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South Carolina Baseball Hosts Radford This Weekend

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Feb. 16, 2006

Columbia, S.C. - The 13th ranked South Carolina baseball team returns to action this weekend with a three-game series at home vs. Radford. First pitch for Friday, Feb. 17 is set for 3 pm with Saturday and Sunday's contests each slated for 1:30 pm. Saturday's game time remains 1:30 pm due to the impending weather forecast. Should the weather forecast for Saturday change, the baseball game time will be pushed back to accommodate fans wishing to watch the men's basketball game against Kentucky. Live video streaming coverage will be available for Friday's game and live audio and live gametracker stats will also be offered at

South Carolina: Arik Hempy, LHP, Jr. (0-1, 0.00 ERA)
Radford: Justin Morgan, RHP, Sr. (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

South Carolina: Wynn Pelzer, RHP, So. (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Radford: Tom Graham, RHP, Sr. (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Josh Hammonds, RHP, Fr. (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

South Carolina: Forrest Beverly, LHP, Jr. (1-0, 2.25 ERA)
Radford: Eric Evans, LHP, So. (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

South Carolina leads the series history with Radford 11-3 including a series sweep last year in Columbia. The Gamecocks defeated Radford 20-0, 16-4, and 7-4 in the three-game series at Sarge Frye Field. Radford last earned a win against USC on Mar. 7, 2003 with a 5-4 win over the Gamecocks. USC then won two straight games to earn the series victory that year. Carolina first played Radford on March 7, 1994 with a 10-1 win over the Highlanders at Sarge Frye Field.

Before arriving at Radford, head coach Lew Kent served as an assistant coach for Ray Tanner at NC State. Kent was an assistant during the 1992 and 1993 seasons that saw the Wolfpack reach two NCAA Regionals and post an overall record of 96-40 in that time frame. The 1992 team won an ACC championship and the 1993 team still holds the school record at NC State for wins in a season (49).

Dating back to the 2000 season, South Carolina is 61-2 (.968) in games played in the month of February. The only two losses in February came on Feb. 8, 2003 when Charleston Southern defeated USC 8-5 and Feb. 11, 2006, a 2-1 loss to Elon.

Carolina's 5-4 win over Elon in 11 innings in the season opener marked the first time in the school's 114-year history that the Gamecocks went into extra innings in the season opener.

USC junior outfielder Cheyne Hurst got off to a great start in his first career game at Carolina with a 5-for-6 performance in the 5-4 victory vs. Elon. Hurst was the first player since Steve Pearce last year vs. Niagara (2-26-05) to have five hits in one game. Hurst is batting .500 (7-for-14) after the first weekend of play, tied for the team's highest batting average.

Senior RHP Andy Lambert and senior RHP Shawn Valdes-Fauli did not allow a hit in the final five 2/3 innings pitched by Carolina in the season opener. Valdes-Fauli worked a perfect two 2/3 innings with two strikeouts to pick up the win for Carolina. Lambert tied a career-high with six strikeouts in the win as well.

Despite the 2-1 loss on Saturday, junior LHP Arik Hempy pitched a solid six innings with five strikeouts and no walks. Hempy allowed just two hits and two runs, both were unearned. Junior RHP Conor Lalor worked three scoreless innings of relief as well.

USC received production from a pair of newcomers in Sunday's 8-3 win as James Darnell and Reese Havens each went 2-for-4 with three RBI. Havens two-out RBI double scored two runs to give USC the lead and was followed by a three-run homer from Darnell to cap a five-run fifth inning that helped lead USC to the victory. USC started three true freshmen in the infield on Sunday with Darnell at second base, Havens at shortstop and Justin Smoak at first base. Smoak was 2-for-8 in his first weekend at Carolina with a team-high five walks. Havens stayed busy at shortstop with six putouts and 15 assists in the first three games.

In Sunday's win over Elon, USC junior LHP Forrest Beverly pitched his second longest outing of his career, going five innings and earning the win. Beverly had six strikeouts in the five innings he pitched.

Along with James Darnell, USC senior catcher Ian Paxton and senior infielder Neil Giesler hit home runs on the weekend. The home run for Darnell was his first career shot at Carolina. Paxton's home run was a solo pinch-hit homer and the first he has hit since April of 2005 against LSU.

South Carolina moved up one spot in both the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball rankings this week. USC is ranked No. 13 in the Baseball America poll and No. 17 by Collegiate Baseball. Carolina dropped one spot to No. 27 in the NCBWA Top 30.

Senior outfielder Michael Campbell continued his move up career lists in the USC record book this weekend. With an assist from the outfield in Sunday's game, Campbell tied Paul Hollins (1978-81) for the USC record for career assists by an outfielder with 20. Campbell is also now 10th on the All-Time List at Carolina in games played with 203 as well as sixth in At-Bats with 751 total in his career. The iron man at Carolina, Campbell has now made 182 consecutive starts in the outfield going back to his freshman season.

Campbell is the most experienced player in division I baseball with 203 games under his belt as well as 196 starts. Campbell is the leading returnee for Carolina in several offensive categories including batting average (.315), games played (64), at-bats (251), runs (56), hits (79), doubles (16), triples (5), home runs (8), runs batted in (42), slugging percentage (.514), hit by pitch (10) and stolen bases (8).

TRACKING Michael Campbell
Games Played
1.	251	Landon Powell	2001-02-03-04
2.	236	Mac White	1991-92-93-94
3.	223	Jeff Parnell	1990-91-92-93
4.	221	Trey Dyson	1999-00-01-02
5.	217	Derick Urquhart	1995-96-97-98
6.	209	Drew Meyer	2000-01-02
6.	209	Garrett Carter	1985-86-87-88
8.	208	Chris Boyle	1981-82-83-84
9.	204	           Ryan Szwejbka         1993-94-95-96-97
10.	203	Michael Campbell	2003-04-05-06
At Bats
1.	903	Mac White	1991-92-93-94
2.	866	Landon Powell	2001-02-03-04
3.	864	Drew Meyer	2000-01-02
4.	799	Derick Urquhart 	1995-96-97-98
5.	766	Chris Boyle	1981-82-83-84
6.	751	Michael Campbell	2003-04-05
Hits  (200 or more)
1.	303	Mac White	1991-92-93-94
2.	285	Drew Meyer	2000-01-02
3.	265	Landon Powell	2001-02-03-04
4.	265	Derick Urquhart	1995-96-97-98
5.	250	Mike Curry	1996-97-98
6.	245	Hank Small 	1972-73-74-75
7.	231	Dave Willman	1989-90-91-92
8.	230	Skeets Thomas 	1988-89-90
9.	227	Jeff Barns 	1985-86-87
10.	225	Jeff Parnell	1990-91-92-93
11.	224	Michael Campbell	2003-04-05
11.	224	Chris Boyle 	1981-82-83-84

Three Base Hits 1. 12 Mac White 1991-92-93-94 1. 12 Bill Harley 1930-31-32 3. 11 Mike Curry 1996-97-98 4. 10 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05


On whether he expects the team to be more relaxed now that they've played a series:

"I don't think we really had any problems last week relaxing. We didn't score a lot of runs, but you have to give credit to Elon. They played well against us, and we pitched well. We just didn't swing the bats like we would have hoped to. It's a new weekend, we played a lot of new people, and we going to play a lot of young guys again this weekend."

On changing the pitching rotation:

"We're getting Wynn Pelzer in there, he needs to pitch. He could have thrown last Sunday, but we held him out, and this is the way to make sure he gets his edge. We're going to give him a start. I'm not disappointed in Andrew Cruse at all, but he's a guy who is more accustomed to being in the bullpen than Forrest Beverly or Arik Hempy, so we'll leave those two in the rotation and put Pelzer in there."

On how much Shawn Valdes-Fauli could pitch this weekend:

"He probably could be good for a couple of innings, whether it's in one stint or two. We're probably not going to ask him to do more than that, but I'd like to keep him at just one appearance."

On whether he'll use the first few weeks to experiment with the pitching rotation:

"We're not going to experiment at the expense of not winning a game, but we've got six or seven guys, and we're trying to figure out what roles we're going to put them in. We're fortunate in the sense that we do have a number of non-conference games before we get into SEC play, but we're going to try to get as many guys out there as possible."

On whether he'll start different position players this weekend than last:

"James Darnell had a good game on Sunday, so we're going to get him back in there, and we can move him around a little bit. He can play a number of different positions. We'll work him in the outfield some this season. We're not giving up on Chris Brown, but we're going to play Darnell some, and see how it goes."

On whether he's worried about starting three freshmen in the infield:

"Yes, I worry a lot about that. I'm not accustomed to doing that. I know they're all very talented, highly recruited players, and I think they will all be very good in time, but you go through some growing pains when you have too many out there at one time. They're not your average freshmen, but they are still young. There's still some growing they have to do, and I think you have to keep some veteran guys in there to stabilize everything."

On the comfort level of the freshmen:

"They did pretty well last weekend, and I think they'll do even better this weekend. I got the impression, especially on Sunday with Reese Havens, that they became much more comfortable than they were the first two games. I was pleased with their week of practice, and we're very excited to have this kind of talent even though they're young."

On the health of Michael Campbell:

"He wasn't fully healthy last weekend, and I don't know that I could have held him out last weekend, but he probably shouldn't have played. He was sick all week and missed practice, but he tried to get through it. He didn't have a great weekend offensively, but he feels pretty good now and has had a good week of practice, so hopefully he'll have better results on the field."



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