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April 14, 2011

Quick Baseball Press Conference Recap

Ray Tanner met with the media on Thursday to preview the No. 3 Gamecocks' series with No. 1 Vanderbilt, which begins on Friday. The details:

* Third baseman Adrian Morales, who missed The Citadel loss with a strained ligament in his non-throwing wrist, is expected to play.

* Outfielder Jake Williams remains indefinitely suspended but his status for this weekend is in the air. Tanner said "Probably," when asked if Williams was out for this weekend. If the suspension is lifted, it will be before Friday's game because the weekend roster has to be designated before the game. It is unlikely, but there could be a "couple of variables" that could clear Williams before Friday.

* The pitching rotation remains Michael Roth, Colby Holmes and Forrest Koumas. Steven Neff will be able to throw in relief and also has been activated as a position player. He could pinch-hit, DH or potentially play in the outfield.

* Vanderbilt is like No. 1 Florida was a few weeks ago. Not many weaknesses. Gamecocks have to get outstanding pitching and get some big hits. Key to the series -- show that USC can score some runs.

* The shutout at The Citadel and the suspension of Williams -- did it stall momentum? "No, I don't think that's the case at all. If we do poorly this weekend, it will be because of the team we're playing."

* Adam Matthews is close to being 100 percent and should play in the outfield at least once this weekend.

* With "our cast of characters," Tanner says they don't fear anybody. They respect Vanderbilt for being No. 1 but they're not afraid and won't feel it's an upset if they win the series.

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