South Carolina Baseball Notebook
April 5, 2010
Columbia, S.C. - South Carolina has reached the halfway point of the 2010 season and is 22-6 and 7-2 in the Southeastern Conference. The Gamecocks sit tied with LSU for the lead in league play and one game ahead of Florida in the SEC Eastern Division. Carolina went 3-1 this past week with a win over nationally ranked The Citadel, 10-1, last Tuesday, and two of three wins over the weekend vs. Mississippi State.
Vs. Top 25: 3-4
Last Week: 3-1
South Carolina has now defeated Mississippi State in five consecutive series in Columbia dating back to the 2000 season. Carolina leads the all-time series 30-25.
Senior right-hander Blake Cooper continues to excel on Friday night for the Gamecocks. Cooper went 8.1 innings, his longest outing of the season in Friday's 10-2 win over Mississippi State. He allowed two runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. For the season, Cooper is 5-0 with a 3.11 ERA in 46.1 innings pitched with 44 strikeouts and 16 walks allowed. Opponents are batting just .209 against him. He is tied in the SEC rankings with Sonny Gray of Vanderbilt in innings pitched, ranks second in victories, fifth in opponents batting average, tied for sixth in strikeouts and 12th in ERA. He is now tied with Rich Pratt (1990-93) for 11th on the All-Time victories list with 26 career wins.
Freshman right-hander Matt Price has provided strong relief for the Gamecocks this season. Price earned a win in Sunday's victory over Mississippi State with five scoreless innings and allowed just two hits and struck out six batters to improve to 3-0 on the year. Price has a 1.40 ERA in 11 appearances and 19.1 innings pitched with 31 strikeouts and just five walks allowed. Opponents are batting just .149 against him. He also owns a pair of saves on the year. He also leads the team with multi-hit games (11) and multi-RBI games (6).
Junior Whit Merrifield continues to be one of the top bats in the Southeastern Conference. Merrifield was 6-for-16 (.375) in this weekend's series vs. Mississippi State. He has hit safely in 27 of 28 games this year and currently owns a 15-game hitting streak. He is the only Gamecock player to have started all 28 games and is batting .353 (42-for-119) with six HR and 21 RBI. He has a .434 on-base percentage and a .571 on-base percentage. Merrifield leads the SEC in runs scored (38) is tied for seventh in hits (42) and is eighth in total bases (68). He is 14-for-37 (.378) in SEC games.
Having recovered from a couple of injuries, sophomore outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. has also been a key part of the Gamecock lineup. Bradley went 4-for-9 (.444) with five walks and a hit by pitch in the series vs. Mississippi State. Bradley had an on-base pct. of .667 vs. the Bulldogs and scored six runs. Bradley is batting .380 (27-for-71) on the year with a pair of HR and 13 RBI as well as 17 runs scored. He ranks fifth in the SEC in on-base percentage (.511) as well as 10th in batting average.
Senior catcher Brady Thomas hit a pair of two-run homers in Friday's 10-2 win over Mississippi State. He was 3-for-4 with four RBI and three runs scored in the win. Thomas is batting .408 (20-for-49) with 12 of his 20 hits extra base hits (eight doubles, one triple, three homers). He has also driven in 15 runs on the year. He owns a .796 slugging percentage. He is 8-for-14 (.571) in SEC games.
Junior Parker Bangs had a key three-run homer in Sunday's win over Mississippi State. Bangs is 6-for-18 (.333) against SEC teams with a pair of HR an a team-high nine RBI in SEC games. For the season, he is bating .321 (9-for-27) with three HR and 13 RBI. Bangs also has 19 strikeouts in 12 innings pitched on the mound in a relief role.
Freshman reliever Ethan Carter continues to put together stellar appearances out of the pen. Carter is now 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA in 10 appearances and 12.0 innings pitched. He has 13 strikeouts and opponents are batting just .103 against him. Carter was perfect in one inning vs. The Citadel on Tuesday as well as one inning in Sunday's win over Mississippi State.
Junior Robert Beary became the second Gamecock player this year to record four hits in one game in the 10-1 win over The Citadel. He was 4-for-5 with a homer, double and two RBI in the victory.
Freshman right-hander Colby Holmes earned his first career victory on Tuesday night vs. The Citadel. He worked five innings and allowed one run on five hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
Tuesday's win over The Citadel was head coach Ray Tanner's 600th as a head coach with the Gamecocks. Tanner is now 602-272 at South Carolina and 997-445-3 in his 23 years as a head coach in collegiate baseball.
South Carolina is batting .305 (294-for-965) as a team with a .409 on-base percentage and a .487 slugging percentage. The Gamecocks are fielding .971 on the year as well.
The pitching staff has a 3.48 ERA, second best in the SEC and leads the conference in lowest opponents batting average (.218) and strikeouts (288) in 253.2 innings pitched.
The Gamecocks connected with home runs this weekend with 11 home runs in the four games over the week. Carolina tied a single game record at Carolina Stadium with five home runs in Tuesday's 10-1 win over The Citadel. The team also had a pair of homer in Friday's win over Mississippi State, a homer on Saturday vs. MSU and three in Sunday's win. South Carolina owns 34 home runs for the season. South Carolina is 17-2 for the season when hitting at least one home run in a game.
South Carolina outscored The Citadel and Mississippi State 41-13 in the four games this past week ... Carolina has scored 10 or more runs in 11 games this year.
All times Eastern