Yardcocks Are In Hawgland This Weekend

The Arkansas Razorbacks have always seemed to be a thorn in the side of Gamecock baseball when playing in Fayetteville. Ray Tanner's South Carolina team, coming off a SEC series loss to LSU, finds themselves in a precarious situation this weekend ...

The Arkansas series in Fayetteville this weekend is almost a must win series in the eyes of the Gamecocks. Starting the season 1-2 in SEC play, and losing a series at home in the process, puts the Yardcocks' backs to the wall this weekend when they face the Razorbacks.

Ray Tanner has a losing record against Arkansas in Fayetteville, where the Razorbacks have seemed to have his number even against his best teams of recent past.

The Gamecocks will need to regain their momentum and win this series on the road in order to get back on track toward winning the Eastern Division title and having a shot at the overall crown. In the SEC, you must win your home series and split the road contest in order to compete for the crown - and the Gamecocks need this series to put things back in balance.

The official press release is below. Arkansas has yet to announce their starting rotation for the weekend.

Columbia, S.C. - Fourth ranked South Carolina (20-2, 1-2 SEC) returns to the baseball diamond on Friday as the Gamecocks begin a three-game series at Arkansas (15-8, 1-2 SEC) in the second weekend of conference play. USC enters the weekend fresh off a 12-1 win at Wofford on Tuesday night in which sophomore OF Michael Campbell became the ninth player in USC history to hit three home runs in one game.

The Gamecocks own a 6-4 record vs. the Razorbacks over the last three seasons with Arkansas leading the series history 18-15. The playing surface at Baum Stadium at George Cole Field was changed from artificial turf to grass since the last time the Gamecocks played in Fayetteville.

The USC offense goes into the series batting .345 on the year as a team with 48 home runs on the year. Senior catcher Landon Powell is batting .419 with five HR and 28 RBI with junior INF Steve Pearce at .393, 11 HR and 32 RBI.

The pitching matchups for the weekend are also set.

FRIDAY (6:35 p.m. CT)
South Carolina RHP Billy Buckner (4-0, 3.31 ERA)
Arkansas TBA

SATURDAY (2:05 p.m. CT)
South Carolina RHP Aaron Rawl (5-0, 2.43 ERA)
Arkansas TBA

SUNDAY (12:35 p.m. CT)
South Carolina LHP Matt Campbell (4-1, 1.74 ERA)
Arkansas TBA

Live audio will be available on the front page at GamecockInsider.com

UA Sports Information- Friday, March 26, 2004 ---Series: Arkansas leads the series 18-15. South Carolina holds a 6-4 record in the last 10 meetings.

Game Times:
Friday - 6:35 p.m.
Saturday - 2:05 p.m.
Sunday - 12:35 p.m.

Last Meeting: In 2003, Arkansas and South Carolina played a pair of seven inning games on Sunday after Saturday's game was washed out due to rain. Jarrett Gardner threw seven innings allowing one run on four hits as the Razorbacks won 4-1 to take the series two games to one.

Rankings: Arkansas is not ranked. South Carolina is ranked as high as fourth by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball. The Gamecocks are ranked fifth by Baseball Weekly/ESPN and the NCBWA.

Head Coaches

Dave Van Horn (Arkansas, 1988) is in his second season as head coach of the Razorbacks. Van Horn has a career record of 635-270 overall and 50-30 at Arkansas and is in his 16th season as a head coach.

South Carolina
Ray Tanner is in his eighth season at South Carolina and 17th overall as a head coach. He has a career record of 734-310-3 and a 339-137 mark at South Carolina.

Noting the Razorbacks
Arkansas is 2-4 against ranked teams this season with one against then No. 14 Texas A&M and one against then No. 12 Florida. . . .Danny Hamblin has hit in 10 consecutive games. . . .Arkansas has grounded into a league-high 28 double plays this season. . . .The Razorbacks have scored 62 two-out RBI. . . .Arkansas is hitting .298 with runners in scoring position. . . .Blake Parker is hitting .394 in the last 10 games, going 13-for-33 at the plate with five RBI. . . .Jake Dugger has driven in nine runs in the last 10 games. . . .In his last four outings Jay Sawatski is 1-1 with one save and a 7.45 ERA. . . .Charley Boyce has walked four batters in 31.0 innings of work this season. . . .Razorback relief pitchers have inherited 23 runners and allowed seven to score. . . .Arkansas No. 1-hole batters are hitting .287 (25-for-87) and scored 19 runs this season. . . .Opponents have stolen five bases in the last six attempts against the Hogs.

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