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Spurs Up Daily Round-Up: National Champs Edition

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How about a National Champs edition of the Daily Round-Up?? Check out a few stories below about the Gamecocks' fantastic finish. If you have another article you loved, send me the link me on Twitter, @SpursUpBlog!



***Friday's parade will begin at NOON by City Hall and travel down Main St to end at the State House where several people will speak to the crowd.***



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB


Omaha falls in love with South Carolina (ESPN) - great piece discussing the city of Omaha adopting the Gamecocks as their team

SEC Insider Blog - What A Day (SEC Digital Network) - an inside look from the SEC office at traveling to Omaha for the CWS

Gamecocks link CWS past, present (Omaha World-Herald) - "Well, it looks as if Rosenblatt Stadium and TD Ameritrade Park, the former icon and the icon-in-training, have something in common after all. The national champion South Carolina Gamecocks."

Chatelain: Gamecocks, their fans feel at home (Omaha World-Herald)

Teals touched by titles (Sumter Item)

Gamecock flag flies in Afghanistan (WISTV.com)

Team effort, belief sparked USC (Anderson Independent Mail)

Just like in Omaha, Gamecocks stay loose (GoGamecocks.com)

'We brought it back': Gamecocks, fans bask in title glory (The Post & Courier)

Gamecocks Get a Hero's Welcome Home from Fans (WLTX.com)

Thousands revel in USC's 'amazing ride' (GoGamecocks.com)

The Greatest Year Ever for USC? (GamecockCentral.com)



GAMECOCKS IN THE PROS

Cooper celebrates Gamecocks' win from afar (TheTandD.com)

Merrifield Revels in Another Title (GamecockCentral.com)



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

Baseball Celebration Photos, Videos & Press Conference

Gamecocks Capture Back-to-Back National Titles With 5-2 Win Over Florida



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

Gamecocks Continue to Amaze with Second National Championship

Almost 600 Fans Attend Colonial Life Arena Watch Party

Gamecocks Win CWS Game 1 with Another Incredible Performance

Cocky Graces Front Page of Omaha Newspaper

Baseball's Helmet Decals for Alabama Tornado Victims



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Highlights from the trek to the CWS finals series and highlights from the Game 2 win over Florida to secure back to back National Championships!








FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY


Check out the entire album of Fan Photos from the welcome home celebration on Facebook!

We also have an album of Fan Photos in Omaha and from watch parties at home!

Want to share any of your National Championship photos? Send them in to GamecockAthletics@gmail.com!


In addition to the post-game release, just wanted to share a few notes and reminders about Wednesday's welcome back celebration for our 2011 National Champion Baseball team.

-Doors will open at 4:00 p.m. There is no charge for admission. The team is set to arrive at approximately 5:30 p.m.

-An interpreter will be available to serve the hearing impaired throughout the program.

-The celebration will be streamed live on GamecocksOnline.com.

-Parking is free and is first-come, first-served.

-Please do not try to meet the team at the airport due to TSA regulations.

-Similar to last year, the team will enter the arena through the rear tunnel and walk around the arena floor to be followed by team introduction and the rest of the program.

-Concessions will be available.

Looking forward to a great crowd of Gamecocks to welcome the team home this afternoon!!

-Brittany


South Carolina Baseball continued to amaze tonight as they marched to their second consecutive National Championship. The magic never seemed to run out for the Gamecocks as they went undefeated in the NCAA Tournament and improbably escaped several tough situations behind great pitching and defensive play and clutch hits when they were needed the most.

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Closer Matt Price and catcher Robert Beary begin the celebration after the Gamecocks get the final out in the 9th inning. (AP Photo/Eric Francis)

Just check out a few of these bullet points on the Gamecocks' historic win:

NCAA-record 16 straight NCAA Tournament wins.

First team to go totally undefeated in the NCAA Tournament since Miami in 2001.

One loss in the last two years in the NCAA Tournament for a 21-1 overall record and two College World Series titles. 

One of just six teams in NCAA history to win back-to-back championships.

Finished 55-14 overall

As University of South Carolina alumni, a Gamecock Club member, big fan, and a staff member of the athletics department, I cannot say enough how ecstatic and proud I am of the Gamecock Baseball team's incredible accomplishment. Congratulations to Coach Tanner and all the team members and staff.

For a team that wasn't "supposed" to win... they found a way to "Win Anyway".

-Brittany

Click here for more information on the team's welcome home and championship celebration at Colonial Life Arena on Wednesday. The doors will open at 4:00 p.m. with the team scheduled to arrive at approximately 5:30 p.m.



Almost 600 Fans Attend Colonial Life Arena Watch Party

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With less than 24 hours notice almost 600 Gamecock fans made their way to Colonial Life Arena tonight for a free watch party for Game 2 vs. the Gators.

The best part about a big watch party is the feeling of camaraderie with your fellow fans, the loud collective cheering (instead of waking up your entire neighborhood!), and the big screen on the videoboard doesn't hurt! 

Fans started to fill in an hour before the game started:

CWS 2011 CLA watch party.jpg

As they made their way in the door I asked a few fans what brought them out to CLA to watch the game tonight and about their favorite moments from the College World Series run thus far.

Married couple Jessica and Andy, two South Carolina alumni (classes of 2008 and 2005, respectively) from here in Columbia said they couldn't be in Omaha, but they wanted to make sure they were still around a lot of other Gamecock fans where they could all hang out and scream together. "We watched the game at home last night with a couple friends," said Andy. "We were kind of freaking out the dog!"

"My favorite part has been all the clutch moments," said Andy. Jessica added, "it has been great to see how the team acts like a family."

Frank and Pam Brewer of Prosperity decided to come out after Pam reported having a great time watching the SEC Championship Game there during football season. 

"I thought the Virginia game was just awesome," said Frank. "Then they turned around and did it again last night. I'm excited to see what happens tonight and finish this thing out."

Pam added, "I like how they stay so cool under pressure. You look over there in the dugout and they're [miming] rowing!"

The Brewers were joined by Pam's parents, Ray and Betty Kyzer, of Newberry, at the watch party. While Betty said her favorite part is just the end of the game - "When they win!!", she said happily. Ray said he has really enjoyed the defensive play of Wingo et al and all the fantastic double plays, along with off-the-field stories such as the team's visit to the Children's Hospital in Omaha.

"It's good to see college students like these boys playing baseball take that much time with the kids like that and be hospitable,"  explained Ray.

Season ticket holder Shannon Derienzo of Lexington came with her children, Ryan (11) and Isabella (8).

"Next closest thing to being in Omaha," said Shannon. Regarding the season, Shannon said, "it just can't get any better. We just love it!" 

Well, Shannon, it DID get better!!! The Gamecocks are the NATIONAL CHAMPIONS for the second consecutive year after a 5-2 win over Florida!!!

Go Gamecocks!!!

-Brittany

Wow. Wow. Wow. That was the only word left to describe the Gamecocks' performance tonight as the game went on. Similarly to Friday's win over Virginia, every time the pressure was on Carolina managed to find a little more magic.

The player of the game has to be Scott Wingo. He had the tying RBI in the top of the 8th and came up with two game-saving defensive stops in the bottom of the 9th to force extra innings.

Just an incredible performance tonight by this team, a few excerpts from Twitter below captures some of the excitement. It was tough to keep up with all the conversation, Gamecock fans were tweeting up a storm!!!

Tune in again tomorrow night for Game 2 of the championship series at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN3.com!

Go Gamecocks!!

-Brittany

Follow the conversation on Twitter with me @SpursUpBlog and with Gamecock Nation on the #Gamecocks hashtag.


Cocky Graces Front Page of Omaha Newspaper

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After Friday night's win over Virginia punched South Carolina's ticket to the championship series of the College World Series vs. Florida, one of the biggest trends in conversation was the meeting of such familiar foes. But the teams on the diamond aren't the only Gamecocks and Gators who know each other well - the mascots for each school teamed up for a photo shoot in front of TD Ameritrade Park for the area newspaper, The Omaha World-Herald. Check out some photos of Cocky and Albert from the shoot below, as well as the final product in the paper.

All photos by James R. Burnett for the World-Herald.

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Go Gamecocks!!!

Gameday Links: South Carolina Baseball vs. Virginia

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A few quick reads before tonight's College World Series game vs. Virginia. A win puts Carolina into the CWS Championship series. Game time is 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN3.com. Go Gamecocks!


Roth vs. Hultzen in tonight's game (Anderson Independent Mail)

Give up? Boy didn't, and his team hasn't (Omaha.com) - Charlie Peters first met the Gamecocks as a 5-year-old battling cancer in the Children's Hospital in Omaha when the team came for a visit. Now a healthy 13-year-old, he was the Gamecocks' bat boy on Tuesday

CWS notes: Games move at faster pace (Go Gamecocks.com)

Q&A with Bryan Harper  (GoGamecocks.com)

USC One Win from Title Series (GamecockCentral.com)

Special day at a special place (TheBigSpur.com) - TBS' account of the team visit to the Children's Hospital

Family that inspired Gamecocks welcomes new addition (The Post & Courier)

 
 

Baseball's Helmet Decals for Alabama Tornado Victims

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With college baseball taking the national stage at the College World Series this week, we've gotten several emails and comments on social media about the decals the baseball team is wearing on their helmets. We even received a few "thank you's" for the gesture from Alabama natives and fans.

As many Gamecock fans may recall, the team first wore them in the series vs. Auburn at the end of April immediately following the disastrous tornadoes in Alabama. The Gadsden Times
reported that "the 64 April tornadoes killed 241 people in Alabama, left thousands homeless, caused about $1.5 billion in damage, damaged 231,000 acres and created 10 million cubic yards of debris, enough to create a pile the size of Bryant-Denny Stadium and one mile in height."

Close-up of the decal:

BSB Alabama helmet decal.jpg
Auburn's team was planning on wearing the decals, an outline of the state of Alabama featuring the state flag inside, for the series and asked the South Carolina staff if they would like to wear them as well. After getting the first set from Auburn, Carolina then had additional sets made to wear them throughout the rest of the season.

As part of the relief efforts, the Southeastern Conference donated $500,000 to the University of Alabama to support its efforts in assisting students, faculty and staff that were impacted and encouraged fans to donate to Alabama's "UA Acts of Kindness Fund".

-Brittany

The Gamecocks continue play in the College World Series on Friday, June 24th, at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN3.com. They will face the winner of Thursday's Virginia-California match-up.


 



Two great videos for everyone to check out this week featuring the Gamecocks out in the community, both at home and afar. Last week the Men's Basketball team visited Camp Kemo, a one week summer camp here in South Carolina for children with cancer. This week, while in Omaha for the College World Series, the Baseball team made a return trip (having also visited in 2010) to the Children's Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha.

Check out their stories below:






Go Gamecocks!

-Brittany
As we get into summer and fewer Gamecock teams currently competing, the Daily Round-Up will come out weekly or every few days and return to a daily schedule in the fall.


The Gamecocks took down top-seed Virginia, 7-1, to advance in the winners bracket to play on Friday! Read the full recap here



GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Baseball: Father quits job to see son pitch for Gamecocks (Associated Press)


Baseball: Senior Wingo's CWS heroics add to an already impressive career with Gamecocks (The Post & Courier)

Football: Ranking the SEC defensive ends (ESPN SEC Blog)
*#1 - Devin Taylor, #5 Melvin Ingram, #8 Jadeveon Clowney  this pass rush will be SCARY!



GAMECOCKS IN THE PROS

Smoak has bittersweet Father's Day (The Olympian) - Justin Smoak, Seattle Mariners



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

Baseball. South Carolina & Virginia Set To Meet At CWS

Baseball. Gamecocks Top Aggies, 5-4 in Walk-Off Fashion

Equestrian. Gamecock Equestrian Featured on WLTX Sports

Track. Nineteen Gamecocks To Compete at USA Track & Field Championships

Track. Zajac, Reitze Named Capital One Academic All-Americans

Men's Basketball. Camp Kemo Video Feature

Women's Soccer. South Carolina Women's Soccer Announces 2011 Schedule

TV Coverage: SEC Network Announced Affiliate Change in Columbia



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

Pretty much sums it up for me!

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Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!



SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

New Justin King Video: Alshon Jeffery Highlights

Photos: Baseball Team Send-Off to Omaha

Marcus Lattimore Readying for Even Better 2011

Dawn Staley Q&A with WNBA.com

Video: TV Broadcast Clip of Gamecocks' Mound Celebration

Electric Carolina Stadium Watches Gamecocks Clinch Return to Omaha



VIDEO OF THE DAY

Most of you have seen the "It's Great to be a Gamecock" football videos our Gamecock Productions crew did. Each of them now has over 10,000 views on YouTube. The first video, featuring Alshon Jeffery, is over 22,000! Love it! Here's the final video that was released last week:




ROOSTER CROWS

Going into tonight's game Scott Wingo has been South Carolina's top hitter in the postseason. He has hit .542 (13-for-24) in six postseason contests including five consecutive multi-hit games. Wingo has scored seven runs in that span and was 4-for-4 with the game-winning RBI single in the 5-4 win over Texas A&M on Sunda. Wingo has raised his batting average to .350 (79-for-226) for the season and has four homers, a triple, eight doubles, 47 runs scored and 28 RBI. His .475 on-base percentage leads the team.



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Check out today's Fan Photo submitted by Emma Jones, one fourth of the "Cocks Girls" at the College World Series. From left: Lauren Samek, Emma Jones, Caitlin Stom, Jess Siniard. Emma explained:
"We are known as the "Cocks Girls" from the 2010 CWS. It was a fun past tradition to paint our stomachs and we randomly chose the Gamecocks last year only to have the experience of a lifetime...We were so fortunate to receive tickets sitting behind the dugout last year and got to this year as well. It started out as a crazy fame-filled summer but the Gamecocks truly converted us Nebraskan girls into South Carolina fans. We are here to support you guys and wish you the best of luck to win the series again, and we appreciate all the hospitality you have given us and we hope to continue to be your good luck charm!"

Emma Jones.jpg


Don't fret if you don't see your photo right away! We've got a lot of great submissions so keep them coming! Want to share your photo, either of you or by you? Any sport, any season! Feel free to send in your photos with your name to GamecockAthletics@gmail.com! We'd love to share it with the rest of Gamecock Nation!


You can see the entire Fan Photo of the Day series on our Facebook page!



The Gamecocks put on an outstanding performance tonight, putting together 13 hits to cruise to a 7-1 victory over No. 1 seed Virginia. While Carolina certainly got the bats going, the real story of the game was defensive play.

Virginia only managed five hits on the night, including their only score, a solo home run by John Hicks in the 4th inning. There were several great plays and outs from Christian Walker and Scott Wingo especially, but one gem of the night that stood out to me was the bases loaded, 1-2-3 double play that ended the fifth inning. Just after entering the game, John Taylor sidearmed a grounder back to Robert Beary for the out at home, then Beary fired it over to Walker at first to get the Gamecocks out of the jam. The play was wonderfully executed and was a great representation of the team's phenomenal play all evening.

Chants of "GAAAME... COCCCKKSSSS" and "S-E-C, S-E-C, S-E-C" were audible to the fans watching on TV at home. While fans in Omaha cheered in the stadium, fans watching from afar cheered from their couches and computers. It all made for a great game atmosphere, both in-person and at home!

With the win tonight, South Carolina matched the longest win streak in NCAA Tournament history with a 13-game streak dating back to last year. The Gamecocks will move on in the winners bracket to play on Friday at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN3.com. They will face the winner of Virginia-California (Thursday, 7:00 p.m.)

 I use Twitter during games from @SpursUpBlog and there is always lots of Gamecock conversation on the #Gamecocks hashtag so if you aren't already tweeting, come join the conversation on Twitter for Friday's game!

Go Gamecocks!

-Brittany

New Justin King Video: Alshon Jeffery Highlights

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The name Justin King is familiar to a lot of Gamecock fans who have seen his football highlight videos and hype videos. The 2010 Carolina graduate got a job at ESPN after graduation in part due to one of his South Carolina football videos (check out this member profile from the MyCarolina Alumni Association a few months ago).

The past year since graduation has been great for King, who got married last Saturday to his college sweetheart, also a South Carolina alum, in Texas before heading to Mexico for their honeymoon. He'll then return to Texas where he recently accepted a new job with a video production company there, where we hope he'll continue making Gamecock football videos in his spare time!

As many fans of his videos know, King ran into rights and usage issues in the past with having his videos public on YouTube and has since made them unlisted and used his Facebook page to share the links. We've decided to partner with King to help distribute his videos via our official channels so that more fans can see and enjoy them.

Here's the first of his videos that we are helping distribute, focusing on All-American wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. Check it out!




We're hoping to see a packed house every game at Williams-Brice this fall... be a part of our home field advantage: http://gamecocks2011.com/

Congratulations to Justin on his new job, new marriage, and more great fan videos to come!

Go Gamecocks!

-Brittany

Photos: Baseball Team Send-Off to Omaha

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Gamecock fans gathered at Carolina Stadium Thursday morning to give the baseball team a great send-off as they headed to Omaha for the 2011 College World Series.

Coach Tanner addressed the crowd, thanking them for their support.

"Sincerely, thank you very much for being here today. You guys mean so much to us. One of the coaches from UConn said to me in the Super Regionals the other day, he said 'you really have a great club, a great bunch of players, and a great stadium, but there's one thing about your team...' I said, 'what's that?' He said, "your fans will not let you lose." So thank you very much!"

Check out the photo slideshow below from the send-off and if you can't follow the team to Omaha, be sure to tune in for their first game vs. Texas A&M on Sunday at 7:00 p.m. ET airing live on ESPN2! Go Gamecocks!!!

Marcus Lattimore Readying for Even Better 2011

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Most Gamecock fans are fully aware of Marcus Lattimore's success on the field his first season in a Carolina jersey. Over 1600 total yards gained last season, SEC and National Freshman of the Year, first team All-SEC... the accolades poured in for his 2010 performance. What I think fans also know about Marcus is his strong work ethic and focus. During offseason winter workouts Marcus put on about 15 pounds of muscle without sacrificing any of his quickness. He was a leader in the weight room and continued that leadership role into spring practice. Now into summer workouts, Marcus says his three main focuses in the offseason have been strengthening his core and his legs and improving his flexibility.

"I'm focused on flexibility because I really don't think I was that flexible last year and that's why I got hurt a couple times," explained Lattimore. "Also squatting and power cleans, getting my legs stronger and getting my core better so I can be able to make sharper cuts."

In addition to their workouts in the weight room, several members of the team get together on their own throughout the summer to continue working on football.

"Justice Cunningham (tight end) and I decided we are getting together with the O-line, just going over running plays, going over passing plays, just trying to be crisp so when camp comes, we'll be ready."

We all hope the team's hard work in the offseason will translate into great things on the field. The 2011 season is just 79 days away... so what is Marcus Lattimore looking forward to most about this upcoming season?

"To tell you the truth, playing Auburn at home. It's gonna be real, real fun. I really think in my heart that we're going to have the best season ever at Carolina this year. I'm just real excited about it."

You're not the only one, Marcus!

-Brittany

Marcus was featured in the fifth and final "It's Great to be a Gamecock" video released Wednesday first on our Facebook page. He'll be ready...will you?





http://gamecocks2011.com/

Dawn Staley Q&A with WNBA.com

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Dawn Staley-S.Africa.jpgWomen's Basketball head coach Dawn Staley recently took a few overseas trips promoting the WNBA and basketball as a sport. Staley is one of the most decorated women's basketball players ever including being a three-time Olympic gold medalist, two-time USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year, five-time WNBA All-Star, and a member of the WNBA All-Decade Team. She did a Q&A with WNBA.com about her experiences overseas (pictured at left with NBA Vice President: Development - Africa - Amadou Fall). Check out the excerpts below and read the full article here.

WNBA.com: I understand you recently paid a visit to South Africa. What was going on down there?

Dawn Staley: I went down to promote a partnership with one of the teams in one of the cities there. They partnered with the NBA to do programs for coaches and training, just from an infancy stage. I think that it's an incredible program. We wanted to go over and help. And the best way to help was to teach the teachers how to teach. Everybody gets a lot out of it when you teach them how to teach adults and kids how to play the game. What better impression to leave than to give somebody some knowledge?


...

WNBA.com: Now as the WNBA enters its 15th season, you have to think about to longevity of it, but also the foundation that was built over time. What you're talking about sounds very similar to how players joined the WNBA without that much exposure to the women's game. Now you have players in the league who grew up with the league. Do you see foresee that exposure eventually happening not only in South Africa but other parts of the world?

DS: I absolutely do. I went over to England as well to promote the WNBA game against Great Britain, and it was very similar to that. I actually spoke to a lot more people about that and about basketball and I basically told them that I was happy they were hosting the Olympics because it gives so much more exposure for not only basketball, but all sports. I was promoting basketball and promoting the game, so I told them that just like us in America when I was growing up, there wasn't a carrot dangling in front of me saying that I would be able to play professional basketball here in the States. Now that there is, there is 15 years that the WNBA has been in existence, there are so many people who have been touched by it that I think our game has grown from an exposure standpoint and also from a talent standpoint. Little girls can see their dreams being realized because they are being exposed to it.

 

As we get into summer and fewer Gamecock teams currently competing, the Daily Round-Up will come out weekly or every few days and return to a daily schedule in the fall.


GAMECOCKS AROUND THE WEB

Baseball: Christian Walker's Blast Powers Gamecocks Back To Omaha
(Baseball America)

Baseball: Doing it his own way: USC's Marzilli: From scrawny kid to starting outfielder (The Post & Courier)

Baseball: USC, Clemson show just how tough NCAA Tournament can be (Anderson Independent Mail)

Baseball: Defending National Champion Gamecocks Back to Omaha with 8-2 Win over UConn (AP)

Baseball: Gamecocks punch ticket to CWS (GoGamecocks.com)

Baseball: Commentary: Thrilling Ride Isn't Over (GamecockCentral.com)

Photos: Athletics Village Construction (GamecockCentral.com)

General: SEC operating in rare air (ESPN SEC Blog)



GAMECOCKS IN THE PROS

Men's Soccer: Rookie Brettschneider makes his case with first MLS goal (MLSSoccer.com) (DC United - Blake Brettschneider)

Baseball: Powell to get more opportunities under Melvin (MLB.com) (Oakland A's - Landon Powell)

Baseball: Olivo, Smoak hurt Tigers again in Mariners' 7-3 win over Detroit (Associated Press) (Justin Smoak hits two-run homer in ninth - Seattle Mariners)



GAMECOCKSONLINE.COM NEWS

Baseball. Game Time Set for Gamecocks' Opening CWS Contest

Baseball. Omaha-Bound! Gamecocks Sweep Connecticut with 8-2 Win

Baseball. Gamecocks Take Game One from Connecticut, 5-1

Football. Spurrier to Play in Coaches vs. Cancer Golf Invitational

Swimming & Diving. Taryn Zack Named Capital One Academic All-American

Men's Basketball. Little Gamecocks Camp Feature

Track. Kierre Beckles Posts Program-Best Finish In 100m Hurdles At NCAA Final

Track. LaKya Brookins Places Sixth In NCAA 100m Final

From The Desk of Eric Hyman



COCK-A-DOODLE-TWEET

A lot of Gamecock fans were talking about the team after the win last night, I couldn't keep up with it all!! Love to see the excitement.

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Follow @GamecocksOnline and @SpursUpBlog on Twitter!




SPURS  UP BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

Video: TV Broadcast Clip of Gamecocks' Mound Celebration

Electric Carolina Stadium Watches Gamecocks Clinch Return to Omaha

A Look Back at Sunday's Storm, Carolina Stadium Clean-Up

Gamecock Productions Presents at National Conference

Stephon Gilmore Wants to Take It to Another Level



VIDEO OF THE DAY


Check out highlights from last night's win over UConn in the Super Regional to advance to the College World Series!
http://gamecocksonline.cstv.com/allaccess/?media=247019



ROOSTER CROWS

The Gamecocks are now 8-0 all time at Carolina Stadium in NCAA Tournament games. The program has won 19 consecutive postseason games at home dating back to the 2002 Super Regional vs. Miami.



FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY

Check out today's Fan Photo submitted by Deena Banks Miller of her oldest son, Andy, with wife Emily and their children, Brendan and Lily. They are celebrating the Gamecocks' Super Regional win with their own version of the dogpile on the mound. Deena shared that Andy and Emily are both Carolina alumni and the kids were born with Garnet blood!

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Don't fret if you don't see your photo right away! We've got a lot of great submissions so keep them coming! Want to share your photo, either of you or by you? Any sport, any season! Feel free to send in your photos with your name to GamecockAthletics@gmail.com! We'd love to share it with the rest of Gamecock Nation!


You can see the entire Fan Photo of the Day series on our Facebook page!


ESPN posted a clip from last night's broadcast of the postgame celebration on the mound. Love it!




Thank you again to all the fans who came out to Carolina Stadium and created such a fun and exciting atmosphere for Super Regional baseball.

We'll have more information on GamecocksOnline.com this week about the team's trek to Omaha.

Gamecock Club members can put in their requests for tickets online here.


-Brittany
I can't say enough about the atmosphere the past two evenings in Carolina Stadium. Capacity crowds of 8,242  people packed in to watch the Gamecocks take on Connecticut in the NCAA Super Regional. These games were the ninth and tenth sell-outs of the season, but none of the others felt close to the buzz and excitement in the air.

Both UConn head coach Jim Penders and Ray Tanner discussed the incredible atmosphere and fans in their post-game press conferences, saying it made a difference for sure. 

The chants of GAAAAME.... COCCCCKKSSSS were unmatched tonight and Christian Walker's solo home run to lead off the eighth could not have been set up better by the fans' chants and "the wave" making its way around the stands. 

 
One of my favorite moments of the night was smiling ear to ear as fans chanted Brady Thomas' name as he came up to the plate with bases loaded and no outs in the ninth. 

But of course no cheer was louder than when Matt Price got the final out for the Gamecocks and a dogpile ensued on the mound.

BSB Super Regional dogpile.jpeg 
Congratulations to Coach Tanner and the team on their great accomplishment to return to Omaha for the second straight year and 10th time in school history. Thank you to all the fans for making Carolina Stadium such a fantastic place to play baseball. 

Said Coach Tanner on returning to Omaha, "it's very special. I'm just happy to be a part of it."

Couldn't have said it better! Go Gamecocks!

-Brittany



 
As we prepare for hosting the Super Regional this weekend, I want to take a moment to go back to Sunday night/Monday and share what an undertaking it was to get the stadium ready again for the next day. As you know a severe thunderstorm halted the Regional game Sunday evening. Wind and lightning from the powerful storm blew debris all over and caused damage to the stadium.

The wind pulled the tarp off the infield and pushed vendor carts, tables, trash cans, etc. all over the stadium area as heavy rain blew in almost at a right angle. Fans who hadn't left for their cars huddled in the sheltered areas. From my perch in the press box I couldn't even see the field anymore from the rain just before we saw a giant flash of blue white light as a transformer blew and Carolina Stadium lost power.

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View from the press box a few minutes before we lost power of the wind pulling up the tarp.
 

Once the storm cleared, clean-up began almost immediately. The grounds crew came out quickly to assess the field and get to work under the dim glow of the emergency back-up lighting and facilities staff checked the stadium's condition. Among the damage surrounding the stadium, along the Wheat Street side a tree had fallen onto some power lines. SCE&G crews began the delicate process of cutting the tree to remove it (fortunately it did not break the lines).

SCE&G and university High Voltage Technician Tripp Sightler worked diligently until power was restored to Carolina Stadium around 1:45 a.m. Workers returned around 7:30 a.m. Monday morning and worked continuously until around 11:00 a.m. to get the stadium game-ready for the 1:00 p.m. re-start. It took approximately 140 man hours from athletics grounds and facilities staff, university and sub-contractor personnel to get the stadium back in order.

"Our goal was to clean-up and repair the damaged areas of the stadium as if the storm had never happened," said Jeff Davis, Associate AD for Facilities. "We achieved that through the hard work and commitment from everyone involved."

The hard work did not go unnoticed by Gamecock fans. Athletics received several emails about the clean-up and appreciation of how the stadium staff handled a difficult situation and some fans took to the internet to share their thoughts:

Comment from 'cocky girl' on one online discussion forum:

"Kudos to those who had a hand in the recovery work required to put Carolina Stadium back in business.  Exiting last night, looked a bit like a war zone with all the debris around the stadium.  We had to look close this afternoon entering to find any residual marks on the facility.  Although some of the vending carts still suffered from the ill effects of last night's storm, we didn't go wanting.  The field was pristine, as always thanks to the best ground crew around.  Looking forward to the Super Regional next weekend!  GO COCKS!!!"

From Maria Martin Anderson on our Facebook page:

"Thanks to all the Carolina Stadium staff for making sure the fans were safe! The "behind the scenes" part of the stadium is awesome!"

Thank you to everyone who did such a great job handling the storm's aftermath and getting the stadium back to game-ready on Monday!! The fans who were able to come back to the stadium got to witness a great NCAA Regional win for the Gamecocks.

Looking forward to seeing a packed house this weekend for the Super Regional vs. UConn!

GO GAMECOCKS!

-Brittany

Earlier this week I joined the Gamecock Productions crew in Atlanta for the College Sports Video Summit held by the Sports Video Group. Professionals from video production, media relations/sports information, marketing and more attended the two-day conference to discuss current trends, share success stories, and interact with colleagues.

The first day included a great keynote address from Chris Plonsky, Senior Associate AD at Texas, who discussed the upcoming Longhorn Network, followed by several general discussion sessions and the College Sports Media Awards.

You may have seen my post a few weeks ago about Gamecock Productions' nomination for a CSMA award for
Gamecock Confidential, the six-episode behind-the-scenes series featuring the softball team leading up to the 2011 season. The "Special Feature" award ended up going to Oregon for one of their football videos, but the old saying rings true - it really is an honor just to be nominated (you can watch the nominated episode at the bottom of this post). I'm proud to note that South Carolina's entry was the only one of the six videos in their category that centered on a sport other than football. We all love football of course, but it is great to see such fantastic work and effort for other sports as well.

Gamecock Productions' work was also on display at one of the sponsor booths. The staff recently had a 3-D camera to use on loan from Panasonic and they shot a lot of 3-D footage at basketball, baseball, and spring football that was showcased in HD at Panasonic's booth at the conference.

On Day 2 we presented a case study on the Gamecock Confidential series as part of the conference's breakout sessions. Gamecock Productions staff members Paul Danna, Kyle Lewis, and Justin Stoll were joined by student assistants Courtney Krebs, Steven Heyward, Angela Padgett, and Chelsea Parler for the presentation. The students were an integral part of the project and did much of the editing and logging of video footage, among other work.

While Danna, Lewis, and Stoll discussed the logistics and goals of the project, the students discussed what they learned the most from it and shared what a great experience it was for them. Throughout the project, the students' individual skills and areas of interest emerged. For example, while Chelsea found that she had a flair for editing, Angela discovered a love for story-telling and writing the voice-overs.

For my part of the presentation, I shared how we spread the series via GamecocksOnline.com, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and email. On the marketing side of things, we felt like the series really helped our fans get to know the new coaching staff led by Beverly Smith and feel engaged with the team. Showing them on and off the field helped showcase their dedication to their sport but also their personalities and character. Of note, season ticket sales for Gamecock softball increased by 311% and overall attendance increased by 204% this year compared to last year. 

The presentation and the Gamecock Confidential project as a whole got a lot of praise from conference attendees (and I promise I'm being objective!) A panelist from CBSsports.com who listened to our presentation even mentioned the outstanding production quality and great in-house work in a separate session later that afternoon.

While many schools hire outside production companies to produce their videos, we've been able to produce some top notch video right here in-house, which really speaks to the talent of the staff. For example, a lot of fans have been buzzing about the "It's Great to be a Gamecock" series of videos we've been releasing over the past four weeks, with a few people even asking what company we hired to do them. Those are just another example of the work Gamecock Productions is doing.

It was great to see firsthand my co-workers and the students get some well-deserved praise and recognition from their colleagues in the video world.

Congratulations to them on  job well done! Go Gamecocks!

-Brittany  



A lot of fans may have wished this past weekend's NCAA Regional in Columbia was televised, but it didn't stop you from getting to see your Gamecocks!

We provided a live video stream accompanied by the Gamecock radio broadcast audio on GamecocksOnline.com and spread the link to fans using our website releases, Facebook, Twitter, and message boards.

The numbers of viewers are listed below. The numbers for June 3rd-5th are a combined total of both games played those days. We've never had any live streaming video in the past with these high figures. Pretty impressive!
 
June 3: 20,280 hits • 9,945 viewers
June 4: 27,224 hits • 12,677 viewers
June 5: 30,344 hits • 13,960 viewers
June 6: 24,901 hits • 11,810 viewers
 
Average hits per day: 25,687
Average viewers per day: 12,098

Go Gamecocks!

Click here for game times/dates and TV information for this weekend's Super Regional vs. Connecticut.


*Thanks to Assistant Media Relations Director Matt Freed for compiling this data.
 
The success of the South Carolina Baseball program continued Monday afternoon as the Gamecocks won their NCAA Regional to advance to the Super Regionals for the second consecutive year. Another mark of the program's success is players who have gone on to play professionally.

The Major League Baseball Draft begins tonight, Monday, June 6th, airing live on MLB.com and MLB Network. Several Gamecocks may be drafted over the three-day process. Jackie Bradley Jr. has been projected as an early pick and is listed as a top prospect by Baseball America, MLB.com, and more.

While his recent wrist injury puts his status in doubt somewhat, many MLB Draft experts still think he may go in the first round or in the supplemental round (compensatory picks after the completion of the first round but before the second round).

Check out this great article by Chris Cox for MLB.com: Wrist injury complicates Bradley's Draft status

Several other Gamecocks are also eligible for the draft and may be selected as the draft continues on Tuesday with rounds 2-30 and concludes Wednesday with rounds 31-50.

Jackie Bradley Jr. with a young Gamecock fan at Carolina Stadium


Good luck to all our Gamecocks!

-Brittany


VIDEO: Robert Beary's Grand Slam!

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Check out Robert Beary's monster grand slam tonight that gave the Gamecocks a 6-1 lead en route to the 11-5 victory over Stetson in the NCAA Regional to continue on to Sunday's game in the winners bracket. Stetson will face NC State at 1:00 p.m. Sunday. The winner of that game will advance to take on Carolina at 7:00 p.m.

Single game tickets are still available, get them online and print at home or at the Carolina Stadium box office.

Love it!! Go Gamecocks!!





Gamecock Men's Soccer veterans Blake Brettschneider and Josh Wolff, both prolific goal-scorers during their playing careers at South Carolina, will start tonight for DC United as they take on the LA Galaxy in MLS action, airing at 11:00 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer Channel.

The veteran Wolff is in his 13th MLS season and was signed by DC United in December 2010. He played for the Gamecocks for three seasons before departing after his junior year to play MLS in 1998. Wolff has also been a member of the U.S. National Team several times, appearing in both the World Cup and the Olympics.

The Washington Post ran a great feature article on Brettschneider yesterday (check out the excerpt below and click here for full article) detailing his quick rise from being a late pick in the supplemental draft to now being they key to several wins and a starter just a few months later.

Combining size (6 feet), strength and attacking instincts, he has shown promise to become a reliable target forward -- someone who can maintain possession, hold off defenders and pressure the opposing back line. United was aware of Brettschneider at South Carolina but didn't appreciate his potential until the MLS scouting combine a few days before the draft.

Of all the coaches, Pat Onstad, who oversees the goalkeepers, was most impressed.

"Pat really liked him," Olsen said, "and he wouldn't let it go."

United risked missing the chance to acquire him by waiting until the supplemental draft; the team's only pick came in the second round of that three-round phase.

Brettschneider was a pleasant surprise in preseason, scoring four goals and displaying a relentless work rate. Once the season began, Olsen emphasized ball control. "He is always telling me, 'The ball is precious, it's yours, don't lose it,' " Brettschneider said.

Said Olsen: "He played in the moment and made things happen. He completely played his way onto this team. And now we're seeing what he can do."




Good luck to Josh and Blake tonight and throughout the season! It's always great to see Gamecocks continue to be successful after they move on from South Carolina. Go Gamecocks!

-Brittany

Carolina Stadium.jpeg
South Carolina is one of 16 host sites of NCAA Regionals this weekend as part of the 2011 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship. Each Regional consists of four teams, seeded one through four, who play a double elimination format tournament to determine a Regional Champion who will move on to the next round of the Championship, the Super Regionals. Click here to see the full bracket.

Friday, June 3
Game 1 - No. 2 Stetson vs. No. 3 NC State - 1 p.m.
Game 2 - No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 4 Georgia Southern - 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 4
Game 3 - Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 - 1 p.m.
Game 4 - Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 - 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 5
Game 5 - Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 - 1 p.m.
Game 6 - Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 4 - 7 p.m.

Monday, June 6
Game 7 - If Necessary - 7 p.m.


While Carolina Stadium is the venue and South Carolina is the host institution, the Regional is an official NCAA event, not a normal Carolina home game. Some aspects of NCAA games are noticeably different from home games. The general rule for fans to remember: whatever is done for one team must be done for all. For example, the music and videos we play must be equal or the same for each team. Whatever we play for one team, we have to play for both teams. We can still play fan-favorite "Sandstorm" when a Gamecock hits a home run as we always do, it just means that we will also play "Sandstorm" if an opposing team's player hits one. Same goes for fight songs and other school-specific music. We also won't be playing our normal intro video from the season (but you can still watch it here before the game, I know I will!)

The national anthem will be played prior to each game, each day of the Regional. However, team introductions will be conducted only for the first games in which teams compete and the championship game. The entire team personnel, including support staff, coaches, non-starters and starters will be introduced before each team's first game, which is a nice recognition since normally before games only the starting line-up is announced.

The higher-seeded team is the "home" team for the first round of games on Friday. For the ensuing games however, the home team is determined by a series of guidelines. The first guideline is the team that has been the home team the fewer number of times in that particular tournament. If both teams are the same, the list of guidelines continues until it's resolved. It's a long list so I won't bore you with all the details here. (Basically, fans just need to know that Carolina won't automatically be the home team every game.)


PARKING/SHUTTLES

Baseball season parking passes ARE valid for postseason play and will allow you entry to your normal parking lot this weekend.

Lots #1, #2, #3, #4, #8, #10 and all $10.00 Game Day Lots will open at 10:00 a.m. each day.

Business Lots #6, #7, #9 will also open at 10:00 a.m. for the weekend games. On the weekday games, these lots will open at 5:00 p.m. (#6 and #7) and 5:30 p.m. (#9).  For Game 1 on Friday, June 3 at 1:00 p.m. these lots will not yet be open so please use Lot #1.

The shuttle service from the Colonial Life Arena lots will also still be in use for the Regional. Parking is free at the arena and the shuttle costs just $2 per person round trip. Shuttles will begin running from Colonial Life Arena two hours before each game time, so at 11:00 a.m. for the 1:00 p.m. games and at 5:00 p.m. for the 7:00 p.m. games.


ENTERING AND EXITING THE STADIUM/
GETTING READY FOR THE NEXT GAME


The box office and stadium gates will open 1.5 hours prior to the start of the game

Box Office/Gates Open:
11:30 a.m. for 1:00 p.m. games
5:30 p.m. for 7:00 p.m. games

Carolina Stadium will be cleared of fans at the end of each game. Fans with tickets for the second game of the day will need to exit the stadium after the first game and re-enter later with the appropriate ticket for the second game.

The ticket box office at Carolina Stadium will be open after all games to sell tickets for the next games. For example, after Carolina's game is over Friday night, fans will be able to go to the box office then to buy single game tickets for the appropriate game on Saturday (hopefully the Winner's game at 7:00!!)


TICKET AVAILABILITY

Single game tickets in the outfield bleachers and standing room only are available for all games, except Game 2 on Friday, June 3 (South Carolina vs. Georgia Southern) for which only standing room remain. As mentioned above, the Carolina Stadium ticket office will open 1.5 hours before each game and will also sell tickets for the subsequent games at the end of each game. Fans are encouraged to avoid the lines and purchase tickets online.

Please note that NCAA regulations state that every person must have a ticket to enter the stadium regardless of age.



TELEVISION/RADIO

There is no TV coverage for this NCAA Regional. However, we will live stream video of South Carolina's games on GamecocksOnline.com All-Access for free. Carolina's games will also be available as always via radio on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network. Click here for affiliates and check out the Scene Setter.


I know Gamecock fans know how to create a home-field advantage wherever they are, no matter what music is played, no matter who we're up against. I'm looking forward to an exciting weekend of tournament baseball and a great Gamecock crowd at Carolina Stadium!

Bookmark our 2011 NCAA Regional Tournament Central page for continuous updates on all the information you need for this weekend's games.


See y'all there! Go Gamecocks!!

-Brittany


Stephon Gilmore Wants to Take It to Another Level

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27.

That's how many games Stephon Gilmore has started at cornerback for the Gamecocks, or rather, every single game since he arrived to South Carolina. He earned Freshman All-America and Freshman All-SEC after his first season in 2009, and followed it up with a first team All-SEC performance in 2010 as a sophomore with a team-leading 79 tackles.

 Now preparing for his junior season he is looking to be even better and step into more of a leadership role on the team.

"I try to lead by example," said Gilmore. "I'm not really vocal like that but I try to do all the little things, be a leader off the field and on the field."

Gilmore was the first of three consecutive South Carolina "Mr. Football" award winners (honoring the best high school football player in the state) who signed with the Gamecocks. He was followed by Marcus Lattimore last year and Jadeveon Clowney this year.

The versatile Gilmore has a lot of talents but we wanted to highlight his quickness and agility. Some of the drills he does are specifically geared toward those skills and we shot him going through some of them for his segment in the "It's Great To Be A Gamecock" series (below).

"This offseason I'm just trying to get bigger, faster, and stronger and do everything the weightlifting coaches are trying to do to make us a better team," explained Gilmore.

While working out with the team this summer Gilmore is also taking two classes for his degree in Sport and Entertainment Management, one each in economics and accounting, that will keep him pretty busy.

During the summer players participate in voluntary workouts with the strength and conditioning staff along with going to class and meeting up on their own to continue working on football.

"We try to come out every week, do one on ones, seven on seven, try to compete with each other to get better," said Gilmore. "We usually tweet about it or just tell each other. Someone might say [as trash talk], 'Oh I'm going to catch a pass on you today' and we'll make it a fun thing, more of a competitive thing where we can come together as a team and get better."

So what can fans expect to see from Stephon in 2011?

"They're going to see a lot of excitement and me trying to lock down every receiver I go against. We want to take it to another level next year. Last year was a good year but we got to go farther."