Baseball's Carter suspended after arrest

nwhite@thestate.comMarch 16, 2012 

USC's Ethan Carter strikes out a VMI player in the sixth inning at Carolina Stadium.

C. ALUKA BERRY — caberry@thestate.com

South Carolina pitcher Ethan Carter was arrested for drunkenness last Saturday morning after a city of Columbia police officer found him lying motionless in a mulch bed on Harden Street in Five Points.

The junior right-handed pitcher, who was kicked off the team by USC coach Ray Tanner in January 2011 for violating team rules but rejoined the program in August, was spotted by a patrolling officer near the front of Harper’s restaurant.

The incident report states that Carter was observed to be “grossly intoxicated” at 3:28 a.m. – approximately six hours after USC’s home win over Princeton -- with a strong odor of alcohol on his breath and using “very slurred speech.” It also stated that Carter was “unsteady on his feet” and “stumbled backwards into a parking meter.”

Because he had a laceration to his chin from a fall prior to the arrest, he was transported to a local hospital and not booked at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

The 21-year-old Carter, who made the trip to Kentucky this weekend as part of USC’s 27-player travel roster, has pitched 10 scoreless innings in five relief appearances with a 1-0 record this season, although he has not pitched in the past six games since the Mar. 4 game against Clemson.

"He has been suspended," Ray Tanner said after Friday night's loss to Kentucky. "I found out today at 4:35. At 4:35 is when I was notified that there was an arrest. Prior to that, I was completely unaware that there was an arrest. I knew there was an incident, and I had made him inactive for the last few games. We brought him on the trip and I was notified again today at 4:35 that in fact it was an arrest. I did not have that information previously."

Asked if the arrest would affect Carter's future with the team, Tanner said, "I don't know for sure."

The arrest was the second one in 2012 for the baseball team. Infielder Tanner Lovick, a junior-college transfer from North Carolina, was arrested on the same charge in January.

The 6-foot-4 Carter, a native of Newport News, Va., played his sophomore season last spring for Louisburg College, a junior college in North Carolina. When he did not get selected last June’s MLB draft after going 9-3 with a 1.75 ERA in 77 innings for Louisburg, he was granted a chance to return to the Gamecocks with the stipulation that he make the roster.

As a freshman reliever in the 2010 championship season, he posted a 3-0 record with two saves and a 5.46 ERA in 28 innings.

Ethan Levine contributed to this story

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