Dates: Friday, Feb. 17, Saturday, Feb. 18, Sunday, Feb. 19
Times: 3 p.m., 3 p.m., 1:30 p.m.
Location: Columbia, S.C.
Stadium/Field: Carolina Stadium (8,242)
Live Video: GamecocksOnline.com
Radio: WNKT 107.5 FM (Andy Demetra, Tommy Moody and Derek Scott)
Live Stats: GamecocksOnline.com
Georgia Series: South Carolina leads 6-5
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
South Carolina - Michael Roth (Sr. LHP) 14-3, 1.06 ERA, 145.0 IP, 41 BB, 112 SO
VMI - Coby Cowgill (Jr. RHP) 4-3, 3.73 ERA, 72.1 IP, 31 BB, 59 SO
South Carolina - Matt Price (Jr. RHP) 7-3, 1.83 ERA, 59.0 IP, 20 BB, 75 SO
VMI - Campbell Henkel (So. LHP) 3-0, 3.56 ERA, 30.1 IP, 17 BB, 18 SO
South Carolina - Colby Holmes (Jr. RHP) 7-3, 3.69 ERA, 85.1 IP, 21 BB, 77 SO
VMI - Jeremy Brown (Jr. RHP) 5-3, 4.33 ERA, 68.2 IP, 15 BB, 52 SO
DID YOU KNOW??
South Carolina is 81-38 on Opening Day dating back to 1892.
Head coach Ray Tanner owns a 14-1 record at South Carolina on Opening Day.
South Carolina opens up the 2012 season this weekend with a three-game series vs. VMI at Carolina Stadium. First pitch on Friday for the season opener is 3 p.m. with Saturday's game also a 3 p.m. start and the Sunday series finale scheduled for 1:30 p.m. South Carolina begins the 120th season of baseball that dates back to 1892. The Gamecocks have participated in baseball every year with one exception, the 1894 season.
South Carolina set a record fo season tickets sold this year with a total of 5,580 sold in the preseason, surpassing the previous record of 5,414 set last year. South Carolina's total attendance of 297,279 for 40 games last year at Carolina Stadium was second highest in the country. The Gamecocks own a 92-19 (.829) record since opening the facility on Feb. 21, 2009.
OPENING DAY FESTIVITIES
Several pre-game festivities are planned for Opening Day at Carolina Stadium before the South Carolina and VMI baseball game on Friday. The South Carolina National Guard Band will perform the National Anthem with military representatives presenting the colors and the United States flag. It also will play a mini-concert behind the batter's eye near the main entrance when gates open at 1:30 p.m. In recognition of the back-to-back National Championships, there will be a brief video as well as the raising of the National Championship flag. 2010 College World Series Most Outstanding Player Jackie Bradley Jr. and 2011 College World Series Most Outstanding Player Scott Wingo will throw out ceremonial first pitches to former catchers Robert Beary and Brady Thomas. Those players will be accompanied by National Championship teammates Bryan Harper, Peter Mooney, Adrian Morales, Steven Neff and John Taylor.
Opening Day at Carolina Stadium between South Carolina and VMI is sold out, the Gamecock Athletics Ticket Office announced Monday evening. First pitch for the 2012 opener on Friday, Feb. 17, is set for 3 p.m. with live video broadcast available at GamecocksOnline.com and live radio broadcast on the Gamecock Radio Network, including flagship station 107.5 FM "The Game," in Columbia. Fans may still purchase standing room only tickets for Saturday and Sunday games in the series. First pitch for Saturday's contest is also 3 p.m. with Sunday's series finale slated for 1:30 p.m. To obtain single-game tickets, fans can go online to the official website of Gamecock Athletics, GamecocksOnline.com or call the ticket office at (803) 777-4274 or 800-4SC-FANS.
For Opening Day on Feb. 17 and for next Friday's game vs. Elon, parking in the business lots will be curtailed based on the specific lots. Patrons with passes to park in lots 6, 7, 9 and 10 will be relocated to Lot 1 on Williams and Wheat St. Please be aware on game days entrance via car to Williams, Catawba and Wheat Streets will be closed to the public and is accessible only by a valid parking pass. We encourage visitors to use public game day parking lots illustrated on the parking map. The cost is $10/$5 per vehicle. Visitors can also park for free at Colonial Life Arena Lot B, which is bordered by Blossom, Gadsden, Devine and Lincoln Streets with round-trip shuttle service available for $2 per person, which will drop off at the main entrance of Carolina Stadium. RV Parking will also be available in the Colonial Life Arena Lot B. Questions concerning RV baseball parking can be directed to Richard Evans at (803) 777-1439. Visitors who need handicap parking should park at the Colonial Life Arena Lot B. Handicap accessible round-trip shuttle service will be available for $2 per person and it will drop off r at the main entrance of Carolina Stadium.
ROTH TO GET THE NOD IN THE OPENER
South Carolina senior left-hander Michael Roth is slated to get the Opening Day start for the Gamecocks. Roth is third pitcher under head coach Ray Tanner to have multiple Opening Day starts on the mound along with Aaron Rawl (2004-05) and Kip Bouknight (1999-2000-01). Roth is a consensus Preseason All-America selection.
A consensus All-American and CollegeBaseballInsider.com's National Player of the Year in 2011, Roth went 14-3 last year while posting a 1.06 ERA in 145.0 innings of work. In his first full year as a starting pitcher, Roth struck out 112 batters and walked 41 to help lead the Gamecocks to their second-consecutive NCAA Division I national championship. Roth also tallied a 1.17 ERA in Southeastern Conference play, the lowest of any starter in the league. His 14 wins tied for fifth most by a Gamecock in a single season. A first-team All-SEC selection, Roth was named to the College World Series All-Tournament Team and was a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American.
Opening Day Starters Under Head Coach Ray Tanner 2012 Michael Roth (Sr. LHP) 2011 Michael Roth (Jr. LHP) 2010 Blake Cooper (Sr. RHP) 2009 Sam Dyson (So. RHP) 2008 Mike Cisco (Jr. RHP) 2007 Harris Honeycutt (Jr. RHP) 2006 Andrew Cruse (Jr. RHP) 2005 Aaron Rawl (Sr. RHP) 2004 Aaron Rawl (Jr. RHP) 2003 Steven Bondurant (Sr. LHP) 2002 David Marchbanks (So. LHP) 2001 Kip Bouknight (Sr. RHP) 2000 Kip Bouknight (Jr. RHP) 1999 Kip Bouknight (So. RHP) 1998 Brett Jodie (Jr. RHP) 1997 Eddie Hoff (Jr. RHP)
South Carolina enters the 2012 season ranked No. 2 by Collegiate Baseball and in the USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll as well as ranked No. 3 by Baseball America.
OH CAPTAIN - MY CAPTAIN
South Carolina senior outfielder Adam Matthews, junior right-handed pitcher Matt Price and senior left-handed pitcher Michael Roth have been named captains for the 2012 season. All three players earned the honor after a vote by their teammates. This is Roth's second straight season as a captain. Both he and Price have earned Preseason All-America honors as well.
NATIONAL CHAMPIONS HONORED AT THE STATE HOUSE
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and the South Carolina House of Representatives honored the University of South Carolina baseball team during Carolina Day at the State House on February 8, 2012. University President Dr. Harris Pastides, Athletics Director Eric Hyman, Head Coach Ray Tanner and members of both the 2010 and 2011 South Carolina baseball teams were among those in attendance at today's festivities.
Governor Haley presented Coach Tanner with the Gamecock Flag that flew above the State House after South Carolina clinched the national championship at the 2011 College World Series. Following Governor Haley's presentation, the team was recognized by the State House of Representatives and House Speaker Bobby Harrell.
Players that attended the event included Jackie Bradley Jr., Blake Cooper, Adam Matthews, Whit Merrifield, Steven Neff, John Taylor, Brady Thomas and Scott Wingo. Associate Head Baseball Coach Chad Holbrook, Assistant Head Coach Jerry Meyers, Assistant Coach Sammy Esposito and Director of Operations Kyle Lipsey also were in attendance.
PRICE, ROTH & WALKER EARN PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA ACCOLADES
South Carolina senior left-handed pitcher Michael Roth, junior right-handed pitcher Matt Price and junior first baseman Christian Walker have each earned Preseason All-America honors. Price and Roth are first-team selections by Collegiate Baseball, Perfect Game USA and the National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association. Walker is a first-team selection by Perfect Game USA and a second-team selection by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA.
HOLBROOK NAMED 2011 ABCA/BASEBALL AMERICA ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR
South Carolina associate head baseball coach Chad Holbrook was named the 2011 American Baseball Coaches Association/Baseball America Assistant Coach of the Year. Now in his fourth season as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for the baseball program, Holbrook serves as hitting instructor, oversees the Gamecock offense, including base running and the short game, and is the third base coach. He also works with the outfielders.
GAMECOCKS SELECTED TO FINISH SECOND IN SEC PRESEASON COACHES' POLL
South Carolina was selected to finish in second place in the Eastern Division in the 2012 SEC Preseason Coaches' Poll that was released on Monday, Feb. 13. Carolina has finished in the upper half of the SEC Eastern Division 15 of 20 seasons since joining the league including 12 of 15 years under head coach Ray Tanner. The 2012 season begins on Friday, February 17 as the Gamecocks host a three-game series with VMI at Carolina Stadium.
Florida is the choice to win the 2012 SEC championship with Arkansas the choice to win the West. In addition to picking a preseason champion, the head coaches voted a predicted order of finish in the SEC Eastern and Western Divisions. Points were compiled on a 6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for each division. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.
2012 SEC COACHES PRESEASON POLL RESULTS
1. Florida 66
2. South Carolina 56
3. Georgia 42
4. Vanderbilt 40
5. Kentucky 25
6. Tennessee 18
1. Arkansas 64
2. LSU 58
3. Alabama 38
4. Ole Miss 34
5. Mississippi State 33