Star freshmen dismissed from USC baseball team
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina baseball coach Ray Tanner dismissed two star freshmen from the team Monday after they were charged with breaking into a dorm room and stealing electronic equipment.
Outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall, who was ranked by Baseball America magazine before the season as the top freshman player in the country, and reliever Nick Fuller stole a flat-screen TV, a video game system and DVDs on March 13 while South Carolina students were on spring break, according to arrest warrants.
Fuller, rated by Baseball America as the No. 4 freshman player, was also charged in two other incidents. Police said he took three laptop computers from the university's Academic Enrichment Center and $3,100 in cash from offices of the baseball coaches, according to arrest warrants.
Fuller was charged with three counts of burglary and three counts of grand larceny, while Chisenhall was charged with one count each of grand larceny and burglary.
"This is a very unfortunate situation," Tanner said. "Both of these young men come from outstanding families and I feel bad for their parents. It is inappropriate for me to make any other comments, as this case is now in the hands of the legal authorities."
Chisenhall, from Newport, N.C., hit .313 with one home run and 13 RBIs while starting in 19 of South Carolina's 20 games. He was drafted by Pittsburgh in the 11th round last June, but chose to attend college.
Fuller, a right-hander from Marietta, Ga., was drafted in the third round last year by Tampa Bay. He didn't allow a hit or run in five relief innings. He had seven strikeouts and seven walks in his six appearances.
South Carolina is 17-3 this season, and ranks as high as No. 2 in the country in this week's national polls.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press