South Carolina is ranked No. 3 in this week's USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll, No. 4 by Collegiate Baseball and No. 5 by Baseball America. South Carolina is currently tied for first place in the Southeastern Conference with Kentucky and LSU with nine league games remaining. The Gamecocks have won five consecutive weekend series in the league as well as 11 straight conference games. South Carolina is also 16-4 in the last 20 games played.
Radio: Gamecock IMG Network affiliates/Flagship WNKT FM 107.5 "The Game" in Columbia Andy Demetra and Tommy Moody will call the action.
Television: Friday - ESPNU; Saturday - ESPN2. Clay Matvick and Kyle Peterson will call the action.
Internet: Live Gametracker Stats at ArkansasRazorbacks.com Additional coverage on Twitter @GamecockBasebll and Facebook/Gamecocksonline
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
South Carolina Michael Roth (Sr. LHP) 4-0, 2.57 ERA, 73.2 IP, 18 BB, 60 SO
Arkansas Ryne Stanek (So. RHP) 6-3, 2.52 ERA, 64.1 IP, 21 BB, 60 SO
South Carolina Jordan Montgomery (Fr. LHP) 4-0, 3.47 ERA, 46.2 IP, 6 BB, 35 SO
Arkansas Randall Fant (Jr. LHP) 2-2, 4.05 ERA, 33.1 IP, 5 BB, 27 SO
South Carolina TBA
Arkansas DJ Baxendale (Jr. RHP) 6-2, 3.47 ERA, 59.2 IP, 14 BB, 51 SO
DID YOU KNOW??
Evan Marzilli has a team-high seven sacrifice flies. He is one short of the school's single season record of eight held by Jim Curl (1981) and Jim Pankovits (1974).
ROTH LEADS THE WAY ON THE FIELD
Despite a no-decision in the 1-0 win over the Crimson Tide, senior left-hander Michael Roth was effective in his 11th start of the year. Roth hurled seven scoreless innings before the game was halted and allowed just four hits and two walks. Roth is 4-0 on the year with a 2.57 ERA in 73.2 innings pitched with 18 walks and 60 strikeouts. Opponents are batting just .192 against him.
Roth's victory vs. Vanderbilt was his 20th career win, making him the 20th player in school history to tally 20 or more career victories.
THE PRICE IS RIGHT
Junior right-hander Matt Price set the school record for appearances in the 1-0 victory over the Crimson Tide. Price hurled one perfect inning of relief and posted his fifth save as he appeared for the 89th time in the Garnet & Black, surpassing Rob Mosser's (1990-93) previous record of 88. Price currently has 90 career appearances. Five of Price's six saves have come in league play. He is 3-3 with a 2.82 ERA and has 60 strikeouts in 50.2 innings pitched. Opponents are batting just .155 against him. He is the career saves leader as well at Carolina with 36 over the past three years.
LB LIGHTS IT UP - #FearTheFish
Junior third baseman LB Dantzler has been playing well as of late. Dantzler has raised his season average to .249 (42-for-169) and is tied with Christian Walker for the team lead in home runs with eight. He has 37 RBI and a .444 slugging percentage. Dantzler homered and drove in two runs in the 9-1 win over Alabama on Saturday. He also doubled twice in the 12-11 win and drove in one run. He is hitting .270 in the league with five homers and 20 RBI in 21 league games.
Dantzler had a clutch bat in the Auburn series as he went 5-for-13 (.385) with five runs scored, two homers and four RBI. His slugging percentage was .923. Dantzler belted a two-run homer in the 5-3 win on Saturday. He added three hits, three runs scored a RBI double and a homer in the 11-7 win over the Tigers on Sunday. Dantzler tallied a walk-off RBI single in the 2-1 win on Saturday night vs. Tennessee. He hit his fifth homer of the year and finished with three RBI in the 6-4 win over Vanderbilt. He was 2-for-4 with a season-high three runs scored in the 6-4 win vs. Appalachian State.
Dantzler was solid in his debut vs. VMI as he tallied a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning as South Carolina defeated VMI 2-1 in the opener. Dantzler followed that up with a three-run homer, a double and four RBI in the 13-1 win over VMI that helped Carolina sweep the Keydets. Dantzler finished the weekend 4-for-11 (.364) at the plate with five RBI and a .727 slugging percentage.
BELCHER KEEPS CONTRIBUTING
Junior left-hander Nolan Belcher earned two wins in relief last weekend vs. the Crimson Tide. Belcher posted a win with one out retired in the 12-11 victory on Friday night and followed that up with 3.1 scoreless innings of relief with four strikeouts in the 9-1 victory on Saturday vs. the Crimson Tide. Belcher is 4-2 with a 2.59 ERA in 24.1 innings pitched with nine walks and 27 strikeouts.
Belcher hurled 5.2 scoreless innings in his first start of the year as Carolina defeated The Citadel 8-0. Belcher combined with relievers Tyler Webb and Hunter Privette for a five-hit shutout vs. the Citadel.
Belcher had a productive week with a win and two saves in all three victories over Presbyterian and Clemson in late February/early March. Belcher earned his first win since May 11, 2010 with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief in the 2-1 win over Presbyterian. He allowed just one hit and struck out three batters. He followed that up with saves in both the 3-2 and 9-6 wins over Clemson.
MATTHEWS FINDS HIS WAY HOME
Senior outfielder Adam Matthews hit a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to help lift South Carolina to a 1-0 win over the Crimson Tide. Matthews followed that up with a solo home run in the 12-11 win. Three of Matthews' four home runs have come in SEC play.
WALKER PROVIDES A PUNCH
Junior first baseman Christian Walker continues to lead the Gamecocks at the plate with a .342 average (54-for-158), eight homers and 43 RBI. Walker is also hitting .306 in the SEC with five homers and 19 RBI in SEC contests. Walker went 2-for-3 with four runs scored and a two-run homer in the 12-11 win over the Crimson Tide. He followed that up with a 1-for-1 day at the plate with one run scored and one RBI in the 9-1 win on Saturday over Alabama.
In the SEC, Walker ranks third in on-base percentage (.470) and runs batted in (43) fourth in walks (32), tied for seventh in home runs (8), ninth in slugging percentage (.563) and 10th in total bases (89).
In SEC contests, through 21 leagues games he leads the league in walks (22), is second in on-base percentage (.479) and runs scored (22), is tied for second in homers (5), third in runs batted in (19) and fifth in slugging percentage (.597().
Walker was the top hitter for the Gamecocks in the Vanderbilt series as he hit .500 (6-for-12) with a .625 on-base percentage and a phenomenal 1.250 slugging percentage. Walker belted three homers in the series and drove in five runs with five runs scored as well. Walker tallied his first two-homer game of his career at South Carolina with three RBI and three runs scored in the 8-3 win on Friday vs. the Commodores. In Sunday's 6-4 win, he reached base five times including a game-winning two-run homer in the top of the 13th in the victory.
Walker also became the 25th player in South Carolina history to reach the 200 career hit total with his homer in the 8-3 win over Vanderbilt. He is now at 225 for his three-year career with the Garnet & Black, tied for 14th best in school history.
Top 10 Career Hits List 303 Mac White (1991-94) 299 Michael Campbell (2003-06) 285 Drew Meyer (2000-02) 265 Landon Powell (2001-04) 265 Derick Urquhart (1995-98) 263 Whit Merrifield (2008-10) 262 Andrew Crisp (2005-09) 250 Mike Curry (1996-98) 246 Justin Smoak (2006-08) 245 Hank Small (1972-75) 225 Christian Walker (2010-present) (T14th)
MORE ON THE AUBURN SERIES
In the weekend's sweep of Auburn, the Gamecocks had 29 hits in three games as well as 28 runs scored. The Gamecocks also walked 14 times, were hit by five pitches and struck out just 10 times for a team on-base percentage of .378. The Gamecocks did not make an error over the weekend vs. Auburn and the team raised its season fielding percentage to .979. Carolina has just 31 errors for the year with 22 games played without an error. For the weekend, South Carolina's pitching staff struck out 29 batters, the most strikeouts by the staff vs. a SEC opponent. Friday's 12 runs and 13 hits were both season-high totals for the Gamecocks vs. a SEC opponent.
GREINER IN A GROOVE
Freshman catcher Grayson Greiner is the top hitter for South Carolina in SEC games. Greiner is hitting .317 (19-for-60) in league play with two homers, eight doubles, 11 runs scored and 12 RBI. Greiner also owns a .440 on-base percentage in conference action. Greiner went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and tied a season-high with four RBI in the 12-11 win over the Crimson Tide. He doubled and homered in that one-run victory. Greiner followed it up with a 2-for-5 day at the plate with two runs scored and a RBI in the 9-1 win. Greiner finished the series 5-for-11 (.455) with four runs scored, two doubles, a homer and five RBI. He reached base .538 with a .909 slugging percentage.
Greiner reached base six times vs. Auburn over the weekend with four hits and two walks. He also drove in three runs and scored four times. Greiner went 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBI in the 12-5 win on Friday. Greiner earned SEC Freshman of the Week after the Mississippi State series. It marked the second straight week a Gamecock had earned Freshman of the Week accolades. Greiner had a key solo home run that jumpstarted a four-run rally in the bottom of the eighth as the Gamecocks came from behind to defeat MSU 7-6. Greiner collected three hits over the weekend with a pair of doubles and the home run. He also scored two runs. He also had a grand slam in the 8-0 win over The Citadel.
Tyler Webb MAKES HIS MARK
Junior left-hander Tyler Webb had one perfect inning of relief in the 1-0 win over Alabama. Webb leads the Gamecocks with 25 appearances and with a win on Saturday is now 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA. He has 35 strikeouts in 32.1 innings pitched and opponents are batting just .183 against him.
South Carolina is 20-9 in games decided by three runs or less through 45 games. The Gamecocks also own an 11-8 record in one-run contests.
AT THE PLATE, IN THE FIELD & ON THE MOUND
The Gamecocks are now hitting .274 (410-for-1495) with a .364 on-base percentage and a .407 slugging percentage. Carolina has a .978 fielding percentage as well.
The pitching staff has a 3.07 team ERA in 407.2 innings with 134 walks to 389 strikeouts.
Opponents are batting just .211 against the staff.
MONTGOMERY CONTINUES TO SHINE
Freshman left-hander Jordan Montgomery won his first SEC road start and improved to 4-0 with his third victory in league play in the 5-3 win vs. Auburn. He allowed two runs on six hits in 5.1 innings with one walk and one strikeout.
Montgomery has a 3.47 ERA in 46.2 innings pitched with six walks to 35 strikeouts. Opponents are batting .247 against him.
Montgomery earned SEC Freshman of the Week after his first career SEC start. He worked a career-high eight innings and limited Tennessee to just one run on three hits on the way to a 2-1 South Carolina victory over the Volunteers. Against a Tennessee team that was on an eight-game winning streak, Montgomery kept UT at bay with 12 batters retired at one point in the game. Montgomery did not walk a batter and tallied seven strikeouts.
ENGLISH HAS A KNACK
Freshman outfielder Tanner English is among the team's leading hitters with a .313 average (51-for-163) with 32 runs scored. English tripled and was 2-for-4 with two runs scored in the 12-11 win over Alabama. He followed that up with two runs scored in the 9-1 victory. English leads the Gamecocks with 17 multi-hit games.
English led the Gamecocks in hitting in the MSU series with a .455 average (5-for-11). English scored four runs over the weekend with a triple and also a RBI.
He tallied two hits in the 9-3 win over Florida. He was 2-for-5 with a run scored in the 8-5 win over Furman He had a season-high three hits and a run scored in the 5-2 win over Charleston Southern. English went 2-for-4 with two runs in the 8-1 win over UNC Asheville. He scored a run in all three games of the Elon series and hit safely in all three games as well. English drove in three runs for the weekend with a key two-run triple to left-center in 6-0 win over Elon in the second inning.
MARZILLI PUTS ON A SHOW
Junior outfielder Evan Marzilli had two sacrifice flies for the weekend series vs. the Crimson Tide as well as a sacrifice fly vs. Davidson and now leads the team with seven for the season, one short of the school single-season record of eight. Marzilli also leads the Gamecocks with eight stolen bases. He stole a base and scored two runs in the 9-1 win on Saturday vs. Alabama. Marzilli has a .365 on-base percentage and is hitting .282 (49-for-174) with a team-high 37 runs scored.
Marzilli was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI in the 12-5 win over Auburn. He scored at least one run in all three games over the weekend. Marzilli is batting .296 (48-for-162) for the year with 35 runs scored, eight doubles, two triples, a homer, and 18 RBI.
Marzilli reached base in the first 31 games of the 2012 season but saw his streak snap in the 6-1 victory vs. the Volunteers.
Marzilli had four hits including a three-run homer in the 8-5 win over Furman and was 3-for-4 win the 9-3 win over Florida. Marzilli had a game-winning three-run double as well as a career-high four RBI in the 6-4 win over Appalachian State. He also tied a school record with three doubles in the 2-1 win over Princeton. It is the 25th time in school history that a player has tallied three doubles in one game.
Marzilli's defense was essential for the Gamecocks in the 3-2 win over Clemson in 11 innings. Marzilli had his first assist of the year with a throw to home plate to nab a Tiger runner trying to score and his diving catch with two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning sealed the Gamecock victory.
Marzilli was effective in the first weekend vs. VMI as he hit .500 (6-for-12) with a .538 on-base percentage. Marzilli had a 3-for-4 day at the plate on Opening Day. He scored the game-winning run in the opener and also was keyt in the 13-1 victory as he went 2-for-4 with a triple, run scored and two RBI.
BEAL BRINGS IT
Freshman right-hander Evan Beal allowed just one run on three hits in 3.2 innings of relief in the 12-11 win over the Crimson Tide. Beal also struck out four batters. Beal is 2-3 with five saves in 33.1 innings pitched. He has 41 strikeouts on the year and opponents are hitting just .186 against him.
Beal earned his first career win in the 9-6 victory vs. Clemson. Beal entered the game in the bottom of the fifth and retired nine in a row and lasted four innings allowing just two runs on three hits while striking out five and walking one.
HOLMES WITH THE ANSWER
Junior right-hander Colby Holmes is now 6-0 on the year after earning the win in Sunday's victory over Auburn. Holmes allowed four runs on nine hits in five innings. He matched his career-high with seven strikeouts as well. Holmes has a 3.29 ERA in 52.0 innings pitched with 12 walks and 44 strikeouts. He has won three consecutive starts with victories also over Tennessee and MSU in that span.
Freshman shortstop Joey Pankake is batting .284 (42-for-148) with 30 runs scored and 18 RBI.
Pankake had a two-run single in the 12-5 win over Auburn. He also scored two runs in the 11-7 win on Sunday. Pankake gave the Gamecocks some insurance in the 6-4 win over Mississippi State with a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning. Pankake, who moved to the leadoff role, had five hits and hit .357 vs. the Bulldogs.
He had a 5-for-6 game with a pair of RBI in the 8-5 win over Furman. The last Gamecock player with five hits in a game was Christian Walker on April 5, 2011 vs. USC Upstate.
He tallied his first career homer and RBI in the 2-1 win vs. Presbyterian. The game-winning hit came in the bottom of the fourth inning. In the Elon series, he was 2-for-4 with a triple and three runs scored in the 8-1 win in the opener. He had two walks in game two and a hit and a run scored in the Sunday series finale.