Friday, June 6, 2003
Updated: June 8, 8:40 PM ET
Columbia Super Regional notes
By Brad Edwards
Special to ESPN.com
Columbia Super Regional
North Carolina (42-23) at South Carolina (44-20)
Sarge Frye Field, Columbia, S.C.
Series history: UNC leads 53-31-1
2003 regular season: South Carolina 2-0
Columbia Super Regional schedule
Friday, June 6
Game 1 - South Carolina 5, North Carolina 4
Saturday, June 7
Game 2 - South Carolina 14, North Carolina 4 (South Carolina advances to CWS)
South Carolina Gamecocks
NCAA Tournament appearance: 19th
CWS appearances (last): 7 (2003)
2003 Home record: 29-7
Prominent MLB alumni: Adam Everett
Gamecock notes (entering Super Regional)
SC started 1-5 in the SEC but rebounded to play its best ball at the end of the season. The team enters the Super Regional having won 19 of its last 25 games.
Head coach Ray Tanner has plenty of experience against UNC. He was previously head coach at N.C. State.
Last season, South Carolina also faced North Carolina in tournament action at Columbia. The Gamecocks won two of three meetings with the Tar Heels in Regional play to advance to a 2002 Super Regional. SC eventually lost to Texas in the national title game.
Last year's CWS squad had a different approach than this year's team. Instead of pounding the cover off the ball, the Gamecocks are relying on strong pitching and defense. South Carolina ranks eighth nationally in fielding (.973) and ninth in ERA (3.30).
One reason offense is down: the batting average from the DH spot is under .250 for the season.
The bullpen is solid. The Gamecocks are 34-0 when leading after 6 innings.
SC made it out of the Atlanta Regional without having to play top-seeded Georgia Tech. The Gamecocks are just 6-8 vs. Top-25 teams this season.
3B Brian Buscher leads the SEC in batting (.384).
David Marchbanks is the SEC Pitcher of the Year (2.36 ERA, 92 K, 19 BB).
RF Steven Tolleson is the son of former Rangers and Yankees infielder Wayne Tolleson.
North Carolina Tar Heels
NCAA Tournament appearance: 18th
CWS appearances (last): 4 (1989)
Prominent MLB alumni: Paul Shuey, B.J. Surhoff
Tar Heel notes (entering Super Regional)
The last time UNC reached Omaha (1989), the path included a regional victory at Starkville, Miss., which is where the Tar Heels won last weekend.
UNC lost many position players from last year's team and was unranked in the preseason by some publications.
Even with many new starters, the Tar Heels swung the bats well enough to lead the ACC with a .321 team batting average.
Jeremy Cleveland leads the ACC in batting (.406) despite going just 2-for-13 in the Regional.
LF Sean Farrell was Regional MVP and is entering the Super Regional on a roll. He is 17-33 at the plate over the last seven games (ACC Tournament and NCAA Regional).
Brad Edwards is a college sports researcher for ESPN.