South Carolina Baseball Prepares To Face Evansville On Friday At NCAA Regional
CHARLOTTESVILLE REGIONAL CENTRAL
May 31, 2006
Columbia, S.C. - The South Carolina baseball team has earned a spot in the 64-team field of the 2006 NCAA Baseball Tournament making its seventh straight appearance in and the eighth under head coach Ray Tanner. The Gamecocks (37-22) are the No. 2 seed in the Charlottesville regional and will face Evansville (40-20) on Friday, June 2 with first pitch set for 7 pm. The other two opponents in the regional bracket are Virginia (46-13) and Lehigh (28-26). Live audio broadcast is available on the Gamecock Radio Network and uscsports.com with Mike Morgan and Tom Price calling the action.
The Gamecocks are one of eight teams from the SEC to play in the 2006 NCAA Championships and one of four schools from the state of South Carolina to make the field. Carolina's streak of seven consecutive NCAA bids is the longest current streak among the 12 SEC schools (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006).
This will be the first time in school history the Gamecocks and Purple Aces meet in baseball action. Carolina leads the series history against Virginia 33-28 and has never faced Lehigh. The last time Carolina and the Cavaliers met was on March 15, 1987 when USC defeated Virginia 7-3 in Columbia. The Carolina baseball team has not traveled to Charlottesville, Va. since April 17, 1970 when Virginia defeated USC 2-1, in the last contest played between the two schools on the Virginia campus.
FRIDAY PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Friday June 2, 2006
Saturday June 3, 2006
Sunday June 4, 2006
Monday, June 5, 2006
SOUTH CAROLINA IN THE POSTSEASON
Carolina has eight College World Series apperances (1975, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1985, 2002, 2003, 2004) in school history with three national runner-up finishes (1975, 1977, 2002).
The 4-2 victory over Kentucky featured a brilliant performance on the mound by freshman RHP Mike Cisco, who went a career-high eight innings and allowed just one run on four hits. The performance earned Cisco a spot on the SEC All-Tournament Team.
GAMECOCKS A HIT
Carolina's season average of .309 (644-for-2087) is currently fourth among all 12 school in all games played. The .309 average is the highest a Carolina team has been since the 2002 team ended the year with a .315 mark.
Smoak also has a three-double performance this year vs. Furman earlier in May that tied a USC single-game record. The freshman from Goose, Creek, S.C. 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. He is the only member of the team to start all 59 games this year.
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 4-4 with a 3.99 ERA as well as 54 strikeouts in 65.1 innings of work. He has allowed just 29 runs on 51 hits on the year and has four wins and four saves vs. SEC teams.
THE CISCO KID
Cisco had another solid outing in April when he earned SEC Pitcher of the Week in a 1-0 win over Ole Miss. Cisco worked eight innings in that game as well, and allowed no runs on three hits while striking out a career-high eight batters to pick up the win.
Cisco is 6-4 with a 3.87 ERA and 67 strikeouts and just 18 walks allowed in 76.2 innings pitched. Opponents are only batting .230 against him. Five of his six wins are against SEC opponents. He is the scheduled starter for Carolina against Evansville on Friday night.
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 4-2 with a 5.47 ERA in 14 appearances with 49.1 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.
DISHER DRIVES THEM IN
HONEYCUTT CONTRIBUTES ON THE MOUND
He made his first SEC start of his career vs. Ole Miss and worked 5.2 innings. Honeycutt is 5-0 with a 3.21 ERA and has 55 strikeouts and 25 walks in 53.1 innings pitched.
GRINESTAFF SWINGS THE BIG STICK
For the third time this season, junior DH Robbie Grinestaff had five RBI in one game as USC defeated Furman 15-12. Grinestaff hit a grand slam homer and added a triple to help the lead the Gamecocks to the win.
THE HITTING STREAK
On the year, Giesler is still one of the top conference leaders batting .356 with three HR and 36 RBI. He has hit safely in a majority of games played and has 25 mutli-hit games.
HAVENS HITTING HIS STRIDE
The freshman from Sullivan's Island, S.C. has fielded .966 (77 putouts, 151 assists, eight errors) in his first year at shortstop for Carolina. Havens earned second team All-SEC honors at shortstop.
KLINE CATCHING ON
Cruse earned SEC Pitcher of the Week following his performance vs. Clemson. It marked Cruse's longest outing of his career at USC with 5.2 scoreless innings of relief. He also struck out a career-high seven batters and yielded just one walk and three hits.
A BLAST FROM THE BENCH
His streak began at Kentucky on April 21 as part of a seven-run eighth inning that saw Willard's two-out three-run homer tie the game and send it into extra innings. Willard's heroics also came up in the Sunday rubber game vs. Mississippi State on April 30. With two outs and the Gamecocks down by three runs in the 11th inning, Willard hit the first pitch over the right field wall to tie the game and set up the eventual game-winning homer from Michael Campbell.
USC FLASHING THE GLOVE
South Carolina is second in the nation with a .980 fielding percentage (1585 putouts, 553 assists, 44 errors). South Carolina has played 31 error-less games.
BROWN IS BACK
Brown had a stellar week at the plate in the SEC opening series at Auburn as well as he went .526 (10-for-19) in five games with five RBI and seven runs scored. Brown was 4-for-5, tying his career-high in hits in the 7-3 win vs. the Tigers. He also had three hits in the 12-8 SEC opener vs. Auburn.