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Star freshmen dismissed from USC baseball team

3/19/2007

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.