South Carolina Baseball Notebook
March 29, 2010
Columbia, S.C. - South Carolina won four of five games this past week with a victory at Georgia Southern on Tuesday night and wins on Friday and Saturday at Auburn. Sunday's loss at Auburn snapped a 13-game winning streak by the Gamecocks, the longest since Carolina opened the 2004 season with an 18-game win streak. This weekend's series victory vs. Auburn was the 11 straight dating back to the 1998 season. South Carolina is now 19-5 on the year including a 5-1 mark in the Southeastern Conference. Carolina is tied with LSU in the conference race and leads Florida (4-2) by one game in the Eastern Division.
Vs. Top 25: 2-4
This Week: 3-1
South Carolina hitters own a .300 batting average (247-for-823) with 53 doubles, six triples and 23 homers. The team has a .404 on-base percentage and a .463 slugging percentage as well. Carolina is fielding .972 for the season.
Friday's 11-5 win at Auburn saw Carolina tie a season-high with three home runs on the evening.
Senior right-hander Blake Cooper improved to 4-0 on the year with a victory on Friday vs. the Tigers. He allowed just four runs on eight hits with five strikeouts in seven innings of work. He now has 25 career victories, tied with Peter Bauer (1998-2000) for 12th on the USC career list for wins. For the season, Cooper is 4-0 with a 3.32 ERA in 38 innings pitched with 37 strikeouts and 15 walks allowed. He also is tied for fourth highest in innings pitched in the SEC and is eighth best in opposing batting average with opponents hitting just .211 against him.
Junior right-hander Sam Dyson was stellar in a pitcher's duel on Saturday at Auburn and earned a victory in the 2-0 win over the Tigers that helped the Gamecocks clinch the series. Dyson pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out nine batters and walked none to help lead Carolina to the victory. He is 2-0 with a 4.15 ERA. Dyson has 36 strikeouts and just six walks in 30.1 innings pitched. Dyson and relievers Michael Roth and Matt Price combined for the shutout vs. Auburn. South Carolina's shutout of Auburn was the first time that Auburn has not scored at home in a game since a loss to South Alabama on March 1, 2005 (a span of 166 games).
Junior Whit Merrifield became the 23rd player in school history to record 200 or more career hits with a base hit in Friday's game vs. Auburn. Merrifield now has 203 career hits, 100 shy of the school record set by Mac White (1991-92-93-94). He is just 28 hits shy of the Top 10 as well at Carolina. Merrifield has hit safely in 23 of 24 games this year and owns a .354 batting average (35-for-99) with five HR and 19 RBI. He also has a .443 on-base percentage and a .576 slugging percentage. Merrifield is second in the Southeastern Conference with 32 runs scored. He owns an 11-game hitting streak and leads the team with nine multi-hit games as well as six multi-RBI games.
Junior pitcher/utility player Parker Bangs was strong for the Gamecocks both at the plate and on the mound this weekend. Bangs hurled 2.2 scoreless innings without a hit and struck out a pair of batters in the 8-5 win at Georgia Southern on Tuesday night. He then showed his skills at the plate in the Auburn series starting all three games at designated hitter. He was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer in Friday's 11-5 win over Auburn, had a hit in the 2-0 win on Saturday and was 2-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI in Sunday's loss. Bangs is hitting .33 (8-for-24) with a pair of HR and 10 RBI. He has made 10 appearances on the mound and has a 3.86 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 11.2 innings pitched and opponents batting just .103 against him.
Sophomore outfielder Adam Matthews had a key three-run homer in Friday's win vs. Auburn and went 4-for-9 with four RBI and two runs scored over the weekend vs. the Tigers. He was also 2-for-3 with a double, two runs scored and two walks in the 8-5 win over Georgia Southern on Tuesday. Matthews owns a .319 batting average (22-for-69) on the year with six doubles, a triple, two homers and 15 RBI.
Junior infielder Scott Wingo also had a homer in Friday's win vs. Auburn and finished the weekend series with four hits and three runs scored. Wingo had the game-winning RBI double in Saturday's victory vs. the Tigers. He is hitting .339 (21-for-62) with 22 runs scored, four doubles, a triple, four HR and 16 RBI. He owns a .517 on-base percentage, fourth best in the SEC and a .629 slugging percentage, 11th best in the conference.
Senior catcher Brady Thomas led the way in Tuesday's win at Georgia Southern. He was 3-for-7 with a homer and a game-winning three-run double in the top of the 13th inning to help Carolina defeat GSU 8-5. Thomas is hitting .405 (15-for-37) for the season. Nine of his 15 hits are extra base hits (seven doubles, one triple, one home run). Carolina also set a season-high with 12 walks in the win at Georgia Southern.
The Gamecocks are 2-0 on the year in extra inning contests.
South Carolina is 15-1 when scoring first in a game this year with the team owning a 16-1 record when leading entering the top of the seventh inning. Carolina also holds a 15-1 record when out-hitting its opponent. The Gamecocks are 7-3 on the year in games decided by three runs or less.
All times Eastern