Carolina Baseball Back in Action This Weekend With SEC Series Vs. Vanderbilt
April 30, 2009
Columbia, S.C. - South Carolina (27-18, 9-12 SEC) returns to action at home this weekend hosting a three-game series with SEC East foe Vanderbilt (27-17, 10-10 SEC). First pitch on Friday and Saturday is set for 7 p.m. with Sunday's series finale scheduled for 1:30 p.m. All three games will be televised live on SportSouth and will also be available on the Gamecock Radio Network and at GamecocksOnline.com.
Carolina sits in fourth place in the SEC Eastern Division and eighth place overall with Vanderbilt just ahead in third place in the division and seventh place overall. There are nine games remaining in the conference schedule beginning Friday night.
South Carolina holds a lead in the all-time series history vs. Vanderbilt. Carolina holds a 40-17 edge over the Commodores although VU has had more recent success with four consecutive series wins over the Gamecocks. South Carolina's last series victory vs. Vanderbilt came on the road with two wins in 2004 in a three-game set in Nashville.
Pitching Rotation (probable starters)
CAROLINA BY THE NUMBERS
Carolina continues to be strong in the early innings, outscoring opponents 104-45 in the first two innings on the year. South Carolina is 25-3 in games when it out-hits the opponent. Carolina is also 24-10 when hitting at least one home run. South Carolina is 11-5 in games decided by two runs or less.
Mack picked up the Tom Price Award as Most Valuable Player for Carolina in the four-game Carolina-Clemson series. Mack had two hits and two RBI in the 12-2 loss on Wednesday night. He is leading the team with a .355 average (59-for-166) with 11 HR and 45 RBI.
He hit a two-run homer and also had a RBI single in the 10-4 win over the Auburn Tigers. Mack was 2-for-5 with a homer and four RBI in the 7-6 win vs. Clemson including a game-winning two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning.
He tallied his first multi-homer game of his career in the Saturday win vs. Long Beach State. Mack also hit a game-winning solo homer in the 3-1 victory at Clemson on February 28. In addition, he hit a pair of three-run homers in the opening series vs. Duquesne.
Mack started the season in left field for the Gamecocks. He had a strong end to the 2008 season and made his way into the starting lineup late in the year. Mack blasted seven homers including a pair at the 2008 NCAA Raleigh Regional that put him also on the All-Tournament team. Mack joined Whit Merrifield on the Cape this summer with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.
MERRIFIELD KEEPS PRODUCING
Merrifield hit his first career grand slam in the 14-6 win over USC Upstate and set a career-high with five RBI. He is hitting .332 (61-for-184) on the year with eight HR and 34 RBI. Merrifield has 18 multi-hit games. His average in SEC play is .307 (27-for-88) with 19 runs scored.
Merrifield was key in the leadoff role the weekend at Ole Miss with a 5-for-6 day at the plate in the series opener, a 12-10 win over the Rebels. Merrifield's five hits were a season-high by a Gamecock player and the most since James Darnell tallied five on March, 18, 2008 at College of Charleston. The five hits were a career-high for Merrifield, he was just one shy of the cycle with three singles, a double and a triple.
ROTH AN OPTION FROM THE LEFT
BELCHER SHINES ON THE MOUND
Belcher hurled first career complete game in series-clinching victory over No. 14 Ole Miss. Limited Rebels to just one run on nine hits in 8-1 win. Helped South Carolina to series victory, its first in Oxford since 1998, also the last time a road team has a won the series between the Gamecocks and Rebels. He alllowed just two runs in victories over nationally-ranked Arkansas and nationally-ranked Ole Miss.
DYSON CATCHING ATTENTION
He pitched his first career complete game in a 8-3 win over Auburn that helped Carolina to series victory over the Tigers. He retired the last nine batters he faced from the seventh to the ninth inning with five retired by strikeout. He also tied a career-high and set a season-high with eight strikeouts in the win.
Dyson is 6-3 on the year with a 5.04 ERA. He has 58 strikeouts in 64.1 innings. Opponents are batting just .229 against him.
CRISP CLIMBS THE LADDER
He is just three shy of Hank Small for eighth on the USC career hits list and one game shy of tying Trey Dyson for fifth on the all-time games played list. Crisp is hitting .337 (62-for-184) with eight HR and 33 RBI as well as a team-high 15 doubles.
SC All-Time Singles List 1) 209 Drew Meyer 2000-01-02 2) 201 Michael Campbell2003-04-05-06 3) 198 Mac White 1991-92-93-94 4) 182 Andrew Crisp 2005-06-07-08-09
DALLES GETS IT GOING
Dalles is hitting .298 (36-for-121) on the year with eight HR and 25 RBI. He is also hitting .313 in SEC games (21-for-67) with four homers in conference play.
EBERT SHOWS STRENGTH
The University of South Carolina Athletics Department has established a Fire Relief Fund for two of its own who were affected by the recent fire at a Columbia apartment complex.
Ebert and Adam Nonnemacher, a full-time intern in the athletics marketing department, lost nearly all of their possessions in a fire at the Waterford Apartments off Broad River Road that occurred on February 23. The fire displaced 25 people and caused an estimated $1 million in damage.
"This is a very difficult time for these two young men who are a part of the Gamecock Athletics Family," said Carolina Athletics Director Eric Hyman. "The Red Cross has assisted in the relief effort, but we wanted to fill in the gaps. We were looking for a way that we could help Nick and Adam recover some of their losses and do so within the framework of the NCAA rules. Former Gamecock pitcher Blake Taylor, a vice president at Southern First Bank, has worked with us to make this a reality."
Those interested in contributing to the fund should send their donation in care of the E/N Fire Relief Fund, Southern First Bank, 717 Lady Street, Suite D, Columbia, S.C. 29201. Contributions are not tax deductable. If there are any proceeds remaining after Ebert and Nonnemacher's needs are met, that money would go to the Red Cross.
BRADLEY, JR. MAKING HIS CASE
Bradley, Jr. was 5-for-10 with five runs scored in the Auburn series. He also was the second Gamecock player this season to record five hits in one game with his five hits in the 20-6 win over College of Charleston on Tuesday.
BROWN PICKS UP PRESIDENT'S AWARD
Brown is 3-0 on the year with a 3.51 ERA in 33.1 innings. He has struck out 25 and walked 17. Brown pitched 6.2 innings on Tuesday to pick up the win at USC Upstate.
THE HOME RUN
DID YOU SEE THAT PLAY?
Matthews is hitting .292 (14-for-48) in 28 games played and has made 11 starts as well. He has three stolen bases. Matthews hit his second home run in Tuesday's 20-6 win over College of Charleston.
HANEY HAS GOOD WEEK
Haney is hitting .262 (43-for-163) with four HR and 23 RBI on the year. He is also hitting .306 in SEC games.
THE STOPPER - Alex Farotto
He has 33 strikeouts in 26.0 innings; opponents are only batting .215 against him.