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May 9, 2016

Game Information

Date: Tues. May 10

First Pitch: 7 p.m.

Location: Columbia, S.C.

Stadium: Founders Park

Television: 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. — South Carolina (36-11) returns home to begin a five-game homestand on Tuesday night hosting Presbyterian (24-23). First pitch at Founders Park is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on SEC Network Plus and can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”

The Gamecocks lead the series history 45-19 over the Blue Hose, although PC earned a win in the last contest between the two schools, a 7-4 win in 10 innings last year in Columbia.


South Carolina is ranked No. 3 by Collegiate Baseball, No. 8 by Baseball America, Perfect Game and the USA Today Coaches poll, No. 9 by D1Baseball and No. 10 by the NCBWA.


South Carolina went 2-2 this past week with wins over USC Upstate and Kentucky. The Gamecocks are 36-11 and 16-7 in the SEC. The Gamecocks are tied for first place in the SEC with Florida with six games remaining in league play.


Junior outfielder Gene Cone’s school record hitting streak ended at 31 games in the 6-0 loss at Kentucky. Cone’s hitting streak is the longest in Division I baseball this year with his 34-game streak of reaching base safely the longest mark in SEC play.

Cone leads the Gamecocks with a .364 average (56-for-154) with 21 RBI and 39 runs scored as well as 11 doubles, two triples and three homers. He owns a .463 on-base percentage and a .519 slugging mark. Cone is fourth in the SEC in hitting and in on-base percentage.

Cone has saved his best for league play as he has hit .422 (38-for-90) in 23 SEC games with 12 RBI and 28 runs scored. He has 20 walks to seven strikeouts and a .527 on-base percentage in SEC games. His 28 runs scored in league games are the most by a SEC player this season. He is second in batting, on-base and slugging as well in league contests, third in hits and fourth in doubles.

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. 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).

During the 31-game hitting streak, Cone hit .402 (49-for-122) with 18 RBI, 33 runs scored, 11 doubles, two triples and three homers. His on-base percentage during the streak was .497 with a .598 slugging mark.


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 announced on Wednesday April 13.

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.


Sophomore right-hander Clarke Schmidt improved to 9-1 with a win in Friday’s 10-5 victory over Kentucky. Schmidt allowed five runs on eight hits in 6.2 innings with a walk and seven strikeouts.

Schmidt is 9-1 with a 2.37 ERA and has allowed 27 runs, 22 earned on 75 hits in 83.2 innings. He has 98 strikeouts and just 15 walks. Opponents are batting .238 against him. Schmidt is one of four pitchers in the SEC along with teammate Braden Webb and Florida right-handers Alex Faedo and Logan Shore to lead the SEC in wins. Schmidt also leads the SEC in strikeouts, is fourth in innings pitched and seventh in earned run average.

Schmidt sports a 5-1 SEC record with a 3.42 ERA in league games with 66 strikeouts to 10 walks in 55.1 innings pitched. Schmidt is tied for second in league games in wins and is second as well in strikeouts.

Schmidt was named National Co-Pitcher of the Month for March 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.


Despite a loss on Saturday vs. Kentucky, freshman right-hander Braden Webb is one of four pitchers in the SEC along with teammate Clarke Schmidt and Florida right-handers Alex Faedo and Logan Shore to lead the SEC in wins.

Webb is 9-3 with a 3.38 ERA. He has allowed 32 runs, 27 earned, on 51 hits in 72.0 innings. He has struck out 93 to 38 walks. Opponents are hitting .198 against him. Webb ranks second behind Schmidt in the SEC in strikeouts as well and is fifth in opposing batting average. Webb set a school for strikeouts in a season by a freshman at Kentucky as he increased his season total to 93 surpassing the previous record of 86 set by Jason Haynie in 1993 and tied by Kip Bouknight in 1998.

Webb has the most wins of any SEC pitcher this year in SEC only games also as he is 6-2 with a 3.98 ERA. He has also struck out a league-best 72 batters in eight SEC Games in 52.0 innings pitched.

Webb earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors for the third time this season after earning a win in a 2-1 victory over Florida. Webb allowed just one run on five hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in 7.1 innings vs. the Gators.

His second Freshman of the Week honor came after he struck out 11 batters in eight scoreless innings and limited third ranked Vanderbilt to just two hits in a 4-0 win. 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 and SEC Freshman of the Week for a first time in 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.


Both Webb and Schmidt’s SEC numbers are some of the best in school history. Webb’s six wins in league play are tied for sixth-highest in school history and are the most by a Gamecock pitcher since Michael Roth went 6-3 in the 2011 season. His 72 strikeouts in SEC play are also just four shy of the most ever by a Gamecock pitcher. Kip Bouknight struck out 76 batters in SEC play in 1999. Webb’s 72-strikeout total sits at third-highest with Schmidt’s 66-strikeout total tied for sixth-most as well.


A Gamecock has earned a weekly honor from the SEC eight times this year. Along with Webb’s three Freshman of the Week honors, 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, Adam Hill was SEC Freshman of the Week on March 14 and Gene Cone was SEC Player of the Week on April 25.


Sophomore outfielder Alex Destino homered twice this past week with a homer in the 4-1 win over USC Upstate and a home run as well as four RBI in the 10-5 win over Kentucky last Friday night.

Destino is hitting .345 (58-for-168) with six homers and 44 RBI on the year. He owns a .387 on-base percentage and a .524 slugging percentage as well. Destino is tied for eighth in RBI in the SEC and is 12th in batting average. He has hit .356 in SEC contests (26-for-73) with 10 runs scored and 20 RBI. Destino’s SEC only average is seventh best in the league with his RBI 10th best as well.

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 no-decision in Sunday’s 5-4 loss at Kentucky. He allowed three runs on two hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Hill is 6-0 with a 2.83 ERA. He has allowed 17 runs, all earned, on 38 hits in 54.0 innings. He has 64 strikeouts to 20 walks; opponents are batting .201 against him.

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 put together a pair of multi-hit games at Kentucky. Mooney was 2-for-5 with a RBI in the 5-4 loss and 2-for-3 with two runs scored in the 10-5 win. He also was 2-for-2 with a RBI in Wednesday’s 4-1 win vs. USC Upstate.

Mooney ranks fourth on the team with a .313 batting average (45-for-144) with 24 RBI and 30 runs scored. He owns a .416 on-base percentage and has 18 walks to 12 strikeouts. He is fielding .955 with just eight errors at shortstop on the year.


Junior left-hander Josh Reagan continues to lead the SEC with 11 saves on the year. He owns a 1.40 ERA in a team-high 23 relief appearances. Reagan has allowed six runs on 21 hits in 38.2 innings with opponents batting .158 against him. He has 36 strikeouts to 11 walks.

Reagan pitched 1.2 scoreless with a pair of strikeouts in the 10-5 win over Kentucky. He allowed one run on one hit with five strikeouts in three innings of the 5-4 loss to the Wildcats.

Reagan is on the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Midseason Watch List. In addition, he, Schmidt & Webb have been named to College Baseball Hall of Fame’s National Pitcher of the Year Award Watch List.


Sophomore infielder Jonah Bride is one of two Gamecocks alongside teammate Dom Thompson-Williams, who has started all 47 games this year. Bride hit his second homer of the year in the 5-4 loss at Kentucky. He was also 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI in the 10-5 win over the Wildcats.

Bride is hitting .266 (45-for-169) and has just one error with a .988 on-base percentage at third base.


Junior outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams holds the longest current Gamecock hitting streak at six games and he has also reached base safely in 14 straight contests. Thompson-Williams was 3-for-6 with a RBI in Sunday’s 5-4 loss to Kentucky, went 1-for-3 in the 6-0 loss on Saturday and was 1-for-4 with two runs scored in the 10-5 victory over Kentucky.

Thompson-Williams is one of two Gamecocks alongside Jonah Bride to have started all 47 games this year. He is hitting .328 (57-for-174) with 33 RBI and 39 runs scored. He leads the Gamecocks with 13 doubles and 16 stolen bases. He owns a .427 on-base percentage and a .506 slugging mark. He is eighth in the SEC in stolen bases on the year.

Thompson-Williams tied a school record with three doubles and added a triple to go along with three RBI in a 14-4 win at Furman.


Freshman catcher Chris Cullen tied a career-high in hits going 3-for-4 with a double in the 10-5 win over Kentucky. He was 3-for-4 with his first career homer, two doubles, a run scored and two RBI in a 5-4 loss to Florida.

Cullen has raised his season average to .266 (29-for-109) with 13 runs scored and 21 RBI. He also owns nine doubles on the year.


Sophomore right-hander Tyler Johnson pitched a perfect inning of relief with a strikeout to pick up his fifth save in Wednesday’s 4-1 win over USC Upstate. Johnson had a pair of quality relief appearances vs. Florida as he pitched 1.2 perfect innings with a strikeout in a 5-4 loss and followed that up with 1.2 scoreless innings with three strikeouts for his fourth save of the year in the 2-1 victory over the Gators.

Johnson is 1-2 with a 3.31 ERA in 21 relief appearances. He has 38 strikeouts to five walks in 35.1 innings, opponents are hitting just .194 against him. His four league saves is tied with teammate Josh Reagan for third-highest in SEC-only games. 12 of his 21 relief appearances this year are also against SEC opponents.


Freshman outfielder TJ Hopkins is hitting .316 (25-for-79) with 18 runs scored and 19 RBI in 27 games played with 19 starts.

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’ 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.


Sophomore catcher John Jones is hitting .298 (51-for-171) with 34 runs scored, 10 doubles, six homers and 39 RBI. He is at a .410 on-base percentage and a .462 slugging percentage. Jones’ 39 RBI is second-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.


Junior right-hander Reed Scott is 3-1 with a 3.13 ERA in 21 relief appearances with 31.2 innings pitched on the year.

Scott earned two victories in relief three weeks ago. 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.


Senior infielder DC Arendas owns a .318 on-base percentage. Arendas has been stellar defensively in 45 games with 31 starts as he is fielding .986 with just two errors (one at shortstop, one at second base) in 148 chances with 59 putouts and 87 assists.


Junior right-hander Taylor Widener earned the win in Wednesday’s 4-1 victory over USC Upstate with 3.2 scoreless innings of work. Widener retired 11 batters in a row before allowing a walk and struck out four batters to improve to 2-2 for the season. Widener won his first game of the season in a 4-2 win over Coastal Carolina on April 5 when he 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 36 batters in 34.0 innings with opponents batting .227.


Freshman infielder LT Tolbert hit a homer and added a sac fly in the 10-5 win at Kentucky. Tolbert drove in a team-high four runs in the series vs. Tennessee as well. Tolbert is hitting .217 (36-for-166) with 22 RBI, 25 runs scored and a .290 on-base percentage.


Sophomore infielder Madison Stokes has hit safely in 10 of 12 games he has started. Stokes is batting .273 (12-for-44) since returning after a Jones fracture caused him to miss the first half of the season. He had a key two-run single in the eighth inning of the 4-1 win over USC Upstate and tied a career-high with three hits and a double in the 5-4 loss at Kentucky.


South Carolina has outscored its opponents this year 294-172 including 69-33 in the first two innings of play. The Gamecocks are 26-3 on the year when scoring first and 16-3 when scoring in the first inning. South Carolina is 26-3 when out-hitting its opponent and 18-4 when hitting at least one home run. The Gamecocks are 32-1 when leading after the sixth inning. South Carolina is 13-6 in games decided by three runs or less. Carolina has reached double-digits in hits in 20 games this year with a 19-1 record with 10 hits or more.


The Gamecocks own a team ERA of 3.22 on the year, fourth-best in the SEC with a .222 opponents batting average, second-best in the league. South Carolina has allowed 172 runs, 151 earned, on 346 hits with 153 walks to 455 strikeouts in 422.0 innings pitched.


South Carolina is sixth in the SEC in hitting with a team average of .290 (469-for-1616) as well as a .380 on-base percentage and a .412 slugging percentage. The Gamecocks have hit 30 homers. Carolina is fielding .981 as a team with just 32 errors on the year, second-best in the conference.