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April 28, 2016

Game Information

Dates: Fri. April 29/Sat. April 30/Sun. May 1

First Pitch: 7 p.m./7 p.m./1:30 p.m.

Location: Columbia, S.C.

Stadium: Founders Park

Television: Friday – SEC Network (Dave Neal & Ben McDonald)
Saturday & Sunday – SEC Network Plus (Derek Scott, Trey Dyson & Caroline Cann)

Radio: 107.5 The Game & The Gamecock Radio Network (Andy Demetra & Tommy Moody);

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The top two teams in the Southeastern Conference meet in Columbia this weekend with South Carolina (33-8, 14-4 SEC) hosting Florida (36-6, 13-5 SEC) First pitch for the opener on Friday is 7 p.m. with Saturday’s game also at 7 p.m. and Sunday’s series at 1:30 p.m.

Friday night’s game will be televised on the SEC Network with the Saturday and Sunday contests on SEC Network Plus. All three games can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”

South Carolina is ranked No. 2 by Collegiate Baseball, No. 5 in the USA Today Coaches poll, No. 6 by Baseball America, No. 7 by D1Baseball and the NCBWA and No. 8 by Perfect Game. Florida is the consensus No. 1 team in the nation in all six major polls.


South Carolina – Clarke Schmidt (So. RHP) 8-1, 2.04 ERA, 70.2 IP, 12 BB, 85 SO
Florida — Logan Shore (Jr. RHP) 8-0, 2.14 ERA, 63.0 IP, 9 BB, 63 SO

South Carolina – Braden Webb (Fr. RHP) 8-2, 3.28 ERA, 57.2 IP, 33 BB, 76 SO
Florida — A.J. Puk (Jr. LHP) 2-2, 3.07 ERA, 41.0 IP, 16 BB, 55 SO

South Carolina – Adam Hill (Fr. RHP) 6-0, 2.57 ERA, 49.0 IP, 17 BB, 58 SO
Florida — Alex Faedo (So. RHP) 8-1, 3.32 ERA, 59.2 IP, 12 BB, 81 SO


South Carolina went 4-0 last week with a win at Furman and a three-game sweep of Missouri. The Gamecocks are 33-8 and 14-4 in the SEC. The Gamecocks are in first place in the SEC, one game ahead of Florida.


Junior outfielder Gene Cone earned National Player of the Week honors by Collegiate Baseball as well as SEC Player of the Week accolades for his performance in the Missouri series.

Cone went 10-for-12 (.833) at the plate this weekend in a sweep of Missouri with six RBI and seven runs scored. Cone capped the weekend going 5-for-5, just a homer shy of the cycle and drove in three runs in the 9-2 victory over Missouri while setting a school record with a 27-game hitting streak, surpassing the previous mark of 26 set by Whit Merrifield in the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

Cone’s 27-game hitting streak is the longest active streak in Division I baseball and is two shy of the longest this season by a Division I player. During the hitting streak, Cone has hit .411 (44-for-107) with 16 RBI, 31 runs scored and a .500 on-base percentage. He has also reached base in 30 straight games, tied for the longest mark this year in the SEC with Anfernee Grier of Auburn.

He was 3-for-4 with two runs scored with three RBI including a key two-out two-run double to give the Gamecocks the lead for good in Friday’s 8-5 win over the Tigers. He was also 2-for-3 with two runs scored in the 5-1 win over Missouri. Cone’s 10 hits were the most in a weekend series by a Gamecock player since Christian Walker went 10-for-11 at Mississippi State April 22-24 and the most ever by a Gamecock player in Founders Park history (dating back to 2009).

For the season, Cone is batting .377 (49-for-130) with two homers, two triples, nine doubles, 18 RBI and 37 runs scored. He has 24 walks to 14 strikeouts, a .457 on-base percentage and a .523 slugging mark. Cone ranks fourth in the SEC in on-base percentage, fifth in batting average and tied for 10th in runs scored.

In 18 SEC games, Cone has been even better as he owns a .457 batting average (32-for-70) with a pair of homers, a triple, seven doubles, 10 RBI and 26 runs scored. Cone’s league on-base percentage is .558 with a league slugging mark of .671. Cone’s SEC-only batting average is second-best in the conference as is his on-base percentage with slugging third-highest. Cone has scored the most runs in SEC games also.


South Carolina sophomore right-hander Clarke Schmidt and freshman right-hander Braden Webb are two of 60 players named to USA Baseball’s 60-player midseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List as as announced on Wednesday.

Sponsored by Major League Baseball and presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, the 39th Golden Spikes Award will be presented on June 30 in Los Angeles. ESPN will once again serve as the programming sponsor for the Golden Spikes Award.

On Wednesday, June 1, USA Baseball will announce the semifinalists for the 2016 Golden Spikes Award. The list of semifinalists will be sent to a voting body consisting of past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of the media that follow amateur baseball closely, select professional baseball personnel, current USA Baseball staff and the 38 previous winners of the award, representing a group of more than 200 voters. Amateur baseball fans across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalists at from June 1-8. On Monday, June 13, USA Baseball will announce the finalists for the award, and fan voting will once again commence that same day. Fan voting for the finalists will end on Saturday, June 25.


Despite a no-decision in Friday’s 8-5 win over Missouri, sophomore right-hander Clarke Schmidt still sits atop many of the top categories in the SEC and the nation.

Schmidt is 8-1 on the year with a 2.04 ERA. He has allowed 19 runs, 16 earned, on 62 hits with 12 walks and 85 strikeouts in 70.2 innings. Opponents are batting .235 against him. Schmidt leads the SEC in innings pitched and is one of four pitchers in the SEC with eight wins on the year including teammate Braden Webb. Schmidt also leads the SEC in strikeouts and is fourth in the SEC in earned run average.

Schmidt’s four SEC wins is tied for second in the SEC with his 53 strikeouts, second-most by a pitcher in league games, just two behind teammate Braden Webb. His league ERA of 3.19 is 10th-best in the conference.

He pitched his second career complete game and his first in nine innings to earn the win in a 3-1 victory at Georgia in the series opener. Schmidt allowed just one run on five hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts to pick up the victory.

Schmidt was named National Co-Pitcher of the Month for March as announced by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA). Schmidt won four games last month and struck out 46 batters in 37.0 innings pitched with a 2.19 ERA. Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport.


Freshman right-hander Braden Webb improved to 8-2 with a victory in Saturday’s 5-1 win over Missouri. Webb allowed one run on four hits with 10 strikeouts. Webb is the only SEC pitcher this year to win five wins in league contests. Webb’s 55 strikeouts in six SEC games are also the most by a pitcher in the conference. For the season, he is 8-2 with a 3.28 ERA and has allowed 26 runs, 21 earned, on 40 hits in 57.2 innings. He has 76 strikeouts to 33 walks; opponents are hitting .193 against him. Webb is one of four pitchers in the SEC including teammate Clarke Schmidt with eight wins on the year. His .193 opponents batting average is fourth-best in the SEC as is his 76 strikeouts.

Webb has been named SEC Freshman of the Week twice this year. Webb struck out 11 batters in eight scoreless innings and limited third ranked Vanderbilt to just two hits in a 4-0 win. Fresh off 14 strikeouts vs. Ole Miss, Webb was masterful not allowing a hit until a two-out double in the sixth inning and just two in the contest. Webb’s eight innings tied a season-high for innings pitched that he set at Ole Miss. Webb was also National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball for his performance at Ole Miss. In the Ole Miss game, 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. 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.


Junior outfielder Alex Destino hit .462 (6-for-13) in the Missouri series with six RBI. Destino went 2-for-4 with four RBI in Saturday’s 5-1 win and followed that up 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI in the 9-2 victory over the Tigers on Sunday.

Destino is hitting .354 (51-for-144) for the year with four homers, 10 doubles, 23 runs scored and 38 RBI. He has a .390 on-base percentage and a .507 slugging mark. Destino ranks 10th in the SEC in both batting average and runs batted in. He has hit .377 (20-for-53) with 14 RBI in 15 SEC contests. Destino’s .377 league clip is seventh-highest in the SEC.

Destino’s top 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 a 16-5 win over Penn State.


Freshman right-hander Adam Hill earned a win in Sunday’s 9-2 victory over Missouri as he pitched 6.1 scoreless innings with just four hits allowed, a walk and eight strikeouts. It was his longest outing of the season. He is now 6-0 on the year with a 2.57 ERA. Hill has allowed 14 runs, all earned, on 36 hits in 49.0 innings with 58 strikeouts to 17 walks. Opponents are hitting .209 against him. Hill ranks tied for sixth in the SEC in wins, ninth in opposing batting average, 12th in ERA and 13th in strikeouts.

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.


Sophomore infielder Jonah Bride hit .500 (6-for-12) in the Missouri series. Bride was 3-for-4 with a RBI in the 8-5 win over Missouri and 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored in a 5-1 win over the Tigers.

Bride has raised his season batting average to .281 (41-for-146) with six doubles, 18 RBI and 31 runs scored. He has a .409 on-base percentage with 18 walks and 15 hit by pitches. Bride has made just one error in 41 starts at third base and is fielding .987 at the hot corner.


Junior outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams has stayed among the top hitters in the SEC. Thompson-Williams is hitting .329 (49-for-149) with four homers, three triples, 12 doubles, 32 RBI and 35 runs scored. He has a .439 on-base percentage and a team-best .530 slugging mark.

Thompson-Williams tied a school record with three doubles and added a triple to go along with three RBI in the 14-4 win at Furman on Wednesday. He also had a RBI in Friday’s 8-5 win over Missouri and doubled and scored two runs in the 5-1 win vs. the Tigers.

He has walked a team-high 28 times, sixth-best in the league and ranks tied for seventh in the SEC in doubles as well as tied for 12th in runs scored and 14th in on-base percentage. His 15 stolen bases tie him for seventh in the SEC as well.


Junior left-hander Josh Reagan picked up his 11th save of the year with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief and just one walk allowed in the 5-1 win over Missouri.

Reagan leads the SEC in saves and is 1-1 with a 0.82 ERA in 20 relief appearances. Reagan has allowed just three runs on 16 hits in 33.0 innings with 10 walks and 28 strikeouts. Opponents are batting .144 against him.

Reagan, Schmidt & Webb have been named to College Baseball Hall of Fame’s National Pitcher of the Year Award Watch List.


Sophomore catcher John Jones is hitting .316 (50-for-158) with 33 runs scored, 10 doubles, six homers and 39 RBI. He is at a .420 on-base percentage and a .494 slugging percentage. Jones’ 39 RBI leads the team and 10th-best in the SEC. Jones was-2-for-5 with a double and a RBI in the 8-5 win over Missouri and 2-for-5 with a RBI in the 9-2 win over the Tigers.

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 Tyler Johnson had a pair of quality relief outings out of the bullpen this weekend vs. Missouri. Johnson allowed just a solo home run and struck out four in 2.2 innings to earn his third save of the year in the 8-5 win over the Tigers and pitched 1.1 perfect innings of relief with two strikeouts in the 9-2 victory over Missouri. Johnson is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 17 relief appearances. He has 33 strikeouts to four walks in 28.0 innings, opponents hitting .212 against him.


Freshman outfielder TJ Hopkins was 4-for-5 with two RBI and three runs scored as well as a double and two stolen bases in the 14-4 win over Furman. Hopkins’ four hits were a season-high. He would also go 3-for-5 with two runs scored, two stolen bases and three RBI in the 9-2 victory over Missouri. Hopkins is hitting .352 (25-for-71) with 17 runs scored and 19 RBI in 26 games played with 19 starts.

Hopkins’ diving catch in right-center in the 10-6 loss at Vanderbilt was the No. 6 Play of the Day on ESPN”s SportsCenter. Hopkins went 2-for-4 in a 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.


Junior right-hander Reed Scott earned two victories in relief this week. Scott pitched 2.1 scoreless innings of relief with two strikeouts in the 14-4 win over Furman and had 0.2 scoreless in the 8-5 victory over Missouri.

Scott is 3-1 with a 3.30 ERA in 19 relief appearances with 30.0 innings pitched on the year.


Senior infielder Marcus Mooney hit 3-for-3 with three runs scored and three RBI in the 14-4 win over Furman. Mooney added four runs scored in the Missouri series including a pair in the 9-2 win on Sunday.

Mooney owns a .304 batting average (38-for-125) with 28 runs scored and 22 RBI. He has 15 walks, eight hit by pitches to 10 strikeouts and a .407 on-base percentage.


Senior infielder DC Arendas owns a .320 on-base percentage. Arendas has been stellar defensively in 40 games with 30 starts as he is fielding .986 with just two errors (one at shortstop, one at second base) in 139 chances with 54 putouts and 83 assists.


Junior right-hander Taylor Widener won his first game of the season in a 4-2 win over Coastal Carolina. Widener allowed two runs on two hits in five-plus innings with a walk and five strikeouts.

Widener tied a career-high with seven strikeouts and allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits in 4.2 innings in the 14-4 win over Furman. Widener has struck out 32 batters in 30.1 innings with opponents batting .248.


Freshman catcher Chris Cullen had a key two-out RBI single in Friday’s 3-1 win at Georgia. Cullen has driven in 11 of his 19 runs this year with two outs. Cullen is hitting .252 (26-for-103) for the year with 12 runs scored and 19 RBI. He has 12 walks and a .25 on-base percentage.


Freshman infielder LT Tolbert hit a two-run homer and tied a career-high with three RBI in a 7-6 win over Tennessee. Tolbert drove in a team-high four runs in the series vs. the Volunteers. Tolbert is hitting .226 (33-for-146) with 19 RBI, 22 runs scored and a .296 on-base percentage.


Sophomore infielder Madison Stokes has hit safely in all six games he has started. Stokes is batting .280 (7-for-25) since returning after a Jones fracture caused him to miss the first half of the season.


South Carolina has outscored its opponents this year 270-149 including 66-26 in the first two innings of play. The Gamecocks are 25-2 on the year when scoring first and 16-2 when scoring in the first inning.

South Carolina is 24-1 when out-hitting its opponent and 16-2 when hitting at least one home run. The Gamecocks are 31-0 when leading after the sixth inning. South Carolina is 12-4 in games decided by three runs or less.

Carolina has reached double-digits in hits in 18 games this year with a 18-0 record with 10 hits or more. Carolina’s 18 hits last Wednesday at Furman was one shy of the season-high by the team with the 16-hit performance vs. Missouri on Sunday tied for the most in a league game this year.


The Gamecocks own a team ERA of 3.21 on the year, fifth-best in the SEC with a .227 opponents batting average, third-best in the league. South Carolina has allowed 149 runs, 131 earned, on 308 hits with 139 walks to 397 strikeouts in 367.0 innings pitched.


South Carolina is hitting .296 (420-for-1417) as a team with a .386 on-base percentage and a .412 slugging percentage. The Gamecocks have hit 24 homers. Carolina is fielding .980 as a team with just 30 errors on the year, second-best in the conference.


Florida is 36-6 on the year with a 13-5 mark in the SEC. The Gators are hitting .293 (415-for-1415) as a team with a .984 fielding percentage and a 2.82 team ERA.

Junior first baseman Peter Alonso is the team’s leading hitter with a .347 average (52-for-150) with nine homers and 41 RBI. Six of his nine homers have come in SEC play. Sophomore infielder Dalton Guthrie is right behind him with a .345 average. Junior outfielder Buddy Reed is their top speedster with a .297 average and a team-high 19 stolen bases. Sophomore catcher Mike Rivera has added six homers with freshman Nelson Maldonado adding five homers also. Freshman infielder Jonathan India is the team’s leading hitter in SEC games with a .358 average (24-for-67) in 18 league contests.

On the mound, junior right-hander Logan Shore has been their top arm with an 8-0 record and a 2.14 ERA in 63.0 innings pitched. Sophomore right-hander Alex Faedo is right behind him 8-1 with a 3.32 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 59.2 innings. Shore and Faedo are tied with Clarke Schmidt and Braden Webb for the lead in both the nation and the SEC in wins. Junior left-hander A.J. Puk is 2-2 with a 2.76 ERA and has struck out 54 batters in 42.1 innings.