COLUMBIA, S.C. -
South Carolina (15-1) begins SEC play this weekend with a three-game series at Kentucky (18-0). The series opener is on Friday at 7 p.m. ET with the game televised on CSS as well as on Time Warner Cable channel 506 in South Carolina and North Carolina. Saturday's game is set for 2 p.m. ET. Sunday's series finale will be at 1 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on FS South and FS Carolinas. All three games can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College including flagship station 107.5 FM "The Game," in Columbia.
South Carolina (15-1) vs. Kentucky (18-0)
Radio: Gamecock IMG Network affiliates/Flagship WNKT FM 107.5 "The Game" in Columbia. Andy Demetra, Derek Scott and Tommy Moody will call the action.
Television: Friday - CSS (Matt Stewart/Rusty Ensor) Sunday - FS South (Andy Demetra/Larry Conley) Friday's game is also available on Time Warner Cable channel 506 in the states of South Carolina and North Carolina.
Internet: Live Gametracker at GamecocksOnline.com. Additional coverage on Twitter @GamecockBasebll and Facebook/Gamecocksonline
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION Friday
South Carolina - Michael Roth (Sr. LHP) 2-0, 0.93 ERA, 29.0 IP, 5 BB, 30 SO
Kentucky - Taylor Rogers (Jr. LHP) 4-0, 4.24 ERA, 23.1 IP, 6 BB, 33 SO
South Carolina - Matt Price (Jr. RHP) 2-0, 3.10 ERA, 20.1 IP, 7 BB, 27 SO
Kentucky - Jerad Grundy (Jr. LHP) 3-0, 2.25 ERA, 24.0 IP, 7 BB, 23 SO
South Carolina leads the all-time series history against Kentucky 41-29 including a three-game sweep in Columbia last season. All three games were tight in Columbia with the Gamecocks coming out on top 3-1, 4-3 (10 inn.) and 4-1.
ONE MILESTONE REACHED
South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner won his 700th game as head coach at South Carolina in the 2-1 victory over Princeton. Tanner is now 704-297 (.703) in 16 years at the helm of the Garnet & Black. Tanner is one step closer to another milestone as he enters this weekend with a 1,099-470-3 (.700) career record in 25 years as a head coach in collegiate baseball.
A CALL TO ARMS
The South Carolina pitching staff limited Princeton to just three runs on 18 hits for the weekend with 35 strikeouts and just three walks. It was a 1.00 ERA for the staff as well. Princeton batted just .182 for the weekend. The Carolina pitching staff has a 1.73 ERA on the year in 145.1 innings pitched. That earned run average leads the SEC. In 16 games, the Gamecocks have allowed just 32 runs on 84 hits with 162 strikeouts and 35 walks. Opponents are hitting only .163 against the Gamecocks, also the best mark among the 12 SEC schools.
ROTH LEADS THE WAY
Senior left-hander Michael Roth carried a shutout into the ninth inning and limited Princeton to just one run on six hits in a 2-1 victory over the Tigers. Struck out a career-high 10 batters, the most strikeouts by a Gamecock pitcher since June 28, 2010 when Blake Cooper had 10 vs. UCLA in the CWS Championship Series. At one point in the game, he had retired 12 batters in a row. Roth is now 2-0 on the year with a 0.93 ERA in 29.0 innings pitched. He has allowed just three runs on 14 hits while striking out 30 and walking only five batters.
THE PRICE IS RIGHT
Junior right-hander Matt Price also improved to 2-0 on the year with a win on Saturday in the 6-1 victory. Price limited Princeton to one run on four hits in six innings with six strikeouts and one walk. He is 2-0 on the year with a 3.10 ERA with 27 strikeouts to just seven walks. Opponents are hitting only .139 against him, best mark among all SEC pitching leaders.
ONE MORE APPEARANCE FROM ROTH & PRICE
Both Matt Price and Michael Roth have appeared in 78 games in their careers with the Garnet & Black. That is tied for seventh all-time in school history with John Taylor (2010-11) and 10 shy of the school record set by Rob Mosser (1990-93)
88 Rob Mosser (1990-93)
87 Aaron Rawl (2002-05)
87 Jason Pomar (1996-99)
86 Jamie Poston (1997-00)
79 Brian Beatson (1987-90)
78 Matt Price (2009-present)
78 Michael Roth (2009-present)
78 John Taylor (2010-11)
HOLMES WITH THE ANSWER
Junior right-hander Colby Holmes is the team's leader in victories with a 3-0 record. Holmes hurled five scoreless innings with just four hits allowed to pick up the win in the 3-1 victory on Sunday. He struck out six and walked one. He also has a 0.93 ERA. He has 22 strikeouts in 19.1 innings pitched.
Both Holmes and Roth lead the conference in earned run average.
BEAL BRINGS IT
Freshman right-hander Evan Beal posted two saves last weekend vs. Princeton and one on Wednesday vs. Appalachian State Beal struck out the lone batter he faced with the tying run on second base in Friday's 2-1 win and he hurled a perfect inning of relief in Sunday's 3-1 win with two strikeouts. Beal has 11 strikeouts and just one walk in 7.2 relief innings on the year as well as one victory and three saves.
Beal earned his first career win in the 9-6 victory vs. Clemson. Beal entered the game in the bottom of the fifth and retired nine in a row and lasted four innings allowing just two runs on three hits while striking out five and walking one.
MARZILLI LEADS IT OFF
Junior outfielder Evan Marzilli had a career-high four RBI including a game-winning three-run double in the 6-4 win over Appalachian State. He also tied a school record with three doubles in the 2-1 win over Princeton. It is the 25th time in school history that a player has tallied three doubles in one game. Marzilli has reached base in all 16 games this year. He owns a .323 batting average (21-for-65) with 12 runs scored and eight RBI. His on-base percentage is .397.
Marzilli's defense was essential for the Gamecocks in the 3-2 win over Clemson in 11 innings. Marzilli had his first assist of the year with a throw to home plate to nab a Tiger runner trying to score and his diving catch with two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning sealed the Gamecock victory.
Marzilli 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 keyt in the 13-1 victory as he went 2-for-4 with a triple, run scored and two RBI.
WALKER PROVIDES A PUNCH Christian Walker tied a season-high with three hits in a 3-for-4 day at the plate with a pair of RBI in the 6-1 win vs. Princeton. Walker is hitting .345 (20-for-58) with a team-leading 16 RBI for the season.
He also had a season-high three hits as well as three RBI in the 8-1 win over UNC Asheville. In the 8-1 win over Elon, Walker 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.