South Carolina & Clemson Renew Rivalry On Baseball Diamond

 

March 3, 2011

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Coach Tanner Press Conference
 

COLUMBIA, S.C. - One of college baseball's greatest rivalries is renewed on the diamond this weekend as South Carolina and Clemson face off in a three-game series. Friday's opener is at Carolina Stadium with first pitch set for 7 p.m. Game two of the series is the Reedy River Rivalry Game from Fluor Field with first pitch at 4:15 p.m. WMYA My40 will air the game in the Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina, and the Fox affiliates in Columbia (WACH), Charleston (WTAT) and Myrtle Beach (WFXB) will also broadcast the game to their respective markets. The game will also be able to be viewed online at ESPN3.com. Sunday's series finale is at Clemson with the game set for 2 p.m. at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on CSS. All three games are also available on the Gamecock Radio Network.

Carolina moved up in all three rankings released on Monday afternoon. The Gamecocks are ranked No. 4 in both the Baseball America Top 25 and USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll. South Carolina also sits at No. 6 in Collegiate Baseball's Top 30. Clemson enters the weekend ranked No. 4 in Collegiate Baseball's Top 30, No. 7 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll and No. 12 by Baseball America.

Under head coach Ray Tanner, the Gamecocks are 28-24 against the Tigers including 12 victories in the last 17 contests between the two schools. South Carolina comes into the contest having won two consecutive games over the Tigers in the 2010 College World Series. Carolina defeated Clemson 5-1 and 4-3 to advance to the national championship series.

Probable Starting Pitchers

Friday
South Carolina Michael Roth (Jr. LHP) 2-0, 2.19 ERA, 12.1 IP, 3 BB, 15 SO
Clemson Scott Weismann (Jr. RHP) 2-0, 4.50 ERA, 10.0 IP, 2 BB, 8 SO

Saturday
South Carolina Tyler Webb (So. LHP) 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 13.1 IP, 3 BB, 11 SO
Clemson Kevin Brady (So. RHP) 2-0, 0.73 ERA, 12.1 IP, 1 BB, 19 SO

Sunday
South Carolina Steven Neff (Jr. LHP) 1-0, 4.76 ERA, 5.2 IP, 2 BB, 9 SO
or Adam Westmoreland (So. LHP) 0-0, 3.60 ERA, 10.0 IP, 3 BB, 9 SO
Clemson David Haselden (Jr. RHP) 1-0, 0.90 ERA, 10.0 IP, 1 BB, 5 SO

PRICE & BRADLEY AWARDS
Following the conclusion of Sunday afternoon'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.

Ironically it was a Bradley that won the Price Award for the Gamecocks as Jackie Bradley Jr. earned MVP honors following the three-game set in 2010. Chris Epps earned the Bradley Award for the Tigers.

GAMECOCKS CONTINUES WINNING WAYS
South Carolina batted around to score nine runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and junior left-hander Steven Neff struck out a career-high seven batters in four innings of work to earn his first win of the year as South Carolina defeated Furman 14-1 on Tuesday night in non-conference action at Carolina Stadium. Neff, in his first start of the season in a predetermined split, was effective in four scoreless innings as he limited Furman to just two hits and one walk allowed. He is now 1-0 on the year. The Gamecocks have now won 13 straight games dating back to last year when the team won six straight to win the national title in Omaha.

WALKER DRIVES THEM IN
Sophomore first baseman Christian Walker continues to shine with the bat as he went 3-for-4 with a homer, three runs scored and four RBI in the 14-1 win over Furman. In addition to his success vs. Furman, Walker tied for the best weekend at the plate for the Gamecocks vs. Southern Illinois hitting .545 (6-for-11) with three doubles, four runs scored and a pair of RBI. Walker is hitting .538 (14-for-26) on the year with two homers and 10 RBI. His on-base percentage is .625. He has six multi-hit games and has a 12-game hitting streak that dates back to last year as well. Walker's on-base percentage is second best in the SEC, batting average is third best and slugging percentage is fourth best (.826).

JUNIOR
Junior outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI and three runs scored in the 14-1 win over Furman. He also homered and drove in two runs in Sunday's 9-4 victory over Southern Illinois. Bradley is hitting .423 (11-for-26) for the season with a pair of homers and eight RBI on the year. Bradley also had three doubles and has scored nine runs. He has a .818 slugging percentage that ties him for fifth best in the league. His on-base percentage is .519 for the season.

WILLIAMS HAS SOLID DEBUT
Junior outfielder Jake Williams started in left field in Saturday's 4-0 win and was the starting designated hitter in Sunday's 9-4 win as well. Williams drove in two runs in Saturday's victory and was 2-for-4 with a triple in Sunday's victory. He made his third consecutive start vs. Furman and had a season-high three hits and three RBI in the 14-1 victory.

MOONEY DELIVERS
Junior shortstop Peter Mooney was stellar at the plate as he tied Walker for the best average last weekend also batting .545 (6-for-11) vs. the Salukis. He also had three doubles and a triple in the series including a 3-for-3 day at the plate in Sunday's 9-4 win vs. SIU. Mooney is hitting .286 (8-for-28) for the season with a .375 on-base percentage.

MORALES FINDS A WAY
Senior third baseman Adrian Morales hit .400 (4-for-10) vs. Southern Illinois with a homer and a team-high six RBI in the series. Morales was 3-for-4 and tied a career-high with three RBI, doubled and homered in Sunday's 9-4 win over Southern Illinois. Morales is hitting .381 (8-for-21) for the season and has a .500 on-base percentage. He has nine RBI for the season.

MATTHEWS SCORES
Junior outfielder Adam Matthews has hit safely in six of seven games this year for the Gamecocks. He was 2-for-4 with two runs scored in the 4-0 win over Southern Illinois. Matthews also scored two runs in Sunday's 9-4 win. He is hitting .308 (8-for-26) on the year with 10 runs scored. He has also stolen three bases this year.

THE VERSATILE MR. BEARY
Senior Robert Beary hit a three-run homer in the 10-6 win over Southern Illinois. His three RBI was a career-high as well. He has made starts at catcher and designated hitter with action as well in the outfield.

THOMAS LEADS THE WAY
Senior catcher Brady Thomas was key in the 10-6 win over Southern Illinois with a 3-for-4 day at the plate with two runs scored and two RBI. He had two doubles in the Gamecocks' victory.

WEBB HAS CAREER DAY
Sophomore left-hander Tyler Webb hurled a career-high 7.1 innings and tied a career-high with seven strikeouts and teamed with relievers Bryan Harper and John Taylor to hurl a five-hit shutout as South Carolina defeated Southern Illinois 4-0 in game two of a weekend series. Webb was effective throughout the game allowing just four hits in his longest start of his career. His seven strikeouts tie the career-high he set March 14, 2010 vs. Brown. He is now 2-0 on the year. He has not allowed an earned run in a team-high 13.1 innings pitched and has 11 strikeouts to just three walks. Opponents are hitting just .159 against him.

ROTH PICKS UP ANOTHER WIN
Junior left-hander Michael Roth also improved to 2-0 after a stellar start in Friday's 10-6 victory. Roth struck out a career-high nine batters in 6.2 innings of work and allowed just two runs, one earned, on four hits. He has 15 strikeouts in 12.1 innings with opponents batting just .174 against him and a 2.19 ERA. Roth's 15 strikeouts are sixth best in the SEC.

TAYLOR - A RELIEF
Senior reliever John Taylor was key out of the bullpen in the Southern Illinois series with appearances in all three games. Taylor allowed just one hit in four innings of work with eight strikeouts. He went a career-high 2.2 innings and had a career-high five strikeouts to pick up his first win of the year in Sunday's 9-4 win.

THE PRICE IS RIGHT
Sophomore right-hander Matt Price picked up his second save of the season in the 10-6 win over Southern Illinois. Price came into Friday's game and retired both batters he faced to pick up a save. He now has two saves.