Gamecocks Open Play In Hoover Vs Bama On Thursday.
Birmingham, Ala. - The University of South Carolina baseball team opens up SEC Tournament play on Thursday with an opening round game vs. UA. The 2nd seed in this year's tournament, USC heads into the week with a 38-18 record including 3 wins this season vs. the Crimson Tide. Alabama is seeded seventh this week with a 33-22 overall record. Also, several Gamecocks have won awards recently ...
South Carolina's three wins vs. the Crimson Tide came in Tuscaloosa, the first series victory for Carolina at Alabama and only the second series sweep by a SEC opponent vs. Alabama since Jim Wells became coach. Last year Carolina won of two of three from Alabama in Columbia during the regular season but lost to the Tide in the championship game of the SEC Tournament at Hoover. The Gamecocks lead the overall series 16-15.
The Gamecocks will start senior LHP Steven Bondurant. Bondurant is 5-3 with a 3.73 ERA and leads the Gamecock staff in strikeouts with 80 in 89 1/3 innings pitched. Bondurant earned a win in last Friday's 5-2 victory vs. Georgia that clinched Carolina's fourth SEC Eastern Division title in the last five seasons. Bondurant is one of many on a Gamecock pitching staff that owns a 3.33 team ERA, the best staff ERA in Carolina history since the 1982 squad finished with a 3.28 ERA. The 1982 team ended up in the postseason and advancing to the College World Series.
The SEC Tournament begins tomorrow at 11 a.m. ET with the sixth seed Vanderbilt facing third seeded Auburn. Fifth seed Ole Miss will meet fourth seed Mississippi State and the eighth seed Arkansas and top seed LSU will close out the first day of action. Each game will be broadcast on CSS-TV.
Matt Campbell Named Both National & SEC Pitcher of the Week
COLUMBIA, S.C.- South Carolina left-hander Matt Campbell was named the Louisville Slugger National Pitcher of the Week for the second time this season by Collegiate Baseball News and SEC Pitcher of the Week for the third time this year. He is the first player in SEC history to win the award three times in one season. The sophomore from Simpsonville, S.C. struck out 13 batters and allowed just two hits in seven innings. South Carolina won the game 5-2 to close out the regular season.
Campbell struck out seven of the first nine batters he faced. His 13 strikeouts were a career high, surpassing his old mark of nine in eight innings Feb. 23 against Duquesne. After the Duquesne game Campbell earned his first National Pitcher of the Week award.
In the final regular season polls announce today, South Carolina garnered 14th and 17th in the Collegiate Baseball News and Baseball America, respectively. The Gamecocks finished the regular season with a 38-18 overall record and claimed the SEC East title with a conference record of 19-11.
South Carolina will open the SEC Tournament on Wednesday, May 21st, at 2:00 p.m. as the number two seed. The Gamecocks will meet the seventh seeded Alabama Crimson Tide in Hoover, Alabama.
South Carolina Junior LHP David Marchbanks Named SEC Pitcher Of The Year
Busscher, Marchbanks & Powell Each Earn First Team All-SEC Honors
Birmingham, Ala. - South Carolina junior LHP David Marchbanks was tabbed 2003 Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year by a vote of the league's 12 head baseball coaches and is one of three South Carolina players to earn first team All-SEC honors. Marchbanks, senior 3B Brian Buscher and junior C Landon Powell each earned all-conference honors for the first time in the SEC.
Among the nation's leaders in wins, Marchbanks has a 12-2 record with a 2.40 ERA and leads the SEC in wins (12), innings pitched (108 2/3) and strikeouts looking (32). The junior from Simpsonville, S.C. owns 79 strikeouts on the year and has allowed just 17 walks. In his three-year career at Carolina, Marchbanks has accumulated a 28-7 record and is currently eighth on the All-Time Gamecock Wins List.
Buscher, one of three captains on this year's squad, continues to lead the SEC in hitting with a .391 batting average and is among the SEC leaders in home runs (12) and RBI (56). The senior from Jacksonville, Fla. owns an 11-game hitting streak heading into the SEC Tournament. Buscher also had a 14-game hitting streak early in the season and leads the team with 28 multi-hit games in 56 played this year.
A preseason All-American and captain, Powell is the top defensive catcher in the SEC with a .995 fielding percentage owning just two errors on the year. Powell became the fourth South Carolina player to hit two home runs in a game this season and the third to hit a grand slam in Carolina's 14-2 win over Georgia on May 17. Powell leads the SEC in walks (39) and is among the league leaders in doubles (19). Powell is one of 32 players on the 2003 Johnny Bench Award Watch list. The award goes each year to the top collegiate catcher in the nation.
Marchbanks is the second Carolina pitcher win SEC Pitcher of the Year. Kip Bouknight earned the award in the 2000 season, a year in which Bouknight finished with a 17-1 record and was the Golden Spikes National Player of the Year. South Carolina also had the SEC Player of the Year last year when Yaron Peters was named the top conference player.
South Carolina opens up play in the SEC Tournament on Wednesday afternoon at approximately 2 p.m. ET vs. Alabama. The Gamecocks head into the tournament with a 38-18 record and ranked as high as 14th in the nation
South Carolina's Landon Powell Johnny Bench Award Semi-Finalist
South Carolina's Landon Powell is one of ten semi-finalists for the Fourth Annual Johnny Bench Award, announced today by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission.
Columbia, S.C. - South Carolina's Landon Powell is one of ten semi-finalists for the Fourth Annual Johnny Bench Award, announced today by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission. This award is presented annually at the Greater Wichita Sports Banquet to the nation's top collegiate catcher, as voted on by a panel of sportswriters, sportscasters, Division I coaches and scouts.
A preseason All-American and captain, Powell is the top defensive catcher in the SEC with a .995 fielding percentage owning just two errors on the year. Powell, catcher for the 2002 USA baseball team, became the fourth South Carolina player to hit two home runs in a game this season and the third to hit a grand slam in Carolina's 14-2 win over Georgia on May 17. Powell leads the SEC in walks (39) and is among the league leaders in doubles (19). For his efforts, he was named to the 2003 First Team All-SEC squad.
The three finalists will be announced on June 3, 2003. The final vote will take place during the College World Series, with the winner of the Johnny Bench award being revealed at the Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 24, 2003.
The Johnny Bench Award Semi-Finalists
Brady Burrill, Michigan State, Senior
Josh Ford, Baylor, Sophomore
Ryan Garko, Stanford, Senior
Chris Grossman, California, Junior
Devin Ivany, South Florida, Sophomore
Jason Jaramillo, Oklahoma State, Sophomore
Colt Molton, NC State, Junior
Landon Powell, South Carolina, Junior
Tony Richie, Florida State, Junior
Brian Rose, Florida, Senior