March 4, 2010
Game Notes in PDF Format
Columbia, S.C. -
One of college baseball's greatest rivalries renews this weekend as South Carolina (5-2) and Clemson (7-0) face off on the baseball diamond in a three-game series. Friday's opener is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Doug Kingsmore Stadium with Saturday's contest at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C. at 2 p.m. and the series finale on Sunday afternoon at Carolina Stadium, also a 2 p.m. start. All three games can be heard at GamecocksOnline.com. Friday and Sunday's games are available on 107.5 FM, "The Game" with Saturday's contest on WISW 1320 AM.
Under head coach Ray Tanner; the Gamecocks are 25-22 against the Tigers including nine victories in the last 12 contests between the two schools.
Probable Starting Pitchers
South Carolina Blake Cooper (Sr. RHP) 2-0, 3.00 ERA, 12.0 IP, 4 BB, 11 SO
Clemson Casey Harman (Jr. LHP) 2-0, 0.84 ERA, 10.2 IP, 4 BB, 9 SO
South Carolina Sam Dyson (Jr. RHP) 1-0, 2.35 ERA, 7.2 IP, 2 BB, 11 SO
Clemson Will Lamb (So. LHP) 1-0, 1.42 ERA, 6.1 IP, 2 BB, 6 SO
South Carolina Tyler Webb (Fr. LHP) 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 8.2 IP, 1 BB, 9 SO
Clemson Scott Weismann (So. RHP) 1-0, 2.89 ERA, 9.1 IP, 1 BB, 10 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.
Scott Wingo and Whit Merrifield each homered and Gamecock starter Nolan Belcher combined with four relievers for a two-hit shutout as 15th ranked South Carolina defeated Presbyterian 15-0 on Wednesday afternoon in a non-conference tilt at Carolina Stadium.
Belcher was dominant on the hill for the Gamecocks with five scoreless innings and just one infield hit allowed. He struck out seven and walked one to earn his first win of the year. Matt Price also struck out one in one inning of relief with Parker Bangs striking out two batters in his stint. Freshmen Ethan Carter and Colby Holmes closed the game out with an inning apiece as well. South Carolina pitchers had 10 strikeouts to two walks on the afternoon. Presbyterian reliever Jesse Harmon went 1.2 innings and allowed seven runs on five hits to suffer the loss. He is 0-1 on the year.
Carolina's 18 hits included eight doubles and a pair of homers. The eight doubles tied for the fourth highest mark by a team coached by Ray Tanner in South Carolina history. Merrifield finished 3-for-6 with a grand slam homer and also scored two runs.
Junior outfielder Whit Merrifield has hit safely in all seven games this and owns a 21-game hitting streak that began last season. Merrifield is batting .333 (10-for-30) on the year with a homer and six RBI. He also leads the team and is among the SEC leaders with 11 runs scored.
STELLAR START ON THE MOUND
After the first seven games, the Gamecock pitching staff is 5-2 with a 2.63 ERA in 61.2 innings. The staff has 71 strikeouts to 19 walks with opponents only hitting .217 on the year.
HANGING WITH MR. COOPER
Senior right-hander Blake Cooper continues to pitch stellar on the mound as he earned a victory in the 6-2 win over ECU. Cooper allowed just two runs on four hits while striking out four batters and walking two. He is now 2-0 on the year with a 3.00 ERA and has 12 innings pitched with 11 strikeouts and four walks allowed. Cooper now has 23 career wins, one behind Bret Baynham (1978-81) for 13th on the South Carolina career victories list. His 23 career victories tie him for the second highest total of current pitchers in the nation with wins.
ENDERS NAMED TO JOHNNY BENCH AWARD WATCH LIST
South Carolina senior catcher Kyle Enders has been named to the 2010 Johnny Bench Award official watch list as announced by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission. The Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award delivered by Papa John's Pizza is given annually to the top Division I collegiate catcher. Enders is off to a great start this year for the Gamecocks having hit safely in all six games played this year and owning a .450 batting average (9-for-20).
WINGO TIES SCHOOL RECORD FOR HIT BY PITCHES
Scott Wingo was 2-for-3 with four runs scored and was twice hit by pitch in the win over Presbyterian. He is now tied for the school career record with 34 hit by pitches along with Garris Gonce (2001-02) and Michael Campbell (2003-04-05-06).
South Carolina sophomore outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. made his first start of the year in the 15-0 win over Presbyterian. Bradley was 2-for-4 with a double and run scored in the victory. He was limited in the first two weeks of play to defensive action due to recovery from a broken right hand.
SOUTH CAROLINA IN THE RANKINGS
South Carolina is ranked No. 13 by Rivals.com, No. 15 by Baseball America, No. 22 by Collegiate Baseball and No. 23 by USA Today/ESPN (Coaches) released Monday afternoon.
SAM THE MAN
Junior right-hander Sam Dyson worked four innings and allowed two runs on two hits with five strikeouts and one walk in a no-decision vs. East Carolina. Dyson has also been decent on the mound in 7.2 innings with 11 strikeouts to two walks and just two hits allowed in his first two games of the year. The opposing batters are hitting 0.080 against him, that is the lowest batting average among SEC leaders.
Dyson is one of several players in the nation on the Golden Spikes Award watch list presented by USA Baseball. The award is given to the top amateur player in the country. Dyson was effective in his first start vs. Duquesne as he pitched 3.2 hitless innings in a predetermined split and allowed just one walk while striking out six of the 12 batters he faced.
Another solid outing for the Gamecocks came from freshman left-hander Tyler Webb, who hurled 4.1 scoreless innings of relief in Sunday's loss to East Carolina. Webb yielded jus two hits and struck out three batters. He has pitched 8.2 scoreless innings in his first two appearances with the Gamecocks. Webb is one of three players listed by the SEC for lowest earned run average (0.00).