Columbia, S.C. -
South Carolina (32-19) returns home on Tuesday to host USC Upstate (14-35) in a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. at Carolina Stadium. Both games are scheduled for seven innings with the second contest starting no earlier than 7 p.m. or 30 minutes following the conclusion of game one. The doubleheader can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network and at GamecocksOnline.com.
South Carolina defeated USC Upstate 14-6 in Spartanburg on April 21 in the team's previous meeting this year. Whit Merrifield hit his first career grand slam and Andrew Crisp and Nick Ebert each drove in three runs in the Gamecock victory at Harley Park.
The Carolina offense came to the park with a 16-hit total. Merrifield was 2-for-4 with five RBI that matched an individual season-high by a Gamecock player this season. Crisp was 3-for-5 with three RBI with Ebert, Kyle Enders, Bobby Haney and DeAngelo Mack tallying two hits apiece as well. The five RBI total was a career-high for Merrifield as well as he belted the Gamecocks' third grand slam of the year.
South Carolina starting pitcher Jay Brown tied a career-high with 6.2 innings of work. He allowed five runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and four walks allowed. USC Upstate starter Austin Moyer allowed four runs on three hits in three innings of work. He struck out three and walked two. He took the loss.
Pitching Rotation (probable starters)
Tuesday (Game One)
SC Jay Brown (RHP, Sr.) 3-0, 3.31 ERA, 35.1 IP, 17 BB, 28 K
Tuesday (Game Two)
SC Adam Westmoreland (LHP, Fr.) 3-2, 4.54 ERA, 39.2 IP, 29 BB, 38 K
TUESDAY GAMEDAY INFORMATION FOR DOUBLEHEADER WITH USC UPSTATE
Gates Open: 2:30 PM
Shuttle for Fans: 2:00 PM
Paid Parking Lots:
1:30 PM...Ben Arnold : Guingard Property & Kahn lot (cash lots)
2:00 PM...Lot #1; Lot #2 and lot #3 Handicapped Lot
5:00PM...Business Lots with passes @ 5:00PM
Club members with Business Lot passes may park in lot #1 beginning at 2:00 PM
South Carolina went 2-1 on the week with a series victory at Tennessee ... The Gamecocks are now 32-19 overall and 14-13 in the SEC, the first time this season that the Gamecocks are above .500 in the conference ... Carolina is in third place in the SEC Eastern Division and seventh place overall ... Carolina has clinched a spot in the SEC Tournament and is just ½ game behind Arkansas for sixth and one game behind Georgia for fifth place as well as second in the East ... The Gamecocks are back in action on Tuesday night hosting a doubleheader vs. USC Upstate ... First pitch for the first game is at 4 p.m. with the second game scheduled to start no earlier than 7 p.m. or 30 minutes following the conclusion of game one ... Both games will be seven innings ... Carolina closes out the regular season with a three-game series vs. Georgia beginning on Thursday night at 7 p.m.
A LOOK CLOSER
South Carolina had another solid series at the plate batting .328 (39-for-119) vs. the Volunteers with seven homers and 34 RBI as well as 35 runs scored ... The Carolina offense has been on a tear with seven consecutive games with double-digit hits ... The team is hitting .351 (94-for-268) in its last seven games with 73 runs scored ... Carolina has won five of those last seven contests.
SOME MORE NUMBERS
On the year, Carolina is hitting .308 (553-for-1793) with 89 HR as well as 367 RBI ... Carolina is also second overall in the SEC in slugging percentage (.528) third in hits (553), second in doubles (109) and fourth in home runs (89) ... The team's .308 average is fifth best in the SEC with its .302 average in conference games also fifth best in the league.
South Carolina junior right-hander Blake Cooper won his second straight start and improved to 7-4 on the year with victory in Sunday's series clinching win over Tennessee ... It was arguably his top start of the year as he allowed just one run on five hits to pick up the victory ... He has allowed just four earned runs in the last 16 conference innings he has pitched and improved his career win total to 19 at Carolina ... Cooper is 7-4 on the year with a 4.74 ERA in 68.1 innings pitched.
South Carolina sophomore Whit Merrifield has been on a tear at the plate as of late ... He was a combined 7-for-11 (.636) in Carolina's two victories at Tennessee over the weekend ... He tied a career-high for hits with a 5-for-6 day at the plate in the Gamecocks 15-12 comeback win over the Volunteers ... His One-out RBI double in the ninth inning tied the game and helped propel Carolina to eventual win ... He finished with four RBI in the game and came back on Sunday and helped Carolina clinch the series with 2-for-5 day at the plate ... He Homered for second consecutive day, an inside the park home run, the first of his career, also drove in three runs ... Merrifield is batting .340 (72-for-212) on the year with 11 HR, 44 RBI as well as 14 doubles and a team-high 60 runs scored ... He is tied for third in the SEC in runs scored and is sixth overall in hits ... He is also hitting .328 in league games.
Junior outfielder DeAngelo Mack owns a 12-game hitting streak and is batting .369 (76-for-206) on the year with 14 HR and 55 RBI ... In the 12-game stretch, Mack is hitting .453 (24-for-53) with four HR and 15 RBI ... The Gamecock outfielder is also 10th in the SEC in on-base percentage (.459) and 11th in slugging percentage (.646) ... He finished 4-for-15 with three runs scored and five RBI at Tennessee in this weekend's games ... Mack also leads the team with 24 multi-hit games and is second on the squad with 17 multi-RBI games.
Freshman outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. is continuing his solid first season ... Bradley hit a key three-run homer in the first inning on Sunday that put the Gamecocks out in front in 15-6 win over Tennessee ... He tied his career-high with three RBI in the win on Sunday and hit safely in all three games and extended his hitting streak to seven games ... Bradley is at .338 (71-for-210) on the year with nine HR and 37 RBI ... He is also second highest on the team in batting average in conference games with a .345 average (38-for-110) with six HR and 21 RBI.
Saturday's 15-12 comeback win over Tennessee had several heroes including sophomore Parker Bangs ... The Gamecock utility player hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning, came on in relief in the bottom half of that frame and hurled two perfect innings of relief and struck out all six batters he faced and got the Gamecocks started off on the right foot in the ninth inning of the comeback with a leadoff single ... Bangs is hitting .290 on the year with four HR and 30 RBI ... He has 26 strikeouts in 23.2 innings pitched as well.
Senior Andrew Crisp continues to climb the charts in several categories at Carolina ... Crisp was 6-for-15 (.400) in this weekend's series at Tennessee ... His six hits moved him up to sixth all-time at Carolina at 251, passing Mike Curry, Justin Smoak and Hank Small this weekend ... Now at 251, Crisp is 14 hits shy of Derick Urquhart (265) and Landon Powell (265) for fourth on the all-time list ... He also passed Jeff Parnell on the all-time games played list and is fourth at Carolina with 226 career games, 10 shy of Mac White (236) for third place ... Crisp is hitting .333 (71-for-213) on the year with nine HR and 40 RBI ... He had a grand slam home run in the 15-6 win on Sunday ... Crisp also leads the team and is tied for second in the SEC with 18 doubles on the year.
Senior left-hander Alex Farotto pitched one scoreless inning of relief and picked up a save in Saturday's 15-12 win over Tennessee ... Farotto is now 3-2 on the year with a 4.94 ERA and seven saves as well in 17 appearances ... He has 34 strikeouts in 27.1 innings and opponents are batting just .216 against him.
A LITTLE MORE
The team is fielding an SEC-best .975 (1351 putouts, 513 assists, 48 errors) and did not commit an error the entire weekend at Tennessee ... Carolina's pitching staff is allowing just a .263 average by opponents, that is the second lowest average in the SEC overall.
Carolina continues to be strong in the early innings, outscoring opponents 115-53 in the first two innings on the year ... South Carolina is 30-4 in games when it out-hits the opponent ... Carolina is also 29-10 when hitting at least one home run ... The Gamecocks also have a record of 20-7 when scoring in the first inning.