South Carolina & Clemson Renew Rivalry On Baseball Diamond

 

March 1, 2012

South Carolina-Clemson Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader


GAMECOCK BASEBALL
March 1, 2012
Coach Tanner
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Gamecocks are back in action this weekend as college baseball's premier rivalry takes center stage. South Carolina (7-0) and Clemson (4-2) will meet in a three-game series beginning on Friday night at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park in Charleston, S.C. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday's contest is in Columbia at Carolina Stadium with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday's series finale at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson will begin at 2 p.m. also and will be broadcast live on ESPN3. All three games can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station 107.5 FM "The Game." Andy Demetra, Derek Scott and Tommy Moody will have the call. Saturday's game from Columbia will be streamed live on GamecocksOnline.com as well.

PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION Friday
South Carolina Michael Roth (Sr. LHP) 1-0, 0.69 ERA, 13.0 IP, 3 BB, 13 SO
Clemson Kevin Brady (Jr. RHP) 0-0, 0.90 ERA, 10.0 IP, 2 BB, 9 SO

Saturday
South Carolina Matt Price (Jr. RHP) 1-0, 1.80 ERA, 10.0 IP, 4 BB, 15 SO
Clemson Dominic Leone (Jr. RHP) 2-0, 3.27 ERA, 11.0 IP, 4 BB, 10 SO

Sunday
South Carolina Colby Holmes (Jr. RHP) 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 10.2 IP, 3 BB, 12 SO
Clemson TBA

DID YOU KNOW???
The eight-run total allowed by the Gamecock pitching staff through the first seven games is the lowest run total to start a season since 1977, when the Gamecocks allowed just seven runs in their first seven games.

SERIES HISTORY

Overall: Clemson leads 168-125-2 Last Five Years: S. Carolina leads 11-5

Date Winner Score Site 3-1-2008 SC 10-1 Columbia 3-2-08 SC 5-1 Clemson 4-9-08 SC 7-1 Columbia 4-16-08 SC 6-0 Clemson 2-28-09 SC 3-1 Clemson 4-7-09 SC 7-6 Columbia 4-8-09 CU 7-5 Clemson 4-22-09 CU 12-2 Columbia 3-5-10 CU 4-3 Clemson 3-6-10 SC 7-5 Greenville 3-7-10 CU 19-6 Columbia 6-25-10 SC 5-1 Omaha 6-26-10 SC 4-3 Omaha 3-4-11 SC 6-3 Columbia 3-6-11 CU 10-5 Clemson 3-8-11 SC 5-4 Greenville

CAROLINA-CLEMSON
Under head coach Ray Tanner, the Gamecocks are 30-25 against the Tigers. Dating back to 2007, the Gamecocks have defeated Clemson in 14 of the last 20 meetings between the two schools.

PRICE & BRADLEY AWARDS
Following the conclusion of Tuesday evening's contest, the Tom Price Award and Bob Bradley Award will be presented to the respective MVP's from South Carolina and Clemson for the series. Both Bradley and Price served as Baseball SIDs at their respective schools for decades and were important in the promotion of collegiate baseball across the state and in the country. Bradley passed away in 2000, while Price passed away on February 1, 2008.

RECAPPING LAST YEAR'S SERIES
South Carolina 6, Clemson 3

Brady Thomas, Christian Walker and Scott Wingo each tallied two-run homers and on the back of junior left-hander Michael Roth's quality start, South Carolina erased an early three-run deficit to defeat Clemson 6-3 in the opening game in front of a sellout crowd of 8,242 fans at Carolina Stadium.

Roth, who hurled a complete game vs. the Tigers in 2010 at the College World Series, was effective again as he allowed three runs, all unearned, on seven hits with six strikeouts and three walks in seven innings pitched. Gamecock right-hander Matt Price hurled 1.2 perfect innings of relief and struck out the side in the top of the ninth for a save. Clemson starter Scott Weismann suffered the loss. He went five innings and allowed four runs on six hits with three strikeouts and a walk.

Clemson broke ahead 3-0 in the top of the second inning with three unearned runs off of Roth. Richie Shaffer opened up the frame with a leadoff walk and the Tigers got their second base runner as John Hinson reached base on a fielding error on shortstop Peter Mooney. With two outs and runners on second and third base, Phil Pohl ripped a double down the left field line to score both runners. He would then score on a RBI single up the middle off the bat of Jason Stolz.

South Carolina answered in the bottom half of the second as Brady Thomas delivered with a two-run homer to cut the Clemson lead to 3-2. Thomas homered after Christian Walker led off with a hit by pitch.

It would remain that way until the bottom of the fifth when Walker delivered with his third home run of the season. With two outs and Evan Marzilli on second base, Walker drilled an 0-1 pitch from Weismann over the left-centerfield wall giving the Gamecocks a one-run lead.

Roth faced a moment of truth in the bottom of the sixth as the Tigers loaded the bases with two outs. Facing Jason Stolz and with a 3-2 count, Roth was able to induce a strikeout against the Tiger hitter bringing the packed house on to its feet as the Gamecocks remained ahead by a run. After Richie Shaffer led off the top of the eighth inning with a hit by pitch, the Gamecock bullpen battled as Bryan Harper came in to strike out John Hinson with Price relieving Harper then and getting Spencer Kieboom to roll into a 6-3 double play keeping the Gamecocks ahead 4-3.

Carolina received some much needed insurance in the bottom of the eighth then as Wingo drilled a two-run homer to right field to give Carolina a three-run cushion.

Clemson 10, South Carolina 5
Clemson batted around to score six runs in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Tigers rallied to defeat South Carolina 10-5 in game two of the series at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

A back-and-forth affair, the Gamecocks stormed back from a 3-1 deficit in the seventh inning with four runs to take a 5-3 lead on the Tigers thanks to a solo home run by Christian Walker, a RBI ground out by Michael Roth, a wild pitch and a RBI single off the bat of Evan Marzilli. With a 5-4 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth, the Gamecocks went with closer sophomore right-hander Matt Price. The Tigers got into scoring position as Jason Stolz led off with a single followed by a sacrifice bunt by Chris Epps. With Stolz in scoring position, Brad Miller knocked a single in the hole between short and third base. On the play, shortstop Peter Mooney bobbled the hard chopper that allowed Stolz to score and tied the game at 5-5. With Miller still on first base, Jeff Schaus drilled a RBI double to the gap in right-center scoring Miller and giving the Tigers a one-run lead. With two outs and runners on first and second base, Spencer Kieboom drew a bases loaded walk that brought Will Lamb to the plate. Lamb turned on a 1-2 pitch from Price that scored both Miller and Schaus increasing Clemson's lead to 9-5. Clemson pinch hitter Jon McGibbon added a RBI single that gave Clemson the 10-5 lead.

Clemson reliever Joseph Moorefield took the victory. He worked two scoreless innings with two strikeouts. Price suffered the loss. He allowed six runs on four hits with two walks in 0.2 innings pitched.

South Carolina broke ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning as Jackie Bradley Jr. drilled a two-out solo home run to left-center, his third home run of the season. Clemson strung together three consecutive two-out hits in the bottom of the third including a RBI double by Jeff Schaus that went off the glove of first baseman Christian Walker and down the first base line scoring Chris Epps and Brad Miller to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead. Clemson made it 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth when Miller drew a bases loaded walk to give the Tigers a two-run cushion.

Carolina made its move in the top of the seventh inning. Walker gave the Gamecocks a boost as he drilled a homer to center field. Walker finished the night 2-for-4. After Brady Thomas reached base on a strikeout swinging with a wild pitch, Adrian Morales drew a walk to give the Gamecocks a pair of runners with no outs. After Peter Mooney's sacrifice bunt, the Gamecocks elected to go to pinch hitter Michael Roth who drilled a hard ground ball to first baseman Richie Shaffer that scored Thomas and tied the game at 3-3. After a walk to Scott Wingo put runners on the corners, Morales scored on a wild pitch by reliever David Haselden that put Carolina on top by a run. Marzilli kept the momentum going as he knocked a RBI single to right-center scoring Wingo and increasing the Gamecock lead to 5-3. Clemson would get an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh that cut Carolina's lead to one run before the eighth inning.

South Carolina (5) Clemson (4)
South Carolina scored five runs in their final two at-bats and held off a furious Clemson rally in the ninth to earn a 5-4 victory in the Reedy River Rivalry game before a crowd of 7,125 at Fluor Field. With the win, South Carolina earned a victory in the season series against the Tigers.

The Gamecocks got four runs in the seventh after struggling offensively through the first six innings. A leadoff walk to Christian Walker led to a sacrifice bunt from Brady Thomas, moving Walker to second. A single from Adrian Morales put runners at the corners with one out, and then Peter Mooney hit a high chopper to first that was mishandled by the first baseman, scoring Walker to tie the game at 1-1.

Junior Jake Williams then made the most of a pinch-hit opportunity, blasting a three-run home run - the first of his Carolina career - over the "Green Monster" in left field scoring Morales and Mooney to give the Gamecocks their first lead of the game at 4-1.

With one out in the eighth, junior Jackie Bradley Jr. poked one through the right side and stretched it into a double after the right fielder hesitated on his throw back to the infield. That led to Walker ripping a base hit up the middle to score Bradley from second and give the Gamecocks a 5-1 lead. Walker would then steal second and move to third on a groundout, and a walk to Morales would put runners at the corners, but the threat for more runs ended when Mooney hit a hot shot to right field but directly to the fielder to end the inning.

Clemson would not go quietly in the ninth. Brad Miller and Jeff Schaus led off the inning with back-to-back singles, and a walk to Richie Shaffer loaded the bases with no out, leading to a call to the bullpen for Friday starter Michael Roth. However, Roth would give up a single to the only batter he faced as John Hinson drove in Miller to make it 5-2. Closer Matt Price would then relieve Roth, inducing a 4-6-3 double play that scored Schaus from third to make it 5-3 with two out. Clemson center fielder Will Lamb then laced one into the right field corner for an RBI triple, cutting the deficit to 5-4 and putting the tying run 90 feet away. But Price would bear down and catch pinch-hitter Jon McGibbon looking at strike three to end the ballgame.

The first six innings were a pitchers' duel as Carolina's Adam Westmoreland allowed just one run on four hits through 5.1 innings, and Tiger starter David Haselden hurled six shutout innings while striking out five. The Tigers' lone run in the first eight innings came on a solo home run by Shaffer in the fourth.

Freshman Forrest Koumas (1-0) earned his first collegiate victory, pitching 2.1 innings of strong relief as he struck out three of the nine batters he faced, giving up three runs on three hits. Price earned his fourth save of the season, giving up just one hit and striking out one. Clemson's Alex Frederick (0-1) was charged with the loss as he surrendered three earned runs on two hits while facing just two batters in the seventh.

Offensively, the Gamecocks were led by Bradley, Morales and Mooney with two hits apiece. Walker's RBI single in the eighth extended his hitting streak to 15 games, dating back to last season's College World Series.

Williams earned the Tom Price Award as the South Carolina MVP of the 2011 Carolina-Clemson series. The Bob Bradley Award for the Clemson MVP went to catcher Spencer Kieboom.

QUICK RECAP
Joey Pankake hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie and four Gamecock pitchers combined to allow just one run on five hits as second ranked South Carolina defeated Presbyterian 2-1 on Tuesday afternoon in non-conference baseball action at Carolina Stadium.

Junior left-hander Nolan Belcher earned his first win since May 11, 2010 with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief. He allowed just one hit and struck out three batters. After junior right-hander Ethan Carter hurled 2.1 scoreless innings it would be junior left-hander Tyler Webb that would close the game out as he retired the final batter of the game on a fly out to earn his first save of the season.

A CALL TO ARMS
The Gamecock pitching staff has been impressive so far with a 7-0 record and a league-best 0.86 team ERA. The pitchers have allowed just eight runs, six earned, on 23 hits in 63.0 innings while striking out 74 batters to just 13 walks. Opponents are hitting only .112 against them, also best in the SEC.

Last weekend against Elon, the staff allowed just three runs, one earned, on seven hits in 27 innings of work with 32 strikeouts vs. the Phoenix.

LET'S GET IT STARTED
All three Gamecock starting pitchers earned wins over the weekend. Junior right-hander Matt Price followed him up with five innings of one-hit ball in Saturday's 3-2 win over the Phoenix. It is the only hit he has allowed in two starts this year. He tied a career-high with eight strikeouts as well in the victory. Price is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA and 15 strikeouts to just four walks in 10 innings pitched. Junior right-hander Colby Holmes hurled 5.2 scoreless innings and limited Elon to just three hits in Sunday's 6-0 victory over Elon. Holmes is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and has 12 strikeouts to just three walks in 10.2 innings of work. In 33.2 innings, the Gamecock weekend rotation of Roth, Price and Holmes has yielded only three runs on nine hits while striking out 40 batters to 10 walks allowed.

ACTION FROM THE `PEN
Junior left-hander Tyler Webb picked up his first career save retiring the only batter he faced in Tuesday's 2-1 win over Presbyterian. In the outing before that vs. Elon, Webb gave the Gamecocks a quality outing out of the bullpen. He tied a career-high with seven strikeouts in 3.2 innings of relief work and allowed just one hit and two runs, both unearned. Webb won his seventh career game and his first of the season in the 2-1 win over VMI in the opener. He worked 2.1 scoreless innings with just one hit allowed and struck out four batters.

Sophomore right-hander Forrest Koumas picked up his second save of the season in last Saturday's 3-2 win over Elon. With runners on first and second base and two outs, Koumas struck out the final out to end the Phoenix's threat and seal the Gamecock win. Koumas picked up his first career save in the 2-1 win on Opening Day. Koumas had 0.2 perfect innings with a strikeout to end the game.

Junior right-hander Ethan Carter and freshman right-hander Evan Beal combined for three perfect innings to close out the 6-0 win over Elon. On the first weekend, Carter returned to the mound for the Garnet & Black for the first time since 2010 and picked up a victory in relief of Matt Price in the 3-2 win over VMI. Carter's four innings are the most ever in his career with the Garnet & Black and he delivered with just two hits allowed while striking out six of the 13 batters he faced.

IF YOU BUILD IT - THEY WILL COME
South Carolina is among the nation leaders in attendance after two weekends. South Carolina has totaled 51,302 in attendance for seven home games for an average of 7,328.

Opening Day was sold out with a crowd of 8,242 in attendance. The three-game series vs. VMI totaled 23,253 for an average of 7,751 per contest.

South Carolina set a record for season tickets sold this year with a total of 5,580 sold in the preseason, surpassing the previous record of 5,414 set last year. South Carolina's total attendance of 297,279 for 40 games last year at Carolina Stadium was second highest in the country.

The Gamecocks own a 99-19 (.839) record since opening the facility on Feb. 21, 2009.

WALKER PROVIDES A PUNCH
The 8-1 win over Elon featured junior first baseman Christian Walker, who reached base all four times at the plate including two hits, a homer and five RBI in the victory. The five RBI tied a career-high. Walker hit safely in all three games of the series and owns a five-game hitting streak. He leads the team in hitting with a .381 average (8-for-21) with a homer and eight RBI.

Walker had a combined four hits in the doubleheader on Saturday vs. VMI. In the 13-1 victory he drove in a pair with a RBI single in a seven-run fourth inning and he also scored a run.

ENGLISH HAS A KNACK
Another key offensive contributor early in the season has been freshman outfielder Tanner English. He scored a run in all three games of the Elon series and hit safely in all three games as well. English drove in three runs for the weekend with a key two-run triple to left-center in 6-0 win over Elon in the second inning. English is hitting .292 (7-for-24) for the season with five runs scored and five RBI.

English also factored in all three victories of the VMI series. He tallied two hits in the opener vs. VMI, had a RBI base hit in the 3-2 victory and capped that off with two runs scored and a RBI in the 13-1 win in the series finale.

PANKAKE SHOWCASE
Freshman shortstop Joey Pankake tallied his first career homer and RBI in the 2-1 win on Tuesday vs. Presbyterian. The game-winning hit came in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Pankake was productive in the Elon series. He was 2-for-4 with a triple and three runs scored in the 8-1 win in the opener. He had two walks in Saturday's victory and a hit and a run scored in the Sunday series finale. Pankake is hitting .273 (6-for-22) with six runs scored.

LB LIGHTS IT UP
Junior third baseman LB Dantzler launched a three-run homer in the first inning of Sunday's 6-0 win over Elon. Dantzler leads the team with two homers and nine RBI. Dantzler was solid in his debut vs. VMI as he tallied a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning as South Carolina defeated VMI 2-1 in the opener. Dantzler followed that up with a three-run homer, a double and four RBI in the 13-1 win over VMI that helped Carolina sweep the Keydets. Dantzler finished the weekend 4-for-11 (.364) at the plate with five RBI and a .727 slugging percentage.

MARZILLI LEADS IT OFF
Junior outfielder Evan Marzilli has reached base safely in all seven games. He is hitting .357 (10-for-28) for the year with six runs scored. He also has three stolen bases and has driven in four runs as well.

Marzilli returned to the leadoff role and was effective in the first weekend vs. VMI as he hit .500 (6-for-12) with a .538 on-base percentage. Marzilli had a 3-for-4 day at the plate on Opening Day. He scored the game-winning run in the opener and also was effective in the 13-1 victory as he went 2-for-4 with a triple, run scored and two RBI.

AT THE PLATE & ON THE FIELD
South Carolina hitters are hitting .274 (60-for-219) for the year with 37 runs scored. The Gamecocks own a .337 on-base percentage and a .411 slugging percentage. South Carolina has played pretty clean in the field as well with a .985 fielding percentage and just four errors through the first seven games.

ROTH A CANDIDATE FOR THE LOWE'S SENIOR CLASS AWARD
South Carolina senior left-handed pitcher Michael Roth is one of 30 NCAA baseball student-athletes named as a candidate for the 2012 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, it was announced on February 23. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.

Roth is in his second straight year as captain for the baseball team. He is a Preseason All-America selection and was a 2011 consensus All-American and CollegeBaseballInsider.com's National Player of the Year. Last year, Roth was named to the College World Series All-Tournament Team and was a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American as well. He also earned the NCAA Elite 88 award as the student-athlete with the highest GPA of all student-athletes in the 2011 College World Series.

Lowe's, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS Award® winner during the 2012 NCAA College World Series, which will be held June 15-26 in Omaha. The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, Division I head coaches and fans who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. 
For more information on all the candidates, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.

DYNAMIC DUO BEHIND THE DISH
Freshman catcher Grayson Greiner is hitting .333 (7-for-21) after six games with two doubles and two RBI. He had an impressive debut hitting .400 (4-for-10) in his first career games with the Garnet & Black in the VMI series. He had two hits in the opener and also had a key defensive play in the top of the ninth inning as he nabbed the potential tying run at second base on a stolen base attempt. He was 2-for-4 with a double and run scored in the 13-1 win as well.

Junior catcher Dante Rosenberg played a pivotal role in the 3-2 win over VMI on Saturday. Rosenberg was 2-for-4 with two doubles, a run scored and a RBI including the game-winning RBI hit in the bottom of the sixth inning in the victory.

SOUTH CAROLINA IN THE RANKINGS
South Carolina sits at No. 2 in the Collegiate Baseball Top 30. The Gamecocks are also No. 3 in Baseball America's Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll.

K-MART
Freshman first baseman Kyle Martin also saw action in two of the three games in the VMI series. His big day would come in the 13-1 win as he went 3-for-5 with a double, RBI and two runs scored.

TJ SHOWS SOME POWER
Freshman infielder/outfielder TJ Costen belted his first career homer, a two-run shot and scored two runs in the 13-1 win over VMI.

A LITTLE MORE ON THE BATS
Carolina's 16-hit total in the 13-1 win over VMI is the most hits by a Gamecock team since April 24, 2011 when Carolina tallied 18 hits in a 13-4 win over Mississippi State. It is also the highest hits total by a Gamecock team on Opening Weekend since Feb. 23, 2008 when the Gamecock offense rattled off 19 hits in a 22-5 win over East Carolina.