South Carolina Baseball Returns to SEC Play at Arkansas
May 13, 2010
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina (38-11, 17-7 SEC) is back in SEC action this weekend with a three-game series at Arkansas (38-11, 16-8 SEC). First pitch for the opener on Friday is 7:35 p.m. ET with Saturday's game at 3:05 p.m. ET and Sunday's series finale set for 2:05 p.m. ET. Friday and Sunday's games will be televised by Cox Sports Television. All three games can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network and at GamecocksOnline.com.
Arkansas leads the series history 29-19 including winning two of three against the Gamecocks last year at Carolina Stadium.
Probable Starting Pitchers
LAST TIME OUT
Carolina reliever Jose Mata picked up the win and is now 6-1 for the year. He pitched one perfect inning of relief with a strikeout. CSU starter Charlie McCready suffered the loss and is now 0-6 for the season. He allowed seven runs on nine hits in 2.1 innings of work.
The Gamecocks out-hit Charleston Southern 16-5 in the game. Matthews was 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Thomas finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Ebert and Haney each drove in two runs with Ebert also tallying two hits. Walker and Bradley also collected two hits apiece. Walker owns an eight-game hitting streak. Meier and Drew Woodall had two hits apiece for Charleston Southern.
COOPER NAMED TO GOLDEN SPIKES AWARD WATCH LIST
Cooper became the 10th pitcher in school history to record 30 victories in a win on Friday night at Kentucky. He went 5.2 innings and allowed seven runs, three earned, on nine hits with three strikeouts and three walks. Cooper is now tied with Mike Cook for ninth on the USC all-time career wins list. On the year, Cooper leads the SEC with a 9-0 record. Opponents are batting just .224 against him. He leads the conference in innings pitched (82.2) is fifth in strikeouts (72), sixth in earned run average (3.05) and sixth in opponents batting average (.224).
His 30 career victories is third highest among current players in Division I. Matt Ridings of Western Kentucky leads Division I with 33 career wins with Daniel Bibona of UC Irvine second with 31,
Cooper earned SEC Pitcher of the Week honors in a 5-0 win over Ole Miss. Cooper struck out a career-high 10 batters in the victory, his fifth complete game of his career but his first career complete game shutout. He allowed just four hits and one walk in the victory. The complete game shutout was the first by a Gamecock pitcher since Aaron Rawl on May 13, 2005 in a 2-0 win at Ole Miss.
On Tuesday, June 1, USA Baseball officials will cut the watch list of players to 30 names. The final list of 30 will then be sent to a voting body consisting of select professional baseball personnel, past USA Baseball National Team coaches, select members of the media, former USA Baseball sports information directors, and current USA Baseball staff -- close to 150 voters in total.
Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2010. June 1 will also mark the day when college baseball fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite player for the Golden Spikes Award on GoldenSpikesAward.com. As part of this selection process all voters will be asked to choose five players from the list of 30 names. On Tuesday, June 8, USA Baseball will announce the five finalists, and voting will once again commence that same day.
The 2010 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award will be presented nationally July 13 on an award show via live telecast from Anaheim on GoldenSpikesAward.com, USABaseball.com and MLB.com in conjunction with All-Star FanFest.
South Carolina has had one player in school history earn the award. In 2000, right-handed pitcher Kip Bouknight received the Golden Spikes after posting a 17-1 record and helping lead the Gamecocks to a SEC championship.
South Carolina Career Victories Top 10 List 1) 45 Kip Bouknight 1998-01 (45-12) 2) 36 Tim Lewis 1973-76 (36-6) 3) 35 Aaron Rawl 2002-05 (35-15) 4) 34 Earl Bass 1972-75 (34-3) 34 Greg Ward 1972-75 (34-13) 6) 31 David Marchbanks 2001-03 (31-8) 31 Matt Threehouse 1989-93 (31-14) 31 Dennis Lubert 1979-82 (31-9) 9) 30 Mike Cook 1983-85 (30-8) 30 Blake Cooper 2006-09 (30-12)
DYSON PUTTING IT TOGETHER
Dyson was tabbed the SEC Pitcher of the Week following his three-hit complete game shutout in the seven-inning 5-0 win over Georgia in game one of a doubleheader. Dyson, Blake Cooper (April 19) and Jay Brown (April 12) have all earned the award for the Gamecocks.
Dyson is only the third SEC pitcher to record a complete game shutout this year and the second this season to do it in SEC play. Dyson finished with 69 strikes out of 96 pitches and allowed just one runner from Georgia to get in scoring position in the seven-inning shutout. All 21 putouts by the Gamecock came from the diamond, as Dyson struck out five batters and recorded 14 ground ball outs. The win was the first complete game shutout of Dyson's career. It helped clinch a series victory over Georgia, the first time since 2002 that the Gamecocks have won a series at Georgia. With the win, Dyson moved into a tie for 15th on the all-time career victory list at Carolina with 21 career wins.
WALKER ON A ROLL
BRADLEY STRONG AT THE PLATE
CAROLINA STADIUM RECORD SET
THE PRICE IS RIGHT
IF YOU BUILD IT - THEY WILL COME
SOUTH CAROLINA AT THE PLATE
Against Alabama was South Carolina's best weekend series at the plate as the Gamecocks batted .379 (47-for-124) against the Crimson Tide. Carolina also tallied nine homers for the weekend; that is the most in a three-game series for the Gamecocks as well this year.
MERRIFIELD NAMED 2009-10 EARNEST BROOKS CO-MALE STUDENT ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AT SOUTH CAROLINA
Merrifield tied a season-high with three hits vs. Winthrop and went 5-for-12 in the weekend series vs. Alabama. He now has 234 career hits that moves him up 9th all-time on the hits list at Carolina. He is 11 shy of Hank Small (1972-73-74-75) for eighth on the all-time list. He is second in the SEC in runs scored with 58 for the season. He is the only Gamecock player to have started all 49 games this year. He is batting .328 (66-for-202) with 10 HR and 28 RBI. His 10 home runs lead the team.
Merrifield has saved his best for SEC play as he owns a .333 average (32-for-96) in conference games with 25 runs scored as well as five home runs.
Earlier this year Merrifield set the school record for consecutive games with a hit. He hit safely in 26 straight games, 14 at the end of 2009 and the first 12 games of 2010. He has made 167 consecutive starts for the Gamecocks dating back to March 7, 2008.
MERRIFIELD ON CAREER LISTS
South Carolina Career Lists Runs Scored 1) 223 Derick Urquhart 1995-96-97-98 2) 215 Mike Curry 1996-97-98 3) 212 Drew Meyer 2000-01-02 4) 209 Mac White 1991-92-93-94 5) 188 Justin Smoak 2006-07-08 6) 185 Whit Merrifield 2008-09-10 Singles 1) 209 Drew Meyer 2000-01-02 2) 201 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06 3) 198 Mac White 1991-92-93-94 4) 191 Andrew Crisp 2005-06-07-08-09 5) 176 Derick Urquhart 1995-96-97-98 6) 172 Greg Jonson 1977-78-79-80 172 Whit Merrifield 2008-09-10
JUNIOR INVITED TO NATIONAL TEAM TRIALS BY USA BASEBALL
Bradley was impressive vs. Georgia batting .538 (7-for-13) in the series with a homer, three RBI and five runs scored vs. the Bulldogs. Bradley reached base five times with four hits including a homer and a game-winning RBI single in the top of the seventh inning as South Carolina held on for an 8-7 victory over Georgia in game two of the doubleheader. His four hits was a season-high as well.
Several former Gamecocks have played on the Collegiate National Team including most recently, Justin Smoak (2007), who made his Major League Baseball debut this past Friday with the Texas Rangers. In addition to playing for Team USA in 2007, Smoak also played on the 2009 USA Baseball World Cup team that won a gold medal last September at the IBAF World Cup. Smoak earned the 2009 Richard W. "Dick" Case Award recognizing him as USA Baseball's Athlete of the Year. Smoak helped lead Team USA to the gold medal at the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup in September in Europe. He set a U.S. World Cup record with nine home runs in the event, and he was named to the All-World Cup Team as well as the event's Most Valuable Player. Smoak finished the tournament with a .291 average, and in addition to pacing the team in home runs; he also topped the club with 22 RBIs and 16 runs scored. His performance earned him USA Baseball's nomination for the USOC September Athlete of the Month award, and he was later named the 2009 IBAF Senior Athlete of the Year.
Current Major Leaguers and former Gamecocks Landon Powell (2002) and Adam Everett (1997) also represented the Red, White & Blue on the Collegiate National Team. Everett also was on the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team that won a gold medal at the Sydney Olympic Games.
South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner also has association with USA Baseball. He has served five stints with the Red, White & Blue including his latest in 2003 as head coach for the USA National Baseball Team. At the helm of some of the top freshmen and sophomores in the country, Tanner's club finished with a 27-2 record, the best record for a U.S. National Team (.931 winning percentage) and won a silver medal at the 2003 Pan American Games. He was named the U.S. National Coach of the Year for his work that season. Prior to his head coaching stint, Tanner served as an auxiliary coach for the 2000 Olympic Team under Tommy Lasorda that won a gold medal at the XXVII Olympiad in Sydney, Australia. He was also an assistant with the 1995-1996 USA teams under former LSU coach Skip Bertman that culminated in a bronze medal win at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Ga. Tanner also served alongside former Mississippi State coach Ron Polk on Bertman's staff. Tanner's first stint with USA Baseball came as an assistant coach to the national team in the summer of 1993.
MORALES WITH A HOT BAT
MARZILLI SHOWING HOME RUN POWER
BANGS TIES A SCHOOL RECORD
BRADY BUNCHES THEM TOGETHER
MATA THE STOPPER
MAKING AN APPEARANCE
Roth has also been a left-handed bat for the Gamecocks with eight plate appearances including a home run this year.
WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU?
Brown did not walk a batter and allowed just two singles. He also did not allow a batter to get past second base in the entire outing. It was the third longest outing in Brown's career at Carolina. Brown, Roth and Price finished with a two-hit shutout, the first time since 2005 that Vanderbilt had been shutout at home in an SEC game. The loss was only Vanderbilt's third of the season at home. Brown is 2-0 on the year and owns a 5.02 ERA in 37.2 innings pitched.