All games on Friday and Saturday will be played at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday's contests will be held at noon and 6 p.m., while Monday's game will start at 7 p.m., if necessary.
The Cougars were selected to the bracket as an at-large team, despite losing the first two games of the Southern Conference Tournament last week in Greenville, S.C. CofC entered the conference tournament with a share of the regular season title and a strong body of work thanks to a high overall SoCon RPI. The Cougars' regular season included a win at national seed South Carolina, a win at NCAA participant Clemson, a walk-off victory over in-state rival Coastal Carolina and a series victory over SoCon tourney champion Samford.
Despite losing both games, the Cougars fought valiantly in the SoCon Tournament, overcoming a 6-2 deficit in the eighth inning against The Citadel to force extra innings, and putting the winning run on base in the final frame against Elon despite trailing 11-5 earlier. The Cougar offense, led by SoCon Player of the Year Marty Gantt and All-Conference selection Brandon Murray, averaged nine runs a game with a batting average of .313.
All of the Gainesville Regional games, except for Sunday's noon contest, will be aired on ESPN3 with Mark Neely and Danny Kanell. Sunday's first game will be carried on ESPN2. The Charleston Sports Network will carry all CofC games on ESPN 910 AM with Jeff McCarragher and Dennis Trapani.
RHP #36 Cole Pitts, GT, 6-4, 4.36 ERA, 74.1 IP, 34 BB, 60 K
RHP #20 Christian Powell, CofC, 9-3, 2.39 ERA, 90.1 IP, 26 BB, 73 K
RHP #22 Matt Pegler, CofC, 9-2, 2.92 ERA, 80.0 IP, 20 BB, 57 K
SERIES VS. GEORGIA TECH
The Yellow Jackets hold a 9-0 advantage in the all-time series against CofC. The teams last met in the 2006 NCAA Atlanta Super Regional. Georgia Tech won the first game, 5-0, and the second 12-3, to advance to the College World Series.
SERIES VS. FLORIDA
College of Charleston has only met Florida on the diamond twice, back in 2002 when the Gators won 20-3 and 23-8 decisions down in Gainesville.
SERIES VS. BETHUNE-COOKMAN
This regional will potentially mark the first time that College of Charleston has played Bethune-Cookman. The Cougars are 18-0 all-time against teams from the MEAC conference including a 12-0 win over Savannah State earlier this season.
SCOUTING THE YELLOW JACKETS
Georgia Tech earned the final spot in the ACC tournament on the last day of the regular season and then as a No. 8 seed went 4-0 in Greensboro to claim the league title with an 8-5 win over Miami on Sunday.
The Yellow Jackets are second in the powerhouse ACC in batting with a .296 team average (Virginia .298) but 10th in the conference in earned run average (4.33).
Jake Davies, a senior first baseman and middle reliever, is batting .332 with 13 home runs and 69 runs batted in.Daniel Palka, a sophomore right fielder/first baseman from Greer, is batting .302 with 12 homers and 47 RBIs.
SCOUTING THE GATORS
Florida enters the postseason as the number one overall seed in the NCAA field of 64. The Gators were at the top of the polls for most of the season. Last season, Florida advanced to the College World Series Championship Finals before falling to South Carolina. The Gators lost to Vanderbilt in this year's SEC Tournament semifinals.
The Gators are led offensively by All-SEC first-team catcher Mike Zunino who sports a .323 average with 55 RBI and 16 home runs. All-SEC outfielder Preston Tucker is second on the team with 44 RBI along with 14 home runs.
UF has a team batting average of .281, while the pitching staff has posted a team ERA of 2.91, holding opponents to just .242 at the plate. The Gators' 67 home runs currently lead the nation.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
Bethune-Cookman will be making the trek to the Gainesville regional for the fourth time as the champions of the MEAC conference. The Wildcats are experienced with the big-time environment as all B-CU players have been to the NCAA Tournament each year of their career, and also have big-game experience both in the MEAC Tournament and in top-tier non-conference games. B-CU played 14 games against top-40 competition this season, including five against the top-20.
The Wildcats are led by Brashad Johnson with a batting average of .346 and a slugging percentage of .449 with 34 RBI. David Lee leads the team with 47 RBI and 14 home runs. Bethune-Cookman has a team batting average of .276 with a team ERA of 3.86.
COFC IN POSTSEASON PLAY
The 2012 NCAA Gainesville Regional marks the fifth postseason appearance for the Cougars since 2004. College of Charleston was last in the tournament in 2010 when CofC advanced to the championship game of the Myrtle Beach Regional. The Cougars also made consecutive trips in 2004, 2005 and 2006 with the team's best showing coming at the 2006 Lexington Regional when College of Charleston knocked off Notre Dame and Kentucky to advance to the Atlanta Super Regional. That year marked the last time that a SoCon team advanced past the regional stage.
CofC is 8-8 all-time in NCAA postseason play with an 0-2 record against Georgia Tech. The Cougars have won four SoCon Regular Season titles (2004, 2005, 2007, 2012) and captured the 2006 SoCon Tournament title.
SOCON PUTS THREE TEAMS IN TOURNAMENT
Three Southern Conference baseball teams have been chosen to participate in the NCAA Baseball Championship, it was announced on Monday afternoon. Samford, which advanced to the NCAA postseason for the first time after claiming the league's automatic bid on Sunday, was joined in the postseason by regular season co-champions Appalachian State and College of Charleston.
This marks the seventh time in the past nine seasons that the Southern Conference has sent multiple teams to the NCAA Tournament, and it equals 2010 for the most from the SoCon in league history. The league's three bids ties for the fifth-highest among conferences, trailing only the ACC, SEC, Pac-12 and Big XII.
MARTY GANTT SWEEPS SOCON PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS
Marty Gantt swept the coaches and media vote for the SoCon Player of the Year award, while Christian Powell earned the coaches Pitcher of the Year award. It marked the first time in program history that the Cougars won both the Player and Pitcher of the Year award in the same season.
Both Powell and Gantt were named to the All-Southern Conference First Team, as Powell led the league with a 2.39 ERA and Gantt led the SoCon in runs (64) with a batting average of .375 and 44 RBI.
Bradley Goodson was named All-SoCon second team shortstop on both teams, and Brandon Murray earned All-SoCon second team on the coaches ballot. Matt Pegler, Kyle Owings and Rob Harding all earned All-SoCon second team on the media ballot.
GANTT EARNS NATIONAL RECOGNITION
Senior CF Marty Gantt has now been named for the lists of the two most prestigious player of the year awards in college baseball, as he was selected last week as a Dick Howser Award semifinalist. Gantt had previously been selected to the watch list for the USA Golden Spikes Award.
As the SoCon Player of the Year, Gantt is currently third in the Southern Conference with a batting average of .375. His league-best 64 runs rank 12th in the nation, while Gantt also leads a league leader in walks (43) and on-base percentage (.485), in doubles (19) and third in stolen bases (25) and slugging percentage (.612).
ALDRICH FINDING HIS GROOVE
After starting the season with non-typical production, preseason All-American Daniel Aldrich has turned it around since hitting two doubles from the seven spot in a win over Appalachian State (4/8) in the series finale. Prior to the SoCon Tournament, Aldrich hit .372 in the last 23 regular-season games with eight home runs, four triples and 25 RBI for a slugging percentage of .809. He was named the SoCon Player of the Week twice, and hit a walk-off RBI single to defeat Coastal Carolina on May 15.
College of Charleston starter Christian Powell has proved to nearly unhittable this season, as he sports a league-best 2.39 ERA. Powell has boasted three starting performances where he has not allowed an earned run and has one partial shutout this season. His nine wins are tied for second in the SoCon as he was named the SoCon Pitcher of the Year by the coaches.
Powell was recently named to the National Pitcher of the Year Watch List, the only representative of the SoCon on the 51-player list.
College of Charleston Sunday starter Matt Pegler has surprised most this season with his outstanding performances at the bookend of the Cougar rotation. Pegler has posted an ERA of 2.92, good for second in the conference, with a record of 9-2. These past two months, Pegler has been the king of the bounce back victory as he's led CofC to six wins after losses the day before. Pegler was named Second Team All-Conference by the media.
SENIOR HITS HARD
College of Charleston senior and corner infielder Rob Harding has made big-time plays in big situations for the Cougars. Harding leads the team with a .452 average with runners in scoring position, while he's tallied a team-best 17 two-out RBI. He is currently third on the team with 43 RBI.
In the win over Clemson, Harding delivered the game-sealing RBI and then snagged a liner down the third baseline to get the lead runner in the 8th inning. He also hit a walk-off single to defeat The Citadel in the 11th inning (4/22).
Harding was named All-SoCon Second Team by the Southern Conference Sports Media Association.
OWINGS KO'S OPPONENTS
CofC reliever Kyle Owings has been a force in the Cougar bullpen as the primary setup reliever. Owings finished the season with an ERA of 1.33 with a 3-0 record and two saves. Opponents are batting just .242 against the senior righty, while Owings has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.13 (50:16). Owings was named All-SoCon Second Team.
B-MURR, BENZ OR BENTLEY
College of Charleston sophomore Brandon Murray has been a power generator at the plate, blasting a team-best 12home runs and boasting a slugging percentage of .574. Murray is sixth in the league in home runs and was named All-SoCon Second Team. In the past seven games, Murray has averaged .529 at the plate with 10 RBI and a .706 slugging percentage.
Murray was named the SoCon Player of the Week on March 26. He hit a game-tying solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning that led to the Cougars extra-inning win over CSU (3/27).
POWER AT DH
Sophomore Brandon Glazer has rewarded Coach Lee for making him a regular starter in the second half of the season as he has seen time at third base and DH. Glazer finished the year with a .322 batting average and five home runs in the last seven games. His three-run shot against Coastal Carolina helped lift the Cougars to victory after falling behind early.
WHAT'S HAPPENED BY THE 4TH INNING?
CofC games this season have largely been determined by the action in the first four innings. The Cougars are an impressive 30-3 when leading after the fourth inning and are 3-16 when trailing after the fourth inning. The Cougars do not easily give up leads as they are 27-6 on the season when scoring first.
CHICKS DIG THE LONG BALL
While the College of Charleston has based its 2012 reputation off of the strength of its pitching staff, the Cougars are still hitting for power in a big way. CofC leads the Southern Conference in team home runs with 63, a mark that currently ranks 5th in the country.
College of Charleston has seen power from a number of different bats as Brandon Murray (12), Marty Gantt (10), Daniel Aldrich (10), and Bradley Goodson (8) have eight or more long balls. CofC is 29-11 this season when the squad hits a home run in a game, and 13-2 when the Cougars hit two or more long balls.