South Carolina Heads To Myrtle Beach For NCAA Super Regional Against Coastal Carolina
June 10, 2010
Columbia, S.C. - South Carolina will make its eighth NCAA Super Regional appearance in the last 11 years this weekend as the Gamecocks take on Coastal Carolina in Myrtle Beach, S.C. at BB&T Coastal Field with a trip to Omaha on the line for the squad that wins the series. The Gamecocks have a 46-15 record while the Chanticleers head into the contest 55-8 on the season and as the No. 4 national seed in the 2010 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament. South Carolina is currently one of only six schools in the nation to have reached at least eight NCAA Super Regionals in the last 11 years dating back to the 2000 season.
SOUTH CAROLINA HAS REACHED THE NCAA SUPER REGIONAL EIGHT OF THE LAST 11 SEASONS, ONE OF ONLY SIX SCHOOLS TO ACCOMPLISH THE FEAT
NCAA Super Regional Appearances The Last 11 Years (2000-2010) 1. Cal State Fullerton 9 2001-03-04-05-06-07-08-09-10 Florida State 9 2000-01-02-03-04-05-08-09-10 Miami (Fla.) 9 2000-01-02-03-04-05-06-08-10 4. South Carolina 8 2000-01-02-03-04-06-07-10 Clemson 8 2000-01-02-05-06-07-09-10 Rice 8 2001-02-03-05-06-07-08-09
SOUTH CAROLINA & COASTAL CAROLINA SERIES
Date Winning Team Score Site 3/5/76 South Carolina 5-0 Columbia 3/1/77 South Carolina 11-0 Columbia 3/2/78 South Carolina 4-3 Columbia 3/28/89 Coastal Carolina5-2 Conway 4/18/89 South Carolina 10-3 Columbia 4/25/90 Coastal Carolina12-1 Columbia 3/5/91 South Carolina 15-0 Columbia 5/9/91 Coastal Carolina7-4 Conway 2/29/92 South Carolina 5-3 Conway 4/1/92 South Carolina 4-1 Columbia 2/17/93 Coastal Carolina7-6 (12 inn.) Conway 2/27/93 South Carolina 7-2 Columbia 2/26/95 Coastal Carolina8-5 Columbia 2/6/01 South Carolina 8-5 Columbia 2/24/02 South Carolina 11-2 Myrtle Beach
SOUTH CAROLINA MLB DRAFT RECAP
NCAA REGIONAL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Adrian Morales was the NCAA Regional MVP along with earning All-Tournament Team honors. Morales hit a homer in all three games of the Regional and finished the weekend batting .500 (7-for-14) with five runs scored, and seven RBI as well.
Enders hit a two-run homer for the Gamecocks in the 9-4 win over The Citadel and finished the weekend batting .400 (4-for-10) with two runs scored as well. He caught both Saturday and Sunday's victories.
Bradley homered twice in the NCAA Regional with a game-winning two-run shot in the 9-5 win over Bucknell as well as a key three-run homer in the 10-2 victory over Virginia Tech. He had six RBI in the regional as well.
Marzilli was the team's top hitter over the weekend hitting .600 (6-for-10) with four runs scored as well as a homer and five RBI. His two-run homer helped jumpstart a rally in the 9-5 win over Bucknell. He also had a career-high three hits in the 10-2 win over Virginia Tech.
Thomas played in all three games with a pair of starts at DH as well as one game catching. Thomas scored four runs and had three hits over the weekend. Cooper did not allow an earned run and struck out a career-high 12 batters as South Carolina defeated The Citadel 9-4 in the Gamecocks second game of the regional.
SOUTH CAROLINA 10 - VIRGINIA TECH 2 RECAP
Jose Mata (7-1) pitched 4.1 innings of superb relief, allowing only two hits while striking out a career-high five batters to pick up the win. Jay Brown got the start for South Carolina and gave up two runs on four hits while striking out and walking one apiece. For Virginia Tech, Mathew Price (7-4) was effective through five innings but ran into big trouble in the sixth as he gave up seven runs on 11 hits while striking out three.
As has been their custom during this regional, South Carolina broke it open in the late innings. It was the eighth on Friday night, the seventh on Saturday, and the sixth in Sunday's game. After first baseman Christian Walker and Enders delivered back-to-back singles, a Bobby Haney fly ball advanced Walker to third and brought up second baseman Scott Wingo with two out. The junior delivered his first RBI in a month as he drove a 2-2 pitch into right field, scoring Walker to give the Gamecocks a 3-2 lead. But they were not done. Marzilli ripped his third hit of the night (a career high) to score Enders, and Wingo came across after Whit Merrifield delivered an RBI single of his own to make it 5-2 and end Price's night on the mound.
But a new pitcher for the Hokies would receive a rude welcome from Bradley as he roped the third pitch he saw over the right-field wall to blow the game wide open, scoring Marzilli and Merrifield to make it 8-2 and energize the Carolina Stadium crowd of 6,233.
South Carolina got big nights at the plate from several sources. Marzilli had a career-high three hits in five at-bats, scoring twice and driving in a run. Walker was also 3-for-5 with an RBI. Enders and Merrifield each had two hits with Merrifield scoring twice and Enders once. Bradley drove in four runs, three of which came on a three-run homer in the sixth that extended his hitting streak to 14 games.
After South Carolina went quietly to start the game, Virginia Tech struck first. A walk to Michael Seaborn brought up Steve Domecus, who launched his 13th home run of the season to give the Hokies an early 2-0 lead. The Hokies would threaten again in the second, but Brown would fight his way through it, then work a perfect third inning to keep the Gamecocks within striking distance.
The Gamecocks got on the board in the fourth when Thomas and Walker both laced doubles, with the latter scoring the former to cut the deficit to 2-1. Walker would advance to third but no farther as the inning ended on a groundout and a strikeout. An inning later, the Gamecocks would add another to tie the score. Wingo was hit by a pitch, and Marzilli singled to center to put two on with no outs for Merrifield. The junior right fielder attempted to bunt, but Price cut down the lead runner at third for the first out. Two pitches later, Price threw a pitch in the dirt that got to the backstop, advancing the runners to second and third. Bradley then hit a deep fly to center that allowed Marzilli to score the tying run.
While Mata kept Virginia Tech at bay, the Gamecocks would tack on two more runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Morales would lead off the seventh inning with a solo shot to left - his third of the regional - to make it 9-2. Then, with two on in the eighth, the Gamecocks scored on a wild play when a potential double-play ball to third got the force out at second, but the Virginia Tech shortstop dropped the ball trying to make the throw to first, allowing Merrifield to score from third and make it 10-2. Mata would then work a scoreless eighth, while Michael Roth shut the door with a perfect ninth.
SOUTH CAROLINA 9 - THE CITADEL 4 RECAP
Cooper (11-1) stymied the Bulldog hitters through 7.1 innings, hitting double-digits in strikeouts for the second time in his career and holding the Bulldogs to four runs, none of which were earned, on six hits while walking three. Citadel ace right-hander Asher Wojciechowski (12-3) was equally impressive until late in the game, striking out 11 Gamecock hitters in 6.2 innings of work before giving up five runs in the seventh inning to be charged with the loss. Matt Price picked up his eighth save, tossing 1.1 innings of shutout ball to preserve the Carolina win.
Fans for both teams expected a pitcher's duel. And both hurlers delivered on that expectation through the first six innings. Cooper had 10 K's through 4 innings en route to his career-high. Wojciechowski, meanwhile, notched the 300th strikeout of his career in the second inning when he retired Gamecock shortstop Bobby Haney. At 155 strikeouts for the season, the Bulldog right-hander leads the nation in that category.
However, offense came in bunches for South Carolina in the late innings. The Gamecocks scored five in the seventh and another two in the ninth to overcome a 4-2 deficit and win in come-from-behind fashion for the second-straight night. And no Gamecock has been more productive at the plate in the postseason than Adrian Morales. The junior went 3-for-4 tonight with a home run and three RBI to go along with an almost identical line from Friday night. For the Columbia Regional, Morales is 6-for-9 with two homers and six RBIs. Brady Thomas, Christian Walker and Kyle Enders each had a pair of hits for the Gamecocks, with Enders hitting his second home run of the season.
The Bulldogs held a 4-2 advantage but South Carolina finally got to Wojciechowski in the seventh inning. The 8-9 hitters, Bobby Haney and Scott Wingo, led off the inning with a pair of singles. Whit Merrifield struck out after two failed bunt attempts, and coach Ray Tanner elected to go with left-handed pinch-hitter Evan Marzilli, who had delivered a two-run home run on Friday night against Bucknell. The freshman came through in a big way, lacing a base hit to right field to plate Haney and Wingo, tying the game at 4-4. Then, with two out, Thomas singled up the middle, moving Marzilli to third. Thomas would then try to force a balk by taking off early from first, but Wojciechowski never flinched, as the Carolina catcher took second without a throw. Clearly rattled at that point, a subsequent Wojciechowski pitch slipped out of his hand and sailed to the backstop, allowing Marzilli to score from third to give Carolina a 5-4 lead. Morales delivered an RBI double into the right-field corner, scoring Thomas to make it 6-4 Gamecocks and chasing the Citadel ace from the game. Walker then ripped another double into the gap in left center to bring home Morales, making it 7-4 Gamecocks.
SOUTH CAROLINA 9 - BUCKNELL 5 RECAP
Bucknell (25-34) led 5-1 heading to the bottom of the sixth, and the Gamecocks appeared to be reeling. But slowly, South Carolina (44-15) chipped away at the Bison lead with two runs in the sixth, another in the seventh, and a five-run explosion in the eighth to secure the victory.
Sophomore Michael Roth (1-1) earned his first win of the season, shutting down Bucknell over the final 3.1 innings, allowing just one runner to reach base (who was thrown out advancing to second on an error) and striking out five of the 10 batters he faced. Sam Dyson got the start for South Carolina, going five-plus innings while allowing four runs - three earned - on four hits while walking two and posting seven strikeouts. For Bucknell, Steve Carlin (3-6) was charged with the loss after giving up five earned runs in one inning of relief. Bison starter Dylan Seeley went 5.2 innings, giving up three runs on nine hits while striking out and walking two apiece.
Offensively, it took the Gamecocks a while to get going, but they got big hits from multiple sources. Morales led the way with a 3-for-5 night, including his three-run homer in the eighth to put the game away. His three RBI tied a season- and career-high for the junior. Evan Marzilli, Whit Merrifield and Adam Matthews had two hits apiece, with Marzilli and Bradley each driving in two runs. Bucknell was led by Andrew Brouse with a 2-for-3 effort while scoring a pair of runs, and four other Bison had one hit apiece.
Trailing 5-1, the Gamecocks would cut the Bison lead in half with another two-out rally in the sixth. A one-out double from Morales set the table, and he stole third as Haney struck out for the second out. After watching the first five pitches of the at-bat to work the count full, Marzilli lined Seeley's 95th pitch over the right-field wall to bring in two runs and reduce the deficit to 5-3. It would be the penultimate pitch for Seeley as Merrifield laid down a perfect bunt to reach first on an infield single to chase the Bucknell right-hander from the game. The new pitcher, Ryan Ebner, walked Bradley to put a pair of runners on with two out, but Christian Walker flew out to the warning track in right to end the frame. After a 1-2-3 top of the seventh, the Gamecocks kept the momentum going as a pair of infield bunt singles from Matthews and pinch-hitter Scott Wingo sandwiched around a walk to new catcher Kyle Enders loaded the bases with no outs. After Morales struck out, pinch-hitter Robert Beary lifted a deep fly ball to center field, scoring Matthews on the sacrifice fly. But one run would be all South Carolina could manage as another pinch-hitter, Parker Bangs, struck out to end the inning with Bucknell still leading 5-4.
The Carolina offense finally exploded in the eighth inning. Bradley put South Carolina on top for the first time all night with one swing of the bat, launching a home run just over the left-field wall to score Merrifield in the bottom of the eighth, giving the Gamecocks a 6-5 lead. A walk to Matthews and a hit batter for Wingo put runners at first and third with two out. Morales - who made up for the third Gamecock error of the game with a sliding grab and throw to second in the top of the inning - blasted a three-run homer to left to give the Gamecocks a 9-5 lead they would not relinquish as Roth would retire the side in order in the ninth.
SOUTH CAROLINA & THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
The Gamecocks are one of eight teams from the SEC to make the 2010 NCAA Tournament. South Carolina's 11 consecutive trips to the NCAA Baseball Tournament (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) is the longest current streak of the 12 SEC schools. Carolina is one of only eight schools in the nation that has reached the NCAA Regional in the last 11 consecutive years.
NCAA DIVISION I SCHOOLS TO REACH NCAA REGIONALS IN LAST 11 CONSECUTIVE SEASONS
1) SOUTH CAROLINA 2) Arizona State 3) Cal State Fullerton 4) Florida State 5) Miami (Fla.) 6) Oral Roberts 7) Rice 8) Texas
NCAA REGIONAL APPEARANCES FROM 2000-10 IN THE SEC
1 South Carolina 11 2000-01-02-03-04-05-06-07-08-09-10 2. Arkansas 9 2002-03-04-05-06-07-08-09-10 Florida 9 2000-01-02-03-04-05-08-09-10 LSU 9 2000-01-02-03-04-05-08-09-10 Ole Miss 9 2001-03-04-05-06-07-08-09-10 6. Alabama 8 2000-02-03-05-06-08-09-10 7. Mississippi State7 2000-01-03-04-05-06-07 8. Auburn 6 2000-01-02-03-05-10 Georgia 6 2001-02-04-06-08-09 Vanderbilt 6 2004-06-07-08-09-10 11. Tennessee 3 2001-04-05 12. Kentucky 2 2006-08
NCAA TOURNAMENT RECORD
Year Won Lost Pct. 2010 3 0 1.000 2009 2 2 .500 2008 2 2 .500 2007 4 2 .667 2006 4 3 .571 2005 3 2 .600 2004 8 2 .800 2003 6 2 .750 2002 9 4 .692 2001 5 3 .625 2000 4 2 .667 1998 2 2 .500 1993 1 2 .333 1992 2 2 .500 1988 3 2 .600 1986 1 2 .333 1985 4 2 .667 1984 2 2 .500 1983 0 2 .000 1982 4 2 .667 1981 5 2 .714 1980 2 2 .500 1977 7 3 .700 1976 1 2 .333 1975 7 2 .778 1974 4 2 .667 Totals 95 55 .633
Cooper did not allow an earned run and struck out a career-high 12 batters as South Carolina defeated The Citadel 9-4 in the Gamecocks second game of the regional. He is 2-0 in his career in the postseason for the Gamecocks.
Cooper leads the Southeastern Conference in victories with an 11-1 record including seven wins in conference play, tying him for the most conference wins as well. Cooper has pitched a SEC high 111.1 innings and is fourth in the league in earned run average (2.75), fourth in strikeouts (100) and fifth in opposing batting average (.226). In SEC games, Cooper pitched a SEC-high 71.2 innings, was fifth in opposing batting average (.231), fifth in earned run average (3.01) and sixth in strikeouts (58).
Blake Cooper's 11 wins on the year gives him 32 now for his career at Carolina and puts him at sixth on the South Carolina career victories list.
South Carolina Career Victories 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) 32 Blake Cooper 2007-present (31-13)
South Carolina's pitching staff had a tremendous weekend in Fayetteville, Ark. Heading into the week the Razorbacks were ranked second in the SEC in batting average, runs scored and slugging percentage. The Carolina staff answered the challenge and limited the Razorbacks to just five runs on 16 hits in 27 innings pitched. South Carolina's pitching staff kept Arkansas at a .170 batting average for the weekend and the Gamecocks finished the series with a 1.67 ERA.
South Carolina also leads the Southeastern Conference in SEC games in opposing batting average (.243); hits allowed (238) and is second in earned run average (3.82), strikeouts (244) and runs allowed (134).
THE PRICE IS RIGHT
For the season, Dyson is 5-5 with a 4.00 ERA in innings pitched. He has 93 strikeouts and opponents are batting just .243 against him.
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
Bradley was stellar as well at the SEC Tournament batting 5-for-9 in the two games to lead the Gamecocks at the plate. He leads Carolina with 24 multi-hit games and is second on the team with 12 multi-RBI games. Bradley is in the middle of a career-best 14-game hitting streak as well.
Last season, Bradley put on a show at the NCAA Regional in Greenville, S.C. as he was named to the NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team after batting .500 (9-for-18) with a pair of homers and five RBI in four games.
Bradley has been invited to the 2010 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Trials set for July 5-July 11 at the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. Bradley will be fighting for a spot on the final 22-man roster that will be selected on Sunday, July 11. The team will then tour across the USA with the summer season culminating on July 30- Aug. 7 at the FISU World University Baseball Championships in Tokyo, Japan.
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.
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 - A FIT IN THE GAMECOCK LINEUP
Morales leads Carolina in doubles (14), RBI (52) and multi-RBI games (13). He is hitting .288 (59-for-205) for the season and has started at both third base and second base.
MARZILLI MAKING HIS MARK
Marzilli, a SEC All-Freshman selection, has played in 54 games with 10 starts. He is hitting .397 (23-for-58) for the season, has scored 22 runs and has a .514 on-base percentage. He is also 5-for-5 in stolen bases.
MAKING AN APPEARANCE
Roth pitched a perfect 3.1 innings and retired all 10 batters he faced to earn his first win of the year in the 9-5 victory over Bucknell in the NCAA Regional. He also closed out the regional with a perfect inning of relief in the 10-2 win over Virginia Tech.
Mata picked up his seventh win of the season in a relief outing vs. Virginia Tech in the regional. Mata allowed just two hits in 4.1 scoreless innings as the Gamecocks defeated the Hokies 10-2 to clinch a spot in the super regionals.
HANEY GETS IT GOING
MERRIFIELD AT THE TOP OF THE ORDER
MERRIFIELD NAMED 2009-10 EARNEST BROOKS CO-MALE STUDENT ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AT SOUTH CAROLINA
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 171 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) 193 Whit Merrifield 2008-09-10
BRADY BUNCHES THEM TOGETHER
WALKER ON A ROLL
SOUTH CAROLINA AT THE PLATE