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-South Carolina leads the all-time series 40-33.
-The Gamecocks and the Volunteers first met in 1912.
-Last season, South Carolina won two out of three in Knoxville against the Volunteers. Tennessee won the opener 9-5 on Friday night. The Gamecocks rallied from an eight-run deficit with nine runs in the final three innings in the second game to win 15-12. In the series rubber game, the Gamecocks hit five home runs en route to a 15-6 win.
-Whit Merrifield was 7-for-11 (.636) in South Carolina's two wins against the Vols last year. In Saturday's game he was 5-for-6 with four RBI. On Sunday, he hit an inside the park home run and drove in three runs.
Probable Starting PitchersFridaySouth Carolina
- Sr. RHP Blake Cooper: 3-0, 3.28 ERA, 24.2 IP, 9 BB, 24 SOTennessee
- Jr. LHP Bryan Morgado: 2-1, 5.16 ERA, 22.2 IP, 11 BB, 29 SOSaturdaySouth Carolina
- Jr. RHP Sam Dyson: 1-0, 6.23 ERA, 17.1 IP, 4 BB, 22 SOTennessee
- Sr. RHP Aaron Tullo: 0-0, 3.52 ERA, 7.2 IP, 5 BB, 7 SOSundaySouth Carolina
- Fr. LHP Tyler Webb: 0-1, 3.45 ERA, 15.2 IP, 6 BB, 17 SOTennessee
- Sr. RHP Stephen McCray: 2-1, 0.73 ERA, 24.2 IP, 5 BB, 15 SOTeam Notes & Numbers
-South Carolina is hitting .310 as a team with a .971 fielding percentage and a 3.74 team ERA.
-The Gamecock pitching staff leads the SEC with 183 strikeouts. In addition, the staff leads the league in opponent batting average as teams are hitting just .214 off South Carolina pitchers.
-Whit Merrifield is among the league leaders in several offensive categories - ranking 1st in total plate appearances (86), 1st in at bat (74), 2nd in runs scored (23), 5th in hits (26) and 10th in total bases (40). Merrifield is just six hits shy of the 200 career hit mark at Carolina. Only 22 players in school history have tallied 200 or more hits.
-Junior infielder Scott Wingo has been productive offensively with a .579 on-base percentage (second in the league) and is batting .378 with 2 HR and 11 RBI.
-Eight Gamecock pitchers have earned victories in the first 13 wins of the season. Blake Cooper leads the team with three wins. Sophomore Michael Roth leads the team and the SEC in appearances with nine.
-Newcomer Adrian Morales has been consistent at the plate, batting .319 with 11 runs scored, 14 RBI and a .424 on-base percentage.
Quotes from Coach Tanner's Thursday media sessionOn Tennessee's Friday starter, Bryan Morgado:
He's a power guy. He's a dominating guy. He's got a great arm...He's going to come after us. If he has great command, he's going to be very difficult. On Tennessee's team:
I looked at their numbers. They've got good players...They've got outstanding personnel. I don't think 10-7..they've lost a couple close games. Everyone gets involved in those close games. I think they're very good. I liked what I saw. Their personnel is good and they put up good numbers.
I know everyone in our league is good. We're playing Tennessee and you look at their record and see 10-7 but you look at their personnel and it's much better than their record.Do you want your team to increase its intensity for the start of conference play?
They say in our sport you got to remain even-keeled. You'd like the heightened awareness to be a little bit better. I don't think you can rev it up too much. You can go in the opposite direction in our sport if you rev it up too much. I think our guys have done a good job for the most part. We've been aggressive and played pretty attentive for the most part. On the competitiveness of the SEC:
Anybody in our league is capable of being one of the top teams in the country. I'm not giving you coach speak here, it's the truth...Baseball's important resources have been provided and athletes like to play in the SEC. It's no accident that our league has had 8 or 9 teams in the postseason because it's a great league.On the pitching staff leading the SEC in strikeouts:
That's been a little bit of a surprise. We did think we maybe had more guys to go to. We've got some pretty good arms down there. We've got guys with pretty good velocity and we've got some swing and miss guys. I'm happy to see that we have some guys to go to.