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by: Stetson University
Baseball Visits No. 3 South Carolina for a Pair
Courtesy: Stetson University  
Release:  03/03/2014
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First Pitch
The Hatters are set to play just their third and fourth road games of the season when they visit No. 3 South Carolina for a pair of game at Carolina Stadium.
    Stetson enters the series having lost four straight games, including all three contests last weekend in the Stetson Invitational.
    The South Carolina series will be Stetson’s second of the season against an SEC foe. The Hatters opened the season with a three-game series against Ole Miss in DeLand.
    
Stetson vs. South Carolina
The Hatters and Gamecocks have met 16 times prior to this week, with South Carolina winning 14 of those meetings. The teams last met during the 2011 NCAA Regional in Columbia, and also faced each other in the 2003 Atlanta Regional at Georgia Tech.  South Carolina won all four meetings.
    The Hatters are 1-7 all-time in games played in Columbia. Head coach Pete Dunn is winless in seven games against the Gamecocks.

Scouting the Gamecocks
South Carolina is a perfect 10-0 after sweeping a weekend series against in-state foe Clemson. South Carolina has vaulted to the top of the rankings in two of the major college baseball polls (Collegiate Baseball, ESPN/USA Today Coaches), and ranks third in the others (Baseball America, NCBWA).
    Led by second-year head coach Chad Holbrook, the Gamecocks boast an impressive balance of offensive prowess (.313 team batting average) and outstanding pitching (1.60 ERA).
    Offensively, the Gamecocks have two regulars hitting over .400, while two others are hitting .289 or better.
    On the mound, South carolina is limiting opponents to a .206 batting average and has allowed just 11 extra-base hits in 10 games.
    After facing the hatters twice, South Carolina hosts Brown this weekend before opening SEC play next weekend against Ole Miss.

Scouting Stetson
The 2014 season has gotten off to a rough start for the Hatters, with just two wins in the first 11 games. Playing what head coach Pete Dunn has called the most challenging schedule in 35 years as head coach, Stetson has yet to find it’s groove at the plate. The Hatters are batting .188 and scoring less than two runs per game heading into the South Carolina series.
    Junior Josh Powers has been a surprise at the plate for Stetson. The DH/1B and starting pitcher is hitting .292 in his first season as a hitter.
    Pitching has been Stetson’s strength so far, with freshman Mitchell Jordan leading the way. Jordan owns a 1.17 ERA in three appearances this year. Overall the Hatters own a 4.45 team ERA.
    Last weekend, the Hatters won two of three from Boston College to earn the program’s first series win over an ACC foe since winning a pair of midweek games over North  Carolina in 1982.

Three Dot Data
This year marks the 15th season of Melching Field at Conrad Park. Opened in 1999, Melching Field has hosted over 500 Stetson games. The Hatters are 364-185 (.663) all-time at Melching Field, with an average attendance of 1,115 fans. Melching Field as been the host of 10 A-Sun Conference tournaments ... the Hatters face what head coach Pete Dunn calls the most challenging schedule in his 35 years as head coach... Stetson plays a total of 13 games against ACC and SEC foes this season (Ole Miss-3, Boston College-3, Florida State-3, South Carolina-2, Miami-1, NC State-1) ... Stetson also faces seven teams who participated in the 2013 NCAA Tournament (Ole Miss, South Carolina, NC State, Miami, FSU, Mercer, ETSU) ... sophomore first baseman Patrick Mazeika was recently named by Baseball America as the A-Sun’s number three prospect for the 2015 MLB Draft ... sophomore Kevin Fagan hit his first career home run in last Tuesday’s loss at Bethune-Cookman.

Hatters Picked Sixth, Mazeika Honored
Stetson’s baseball team was picked to finish sixth in the 2014 Atlantic Sun Conference race, and sophomore first baseman Patrick Mazeika was a unanimous selection to the Preseason All-Conference team in voting by A-Sun head coaches.
    The Hatters received a total of 60 points in the coaches poll, finishing just behind fifth place Kennesaw State (64). Stetson returns six seniors among its 19 letter winners from last season’s 26-31 squad.
    Defending regular-season champion Mercer received seven first place votes and 97 total points en route to being named as the preseason favorite. North Florida (86) received one first place vote, while Florida Gulf Coast (73) received two first place votes. Defending tournament champion East Tennessee (69) is fourth in the preseason poll, followed by Kennesaw State, Stetson, Lipscomb (34), USC Upstate (30), Jacksonville (27) and Northern Kentucky (10).
    Mazeika was one of three unanimous selections to the Preseason All-Conference team. The 2013 A-Sun Freshman of the Year, Mazeika batted .382 with three home runs and 33 RBI in 57 games. Mazeika was also a first-team all-conference selection and was a consensus Freshman All-America honoree.
    Mercer’s Chesny Young was named preseason player of the year, while Chad Sobotka of USC Upstate and Michael Massi of Mercer were named as pitcher and defensive player of the year, respectively.

Stetson Baseball History
A participant in Florida’s first intercollegiate baseball game in 1902 (W, 4-0 vs. Rollins), Stetson has been playing baseball since 1901. The Hatters are beginning their 97th season of competition, with the program being dormant during both World Wars.
    The Hatters have had plenty of success on the field, winning 1,913 total games and carrying a .571 winning percentage into the 2014 season.
    Stetson has participated in 17 NCAA Regionals, 2011 being the last time, and captured eight Atlantic Sun Conference championships (Stetson was an independent in baseball until 1987).
    Stetson has produced its share of Major League Baseball talent as well, boasting a pair of first round draft picks and nine Major Leaguers, including current Atlanta Braves third baseman Chris Johnson and Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber. Others to play in the big leagues include: Brian Bocock, Lenny DiNardo, Eric Knott, Kevin Nicholson, Wade Rowdon, Bill Swaggerty and George Tsamis.

Up Next
The Hatters host Siena for three game beginning 6:30 p.m., Saturday, at Melching Field.

Stetson Baseball


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