawkins Field

Broadcast:Thursday’s game will be televised on ESPNU, Friday’s game will be broadcast on SEC Network Plus and Saturday’s game will be televised on the SEC Network (Clay Matvick & Ben McDonald)
Radio: 107.5 The Game & The Gamecock Radio Network (Andy Demetra & Tommy Moody);

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina (23-3, 6-0 SEC) is back on the road for conference play with a three-game series at Vanderbilt (21-4, 4-2 SEC) beginning on Thursday night. First pitch for the opener is 8 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPNU. Game two of the series is set for Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network Plus. The series finale is Saturday at 3 p.m. on the SEC Network. All three games can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network as well including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”


South Carolina – Clarke Schmidt (So. RHP) 6-0, 1.29 ERA, 42.0 IP, 6 BB, 51 SO

Vanderbilt – Jordan Sheffield (So. RHP) 3-1, 2.21 ERA, 36.2 IP, 17 BB, 51 SO

South Carolina – Braden Webb (Fr. RHP) 5-1, 2.10 ERA, 34.1 IP, 19 BB, 42 SO
Vanderbilt – Kyle Wright (So. RHP) 4-0, 1.37 ERA, 26.1 IP, 8 BB 35 SO

South Carolina – Adam Hill (Fr. RHP) – 5-0, 1.91 ERA, 28.1 IP, 7 BB, 41 SO
Vanderbilt – TBA


Both teams are nationally ranked in every poll this week. South Carolina is ranked No. 2 by Collegiate Baseball, No. 5 by D1Baseball, No. 6 by the NCBWA and in the USA Today coaches poll, No. 7 by Baseball America and No. 8 by Perfect Game. Vanderbilt is ranked No. 3 by D1Baseball, No. 4 in the USA Today coaches poll, by Perfect Game and by the NCBWA and No. 6 by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.


South Carolina went 3-0 last week with a three-game series sweep at Ole Miss. The Gamecocks are in first place in the SEC and two games ahead of six teams for the top mark in the league. Carolina had a 13-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday in a 6-5 loss to College of Charleston in 13 innings.


South Carolina freshman right-handed pitcher Braden Webb has been named National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball and SEC Freshman of the Week after his outing on March 25 at Ole Miss. Webb struck out a career-high 14 batters and retired 17 consecutive batters in a row at one point as he earned the win in Friday’s 9-5 victory at Ole Miss.

After allowing three consecutive base runners to reach with one out in the first inning, Webb retired 17 in a row and 23 of 25 at one stretch to help lead the Gamecocks to victory. With the win he is now 5-1 on the year. Webb’s 14 strikeouts were the most by a Gamecock since Billy Buckner struck out 16 on March 6, 2004 vs. Clemson and one short of the school’s freshman record of 15 set by Brian Williams on May 29, 1988 vs. Georgia Tech. Along with a 5-1 record, Webb owns a 2.10 ERA in six starts with 13 runs allowed, eight earned, on 18 hits in 34.1 innings with 42 strikeouts and 19 walks. Opponents are hitting .148 against Webb. That opposing batting average ranks second best in the SEC. Webb has 24 strikeouts looking, which tops the league mark also.

Webb’s recognition is the fifth time this season a Gamecock has earned a weekly honor from the SEC. John Jones was SEC Co-Player of the Week on February 29 and SEC Player of the Week on March 21, Clarke Schmidt earned SEC Pitcher of the Week on March 7 and Adam Hill was SEC Freshman of the Week on March 14.


Junior outfielder Gene Cone had the top weekend at the plate for the Gamecocks at Ole Miss as he hit .462 (6-for-13) with four runs scored, three doubles, a homer and two RBI. He opened the weekend going 3-for-4 with a double, a homer two runs scored and a RBI in a 5-1 win over Ole Miss and followed that up going 2-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored in Friday’s 9-5 win and tallying a hit and a run scored in Saturday’s 4-0 victory. Cone is on a 12-game hitting streak.

He is hitting .324 (24-for-74) for the year with nine RBI and 18 runs scored. He has a .416 on-base percentage. Cone has hit .400 (10-for-25) in the league with nine runs scored vs. SEC opponents.


Sophomore catcher John Jones continues to lead the Gamecocks in several offensive categories and is among the league leaders as well. Jones is hitting .384 (38-for-99) with five doubles, six homers, 25 runs scored and 32 RBI. He has a team-high 18 walks and a .492 on-base percentage to go along with a .616 slugging percentage. Jones currently ranks tied for second in the SEC with home runs, fourth in runs batted in, fifth in on-base percentage and total bases, eighth in slugging percentage and tied for eighth in hits. Jones has 12 multi-hit games and a team-high 10 multi-RBI games. He has been on base in 22 straight games. Jones’ .417 batting average (10-for-24) in SEC play is also the best on the team.

Jones was named SEC Player of the Week on March 21 after hitting .500 (7-for-14) in the Arkansas series with a pair of game-winning home runs as well as eight runs batted in. Jones opened the series going 3-for-5 with a pair of run scored and a RBI in the 10-6 win. He followed that up with a two-run homer to break a 2-2 tied in the 6-2 win over Arkansas on Saturday. Jones capped the weekend off going 3-for-5 with a double and a game-winning three-rum homer in the bottom of the eighth inning that lifted Carolina to an 8-6 victory vs. the Razorbacks. Jones’ five RBIs in Sunday’s contest was a career-high as well.

That was Jones’ second conference award of the year as he was also Co-Player of the Week on February 29 after the Penn State series. 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 in the Penn State series. 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.


Sophomore right-hander Clarke Schmidt is one of only two pitchers in the SEC and one of only three pitchers in the nation with a 6-0 record. Schmidt allowed just one run on nine hits in 6.2 innings of work with no walks and eight strikeouts in Thursday’s 5-1 win over Ole Miss. Schmidt owns a 1.29 ERA and has allowed only six runs on 31 hits in 42.0 innings this year with six walks and 51 strikeouts. Opponents are batting .205 against him. Schmidt ranks second in the SEC in strikeouts and ERA as well as third in innings pitched.

Schmidt was named SEC Pitcher of the Week on March 7 after he struck out a career-high nine batters in eight scoreless innings in Friday’s 8-1 win over Clemson. Schmidt’s outing was the longest of his career. Schmidt also earned the Tom Price Award as MVP of the Gamecocks for the Clemson series.


Junior outfielder Alex Destino has a team-high 18-game hitting streak. He tied a single-game school record with three doubles in Tuesday’s 6-5 loss to College of Charleston. Destino is batting .352 (38-for-108) with 21 runs scored, seven doubles, four homers and 25 RBI.

Destino’s top two games this year included going 5-for-5 with four RBI in an 8-1 win vs. Clemson and 3-for-6 with a double, two homers, two runs and a career-high seven RBI in the 16-5 win over Penn State.


Junior outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams has reached base in all 26 games this year. Thompson-Williams is second on the team in hitting with a .367 average (36-for-98) with 30 runs scored, six doubles, two triples, four homers and 24 RBI. He has a .471 on-base percentage and a .592 slugging mark. Thompson-Williams is tied for fourth in the SEC with 30 runs scored. He is 12th in the SEC in slugging, 13th in the league in on-base percentage and 14th in hits and batting average.

He and John Jones are tied with a team-high 12 multi-hit games. Thompson-Williams leads the Gamecocks with 11 stolen bases as well. He drove in at least one run in each game vs. Ole Miss including a pair in Saturday’s 4-0 victory.


Junior left-hander Josh Reagan has allowed just one run in 22.0 innings of relief this year. He has a 1-0 record with seven saves in 13 relief appearances. Reagan has yielded just 10 hits and two walks and has 18 strikeouts. Opponents are batting .135 against him. His seven saves is best in the SEC and fifth best in the country.

Reagan made two relief appearances vs. Ole Miss. He worked 1.2 scoreless with a strikeout in Thursday’s 5-1 win to earn a save and retired both batters he faced in Friday’s 9-5 victory.


Freshman infielder LT Tolbert scored a pair of runs and tallied a RBI in Thursday’s 5-1 win over Ole Miss and followed that up with two more RBI in Friday’s 9-5 victory. Tolbert is hitting .260 (25-for-96) with 12 RBI and 17 runs scored. He has five doubles as well.


Sophomore right-hander Tyler Johnson put together a pair of scoreless outings out of the bullpen vs. Ole Miss. Johnson pitched 0.2 scoreless in a 5-1 win and retired all five batters he faced for his second save of the year in the 4-0 victory. He followed that up with 1.2 scoreless with three strikeouts on Tuesday vs. College of Charleston. Johnson has 21 strikeouts in 16.2 innings of relief with opponents batting .182 against him.


Freshman right-hander Adam Hill pitched six scoreless innings to earn the win in Saturday’s 4-0 series finale over Ole Miss. Hill is 5-0 on the year with a 1.91 ERA. He has allowed six runs on 20 hits in 28.1 innings with seven walks to 41 strikeouts. Opponents are batting .202 against him. Hill is tied for third in the SEC in wins, eighth in ERA, 12th in opposing batting average and tied for 13th in strikeouts. Hill’s 13.02 average for strikeouts per nine innings is seventh best in the nation.

Hill was named SEC Freshman of the Week after winning a pair of games the week of March 7-13 to improve to 4-0 on the year. In a predetermined split on March 8, Hill went three innings and allowed one run on three hits with no walks and five strikeouts in a 7-1 win over Wofford. He followed that up with 5.1 scoreless innings in March 13th’s 2-0 win over Charleston Southern. Hill allowed just four hits and one walk while striking out eight in the victory over CSU.


Senior infielder Marcus Mooney tied a career-high in hits in the middle of March going 4-for-5 in the 12-6 win over USC Upstate and 4-for-4 in Wednesday’s 10-6 win over Davidson.

He is hitting .313 (26-for-83) with 14 RBI and 18 runs scored. Mooney has a .424 on-base percentage with 11 walks, five hit by pitches and just four strikeouts.


Junior right-hander Reed Scott is right behind Reagan out of the bullpen with 11 relief appearances on the year. Scott pitched one scoreless inning of relief in a 10-6 win over Arkansas and 3.1 scoreless with a season-high three strikeouts in an 8-6 win over the Razorbacks. Scott is 1-1 with a 4.08 ERA. He has allowed eight runs on 19 hits in 17.2 innings.


Freshman catcher Chris Cullen hit .400 in the Ole Miss series including a 3-for-5 day at the plate with a run scored and two RBI in Friday’s 9-5 win. Cullen is hitting .300 (21-for-70) for the year with seven runs scored and 16 RBI. Eight of his 16 runs driven in have come with two outs.


Senior infielder DC Arendas has been smooth in the field with just one error and a .988 fielding percentage in 25 games played with 19 starts. Arendas’ only error came at shortstop on March 25 at Ole Miss. He has a .329 on-base percentage with 10 runs scored and 10 RBI.


Sophomore infielder Jonah Bride hit .333 (4-for-12) in the Ole Miss series with a pair of runs scored and three RBI. His top game was on Thursday in the 5-1 win going 2-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored as well as a double. Bride is hitting .264 (24-for-91) with 24 runs scored and 12 RBI. He continues to lead the SEC with 12 hit by pitches and has 13 walks with a 415 on-base percentage.


South Carolina freshman outfielder TJ Hopkins has seen some action with 11 starts in right field. Hopkins is hitting .341 (14-for-41) with seven runs scored, a homer and 10 RBI. Hopkins went 2-fore-4 in the 4-0 win at Ole Miss and made eight putouts in the outfield, one short of single-game school record by an outfielder. He tied a single-game school record with two outfield assists on Opening Day. vs. Albany.


South Carolina has outscored its opponents this year 189-72 including 50-13 in the first two innings of play. The Gamecocks are 19-0 on the year when scoring first and 12-0 when scoring in the first inning. South Carolina is 19-0 when out-hitting its opponent and 15-0 when hitting at least one home run. The Gamecocks are 22-0 when leading after the seventh inning. South Carolina is 6-2 in games decided by three runs or less. Carolina has reached double-digits in hits in 15 games this year with a 15-0 record with 10 hits or more.


South Carolina pitchers own a team ERA of 2.29 with opponents batting .209 against the Gamecocks. South Carolina has 257 strikeouts to 79 walks. South Carolina has allowed five runs or less in 23 of 26 games. Carolina’s ERA is best in the SEC and seventh best in the country. Also, the Gamecocks average 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings, sixth best in the country.


South Carolina is hitting .313 (287-for-917) as a team with a .402 on-base percentage and a .441 slugging percentage. The Gamecocks have hit 20 homers. Carolina is fielding .978 as a team with just 21 errors on the year, the 14th best fielding percentage in the country.


Vanderbilt enters the series with a 21-4 record and fresh off a weekend sweep at Missouri.

Sophomore outfielder Jeren Kendall has been the Commodores’ top hitter with a .347 average (35-for-101) with four homers, 27 RBI and 29 runs scored as well as a team-high 17 stolen bases. Junior outfielder Bryan Reynolds is the team’s top power hitter with six homers and 28 RBI to go along with a .319 average (30-for-94). Vanderbilt is hitting .300 as a team.

On the mound, the Commodores are led by sophomore right-hander Jordan Sheffield, who sports a 3-1 record with a 2.21 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 36.2 innings. Opponents are hitting .204 against him. Sophomore right-hander Kyle Wright is 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 26.1 innings. Vanderbilt has a team ERA of 2.66 with 279 strikeouts in 230.0 innings. They are fielding .978 as a team.


The Gamecocks lead the series history vs. Vanderbilt 53-28 including a series victory last year.

After falling 12-0 in the series opener, the Gamecocks won game two on the back of left-hander Jack Wynkoop, who hurled a complete game. Carolina then rallied to win the rubber game 3-2 to take the series. Carolina also took the last series the two teams played in Nashville two years ago winning two of three against the Commodores.