May 17, 2006
Columbia, S.C. - The SEC season concludes this weekend with the final three-game series of the year as 17th ranked South Carolina (35-18, 14-13 SEC) meets Vanderbilt (31-22, 14-13 SEC) beginning on Thursday night at 6 pm CT at Hawkins Field. Friday's game is also scheduled for 6 pm CT and will be televised on CSS-TV. The Saturday game will be a 1 pm CT start. Both teams enter the weekend tied for third place in the SEC Eastern Division.
The Gamecocks and Commodores can clinch a spot in the SEC Tournament either with one win or two of these three SEC teams losing one game (LSU, Mississippi State, and Tennessee). Vanderbilt won just its second series ever against the Gamecocks last year in Columbia when the Commodores took two of three games with 11-3 and 2-1 wins at Sarge Frye Field. Carolina won the Sunday game 7-4 against Vanderbilt. The Gamecocks lead the series history 37-9 with head coach Ray Tanner 25-4 against Vandy. USC won two of three games in 2004 against Vanderbilt, the last time both teams met in Nashville, Tenn.
Grinestaff and Smoak each finished with three hits on the evening. Michael Campbell was 2-for-2 but reached base all five times at the plate and scored an individual high five runs for the Gamecocks, one short of the USC single-game record. Neil Giesler was 2-for-4 with three RBI and James Darnell 2-for-4 with two RBI. Reese Havens also added two hits.
SOUTH CAROLINA IN THE RANKINGS
GAMECOCKS A HIT
PELZER - THE BOSS/EARNS NATIONAL TEAM NOD
Pelzer hurled his first career complete game in a 5-4 loss to Tennessee on Friday night. He made his first start vs. an SEC team this year on Friday April 28 in the 11-5 win over the Bulldogs. Pelzer earned a win and limited MSU to two runs on five hits in 8.1 innings of work.
On the year, Pelzer is 4-3 with a 2.98 ERA as well as 50 strikeouts in 57.1 innings of work. He is the toughest pitcher to hit in the SEC as opposing teams are batting just .188 on the year against him. He has allowed just 15 runs on 29 hits in 10 SEC appearances (44 innings) with four wins and three saves vs. SEC teams. Pelzer is the scheduled starter for Carolina on Thursday night.
THE CISCO KID
Cisco is 5-3 with a 4.14 ERA and 60 strikeouts and just 18 walks allowed in 67.1 innings pitched. Opponents are only batting .235 against him. Four of his five wins are against SEC opponents. Cisco is the scheduled starter for Friday night.
ATWOOD DELIVERS IN HIS STARTS
He made his first SEC start on April 30 vs. Mississippi State and finished with a no-decision. Atwood worked six innings and allowed just two runs on eight hits with four strikeouts.
On the season, Atwood is 4-1 with a 4.19 ERA in 12 appearances with 43 innings of work. In only his second start of his career, Atwood worked a 5.2 innings and allowed just two runs on six hits with four strikeouts and no walk, earning a no-decision in a 3-2 loss to Clemson on April 5. Atwood is the scheduled starter for Saturday night.
Smoak earned SEC Freshman of the Week following his performance in the series against Mississippi State. Smoak was 6-for-11 (.545) in that series including a 3-for-4 performance in Friday's 11-5 win over the Bulldogs. Smoak recorded his first multi-homer game of his career and tied his career-high in hits in the six-run win over MSU. Smoak is the third Gamecock this season to earn an SEC weekly honor. Andrew Cruse and Mike Cisco each earned SEC Pitcher of the Week in March and April respectively. Smoak and Michael Campbell are the only members of the Carolina baseball team to start all 53 games this year.
Campbell is second in the SEC in hitting in SEC games with a .402 average (45-for-112) along with four HR, 25 runs scored and 30 RBI in 27 conference games. Campbell this season is batting .359 with four HR and 48 RBI along with a team-high 74 hits.
Campbell has set a school career record for at-bats, passing Mac White (1991-94) and now in first place with a total of 945. He also set the games played record on Sunday vs. Tennessee in his 252nd career game. Campbell moved past Drew Meyer (2000-02) and is in second place on the career hits list at USC with 297 in his career. He is six shy of the school record set by White (303). Campbell is the most experienced player in Division I baseball with 253 games under his belt as well as 246 starts.
In addition, his assist from the outfield in a win over Clemson set a new Carolina school record for assists by an outfielder. He has three on the season and 22 in his career. The previous record was 20 held by Paul Hollins (1978-81).
Campbell is the leading returnee for Carolina in several offensive categories including batting average (.315), games played (64), at-bats (251), runs (56), hits (79), doubles (16), triples (5), home runs (8), runs batted in (42), and slugging percentage (.514).
TRACKING Michael Campbell Games Played 1. 253 Michael Campbell 2003-04-05-06 SCHOOL RECORD
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