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May 23, 2011

Baseball Presser Recap: Roth Will Start

Ray Tanner spoke to the media on Monday before South Carolina departed for the SEC tournament. The details:

* Tanner switched himself from previous comments on the SEC teleconference, saying that Michael Roth is a probable starter for Wednesday's Game 1. Roth asked for the ball and Tanner said he was "leaning" toward starting him then. Roth didn't want to wait an extra day for his usual seventh day of rest. Forrest Koumas should go Game 2, and Colby Holmes/Steven Neff are considerations if there is a Game 3.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. will not make the trip. He is scheduled to have his cast removed on Friday. Drake Thomason, as he did for Alabama, will travel.

* Adam Matthews will travel and is close to 100 percent. If he plays in Hoover, it's likely as a designated hitter.

* John Taylor was sick on Saturday when he pitched. He didn't tell anyone, which is why he was playing. He didn't work out on Monday and will travel separately from the team to Hoover.

* Brady Thomas is still nursing his strained left foot but should be OK.

* "When we left Hoover last year, we didn't feel real good," Tanner said. He wants the Gamecocks to stay as long as possible in Hoover, because there could be two-a-day practices in Columbia if not. "We tried to win the regular season, we're going to try to win the tournament if we can."

* USC is in the same side of the bracket as Auburn (one game) and Georgia (three games), which have to win to clinch NCAA bids. "We knew it was going to be competitive anyway," Tanner said.

* USC is the No. 1 team in the country, Tanner isn't paying too much attention to it. "I don't spend any time at all with that. I don't talk about it with my team. I'm not sure if they think about it."

* Locking a top-eight seed not a huge concern, either. Of course it's there, but the Gamecocks aren't pressuring themselves to win for that. They just want to win.



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