Baseball Begins Series With Alabama On Thursday

 

April 25, 2012

South Carolina-Alabama Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Columbia, S.C. - South Carolina (30-11, 11-7 SEC) returns to the field on Thursday, April 26 beginning a three-game SEC series against Alabama (17-25, 6-12 SEC) at Carolina Stadium. First pitch for the opener is 7:30 p.m. It is the SEC Game of the Week and will be televised live on ESPNU with Dave Neal, Kyle Peterson and Jessica Mendoza calling the game. Game two on Friday is set for 7 p.m. The series finale is on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. All three games can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College with Andy Demetra and Tommy Moody behind the microphone. South Carolina is ranked No. 5 in this week's USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll, No. 7 by Baseball America and No. 7 by Collegiate Baseball.

LIVE COVERAGE
Radio:
Gamecock IMG Network affiliates/Flagship WNKT FM 107.5 "The Game" in Columbia. Andy Demetra and Tommy Moody will call the action.
Television: Thursday/ESPNU. Dave Neal, Kyle Peterson and Jessica Mendoza will call the action.
Internet: Live Gametracker Stats at GamecocksOnline.com. Additional coverage on Twitter @GamecockBasebll and Facebook/Gamecocksonline

PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION

Thursday
South Carolina - Michael Roth (Sr. LHP) 4-0, 2.84 ERA, 66.2 IP, 16 BB, 57 SO
Alabama - Spencer Turnbull (Fr. RHP) 2-3, 5.45 ERA, 34.2 IP, 16 BB, 34 SO

Friday
South Carolina - Jordan Montgomery (Fr. LHP) 4-0, 2.59 ERA, 41.2 IP, 5 BB, 32 SO
Alabama - Taylor Guilbeau (Fr. LHP) 3-2, 4.89 ERA, 38.2 IP, 28 BB, 30 SO

Saturday
South Carolina - TBA
Alabama - Justin Kamplain (Fr. LHP) 1-3, 3.58 ERA, 50.1 IP, 27 BB, 37 SO

DID YOU KNOW??
In four seasons, Carolina Stadium has a total attendance of 963,363. That is 36,637 fans away from the 1,000,000 mark.

SERIES HISTORY Overall: SC leads 26-25
Last 5 Years: SC leads 6-4

Date	Winner	Score	Site
4/27/07	ALA	10-5	Tuscaloosa
4/28/07	SC	4-1	Tuscaloosa
4/29/07	ALA	11-10	Tuscaloosa
5/20/09	SC	9-5 (11)Hoover
4/30/10	SC	9-7 (11)Columbia
5/1/10	ALA	6-4	Columbia
5/2/10	SC	20-15	Columbia
5/19/11	ALA	2-1	Tuscaloosa
5/20/11	SC	6-3	Tuscaloosa
5/21/11	SC	3-2	Tuscaloosa

QUICK RECAP
South Carolina swept Auburn in a weekend series on the road. The Gamecocks are now 30-11 and 11-7 in the SEC. South Carolina is currently tied for second place in the Eastern Division and tied for third overall with 18 games played in the league. The Gamecocks have won four consecutive weekend series in the league as well as eight straight conference games. South Carolina is also 12-4 in the last 16 games played. The weekend sweep of Auburn marked the 13th straight series victory for the Gamecocks over the Auburn Tigers.

ROTH A FINALIST FOR THE LOWE'S SENIOR CLASS AWARD
University of South Carolina senior left-handed pitcher Michael Roth is one of 10 finalists selected as a finalist for the 2012 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for baseball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 candidates announced in February. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to determine the winner.

Fans are encouraged to vote on the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award website through June 11. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I men's head coaches' votes to determine the winner.

Lowe's, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS Award® winner during the 2012 NCAA College World Series®, which will be held June 15-26 in Omaha.

For more information on all the finalists, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.

ROTH LEADS THE WAY ON THE FIELD
Senior left-hander Michael Roth improved to 4-0 with a victory in Friday night's 12-5 win over Auburn. Roth allowed four runs on eight hits in 6.2 innings with two walks and eight strikeouts The eight strikeouts marked the most for Roth this season against a SEC team and the second highest strikeout total for him on the year. Roth has a 2.84 ERA in 66.2 innings pitched with 16 walks to 57 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting just .194 against him.

Roth's victory vs. Vanderbilt was his 20th career win, making him the 20th player in school history to tally 20 or more career victories.

THE PRICE IS RIGHT
Junior right-hander Matt Price allowed just one run on one hit in two innings of work to earn a save in the 5-3 win on Saturday. He would come in to get the final two outs of Sunday's 11-7 win with a pair of strikeouts as well. Price is 3-3 with four saves and a 2.96 ERA. He had 57 strikeouts in 48.2 innings with opponents batting just .162 against him. All four of Price's saves have come in league play.

He is the career saves leader at Carolina with 33 over the past three years.

ONE MORE APPEARANCE FROM ROTH & PRICE
Both Matt Price and Michael Roth are among career leaders in appearances at South Carolina. With his two appearances this weekend, Price tied himself with Rob Mosser's (1990-93) for the school record of 88.

Appearance List
88	Matt Price (2009-present)
88	Rob Mosser (1990-93)
87 	Aaron Rawl (2002-05)
87	Jason Pomar (1996-99)
86	Jamie Poston (1997-00)
84	Michael Roth (2009-present)
MORE ON THE AUBURN SERIES
In this weekend's sweep of Auburn, the Gamecocks had 29 hits in three games as well as 28 runs scored. The Gamecocks also walked 14 times, were hit by five pitches and struck out just 10 times for a team on-base percentage of .378. The Gamecocks did not make an error over the weekend vs. Auburn and the team raised its season fielding percentage to .979. Carolina has just 31 errors for the year with 22 games played without an error. For the weekend, South Carolina's pitching staff struck out 29 batters, the most strikeouts by the staff vs. a SEC opponent. Friday's 12 runs and 13 hits were both season-high totals for the Gamecocks vs. a SEC opponent.

LB LIGHTS IT UP
Junior third baseman LB Dantzler had a clutch bat in the Auburn series as he went 5-for-13 (.385) with five runs scored, two homers and four RBI. His slugging percentage was .923. Dantzler belted a two-run homer in the 5-3 win on Saturday. He added three hits, three runs scored a RBI double and a homer in the 11-7 win over the Tigers on Sunday. Dantzler raised his average to .250 and he is tied for the team lead in home runs with seven along with Christian Walker. Dantzler has 35 RBI as well and is fielding .981 with just two errors on the hot corner at third base.

Dantzler tallied a walk-off RBI single in the 2-1 win on Saturday night vs. Tennessee. He hit his fifth homer of the year and finished with three RBI in the 6-4 win over Vanderbilt. He was 2-for-4 with a season-high three runs scored in the 6-4 win vs. Appalachian State.

Dantzler was solid in his debut vs. VMI as he tallied a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning as South Carolina defeated VMI 2-1 in the opener. Dantzler followed that up with a three-run homer, a double and four RBI in the 13-1 win over VMI that helped Carolina sweep the Keydets. Dantzler finished the weekend 4-for-11 (.364) at the plate with five RBI and a .727 slugging percentage.

HOLMES WITH THE ANSWER
Junior right-hander Colby Holmes is now 6-0 on the year after earning the win in Sunday's victory over Auburn. Holmes allowed four runs on nine hits in five innings. He matched his career-high with seven strikeouts as well. Holmes has a 3.29 ERA in 52.0 innings pitched with 12 walks and 44 strikeouts. He has won three consecutive starts with victories also over Tennessee and MSU in that span.

MONTGOMERY CONTINUES TO SHINE
Freshman left-hander Jordan Montgomery won his first SEC road start and improved to 4-0 with his third victory in league play in the 5-3 win last Saturday. He allowed two runs on six hits in 5.1 innings with one walk and one strikeout. Montgomery has a 2.59 ERA in 41.2 innings pitched with five walks to 32 strikeouts. Opponents are batting .220 against him.

Montgomery earned SEC Freshman of the Week after his first career SEC start. He worked a career-high eight innings and limited Tennessee to just one run on three hits on the way to a 2-1 South Carolina victory over the Volunteers. Against a Tennessee team that was on an eight-game winning streak, Montgomery kept UT at bay with 12 batters retired at one point in the game. Montgomery did not walk a batter and tallied seven strikeouts.

ENGLISH HAS A KNACK
Freshman outfielder Tanner English was also 5-for-13 (.385) in the Auburn series. He scored three runs and drove in a pair of runs. English had a season-high four hits in the 11-7 win on Sunday as well as two stolen bases. English is batting .313 (47-for-150) on the year with 27 runs scored and 13 RBI. He leads the Gamecocks with 15 multi-hit games. English also leads the team in SEC games with a .313 average vs. league opponents (20-for-64).

English led the Gamecocks in hitting in the MSU series with a .455 average (5-for-11). English scored four runs over the weekend with a triple and also a RBI.

He tallied two hits in the 9-3 win over Florida. He was 2-for-5 with a run scored in the 8-5 win over Furman He had a season-high three hits and a run scored in the 5-2 win over Charleston Southern. English went 2-for-4 with two runs in the 8-1 win over UNC Asheville. He scored a run in all three games of the Elon series and hit safely in all three games as well. English drove in three runs for the weekend with a key two-run triple to left-center in 6-0 win over Elon in the second inning.

WALKER PROVIDES A PUNCH
Junior third baseman Christian Walker tallied three hits including a two-run triple in the 5-3 victory over Auburn on Saturday. Walker leads the Gamecocks with a .336 average, is tied with Dantzler with seven homers and he owns a team-high 40 RBI.

In the SEC, Walker ranks fifth in runs batted in (40), sixth in walks (27), seventh in on-base percentage (.455) tied for seventh in home runs (7) tied for ninth in total bases (82) and 11th in slugging percentage (.539).

In SEC contests, through 18 leagues games he leads the league in walks (17), is tied for second in homers (40) and runs scored (17), tied for third in runs batted in (16), sixth in on-base percentage (.447), and 10th in slugging percentage (.545).

Walker was the top hitter for the Gamecocks in the Vanderbilt series as he hit .500 (6-for-12) with a .625 on-base percentage and a phenomenal 1.250 slugging percentage. Walker belted three homers in the series and drove in five runs with five runs scored as well. Walker tallied his first two-homer game of his career at South Carolina with three RBI and three runs scored in the 8-3 win on Friday vs. the Commodores. In Sunday's 6-4 win, he reached base five times including a game-winning two-run homer in the top of the 13th in the victory.

Walker also became the 25th player in South Carolina history to reach the 200 career hit total with his homer in the 8-3 win over Vanderbilt. He is now at 218 for his three-year career with the Garnet & Black, 16th best in school history.

AT THE PLATE, IN THE FIELD & ON THE MOUND
The Gamecocks are hitting .276 (381-for-1379) as a team with 67 doubles, 10 triples and 28 homers. Carolina has a .366 on-base percentage and a .400 slugging percentage. The pitching staff has a 3.15 team ERA in 371.2 innings with 118 walks to 363 strikeouts. Opponents are batting just .210 against the staff.

South Carolina is fielding .979 as a team.

GREINER EARNS SEC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK HONORS
Freshman catcher Grayson Greiner reached base six times vs. Auburn over the weekend with four hits and two walks. He also drove in three runs and scored four times. Greiner went 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBI in the 12-5 win on Friday. Greiner is hitting .243 (27-for-111) with four homers, eight doubles and 20 RBI. Greiner has a .377 on-base percentage as he has walked 23 ties as well.

Greiner earned SEC Freshman of the Week after the Mississippi State series. It marked the second straight week a Gamecock had earned Freshman of the Week accolades. Greiner had a key solo home run that jumpstarted a four-run rally in the bottom of the eighth as the Gamecocks came from behind to defeat MSU 7-6. Greiner collected three hits over the weekend with a pair of doubles and the home run. He also scored two runs. He also had a grand slam in the 8-0 win over The Citadel on Tuesday night.

Tyler Webb MAKES HIS MARK
Junior left-hander Tyler Webb had two appearances in the Auburn series and now has 23 for the season. He owns a 1.76 ERA, a 3-0 record and has tallied two saves. Webb has 34 strikeouts in 30.2 innings with opponents batting .184 against him.

CLOSE CALLS
South Carolina is 17-9 in games decided by three runs or less through 41 games. The Gamecocks also own an 8-8 record in one-run contests.

MARZILLI PUTS ON A SHOW
Junior outfielder Evan Marzilli reached base in all three games vs. the Tigers and has reached base in 40 of 41 games this year. Marzilli was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI in the 12-5 win over Auburn. He scored at least one run in all three games over the weekend. Marzilli is batting .296 (48-for-162) for the year with 35 runs scored, eight doubles, two triples, a homer, and 18 RBI.

Marzilli reached base in the first 31 games of the 2012 season but saw his streak snap in Sunday's 6-1 victory vs. the Volunteers.

Marzilli had four hits including a three-run homer in the 8-5 win over Furman and was 3-for-4 win the 9-3 win over Florida. Marzilli had a game-winning three-run double as well as a career-high four RBI 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'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 key in the 13-1 victory as he went 2-for-4 with a triple, run scored and two RBI.

SHOWING OFF THE GLOVE
The Gamecocks have also been playing pretty good defense with 22 errorless games on the year. South Carolina is fielding .979 with only 31 errors for the season. That is tied for second best in the Southeastern Conference.

PANKAKE SHOWCASE
Freshman shortstop Joey Pankake had a two-run single in the 12-5 win over Auburn. He also scored two runs in the 11-7 win on Sunday. Pankake is batting .293 (39-for-133) with 28 runs scored and 11 RBI.

Pankake gave the Gamecocks some insurance in the 6-4 win over Mississippi State with a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning. Pankake, who moved to the leadoff role, had five hits and hit .357 vs. the Bulldogs.

He had a 5-for-6 game with a pair of RBI in the 8-5 win over Furman. The last Gamecock player with five hits in a game was Christian Walker on April 5, 2011 vs. USC Upstate.

He tallied his first career homer and RBI in the 2-1 win vs. Presbyterian. The game-winning hit came in the bottom of the fourth inning. In the Elon series, he was 2-for-4 with a triple and three runs scored in the 8-1 win in the opener. He had two walks in game two and a hit and a run scored in the Sunday series finale.

CHASE HIM ON BASE
Junior second baseman Chase Vergason kept finding his way on base in the Auburn series. Vergason was 3-for-10 (.300) with three walks and a hit by pitch for a .500 on-base percentage vs. the Tigers. He also scored three runs. Vergason has a .429 on-base percentage with 12 walks, six hit by pitches for the season. His on-base percentage in conference play is .500. Vergason is hitting .280 in league games as well.

IN A PINCH WITH SULLIVAN
Junior outfielder Sean Sullivan tied Friday's game with a pinch-hit two-out triple and scoring the winning run on a wild pitch on the way to a 7-6 victory over Mississippi State in the series opener. 10 different Gamecocks had at least one hit in the victory.

BRING THE PAYNE
Sophomore Erik Payne got the start at designated hitter on Sunday and he was key in the 11-7 win with a three-run homer as well as a sacrifice fly. The four RBI for Payne was a career-high. Payne is hitting .292 (21-for-72) with seven runs scored, three homers and 15 RBI.

He was 6-for-11 (.545) in the Kentucky series as well as 3-for-7 in midweek contests vs. CSU and ASU. Payne had two hits apiece in all three games at Kentucky as well as a solo home run in Friday's 4-3 loss.

BEAL BRINGS IT
Freshman right-hander Evan Beal worked three-plus innings of solid relief in the 11-7 win on Sunday. Beal allowed two runs on four hits with one walk and three strikeouts. Beal tied a season-high with four scoreless innings of relief in Tuesday's loss to the College of Charleston. He allowed just one hit to the Cougars and struck out three batters.

For the year, Beal is 2-3 with a 4.23 ERA and five saves. Beal has 36 strikeouts in 27.2 innings. Opponents are hitting just .177 against him.

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.

A BRIGHT SPOT
Freshman infielder Connor Bright was the starting designated hitter on Friday and he had a productive evening with a 3-for-4 day, two runs and three RBI. The three hits and three RBI were season-highs. Bright also had two hits vs. the College of Charleston.

Bright is batting .275 (14-for-51) with eight runs scored and eight RBI in 13 starts.