March 30, 2002
COLUMBIA, SC – Third ranked South Carolina hit three home runs Saturday with the big blow a seventh inning grand slam by Brian Buscher and the Gamecocks held off a ninth inning rally by fifth ranked Alabama to win 9-6 and even a Southeastern Conference baseball series at one game apiece.
The series concludes at 1:30 p.m., Sunday at Sarge Frye Field, weather permitting. Heavy rain came down in the ninth inning Saturday and more is forecast for Sunday.
South Carolina improved to 22-6, 5-3 in the SEC while Alabama dropped to 23-4, 6-2. South Carolina starter David Marchbanks, 6-2, pitched 6 2/3 innings to earn the win. Blake Taylor picked up his seventh save. Shane Sanders, 4-1, was charged with the loss.
South Carolina led 5-2 through six innings but Alabama cut the margin to 5-4 with two runs in the top of the seventh. In the bottom of the inning the Gamecocks loaded the bases with one out on a a walk, Trey Dyson’s third hit of the game, and a hit batter. Buscher hit his fifth home run of the season over the right centerfield fence to boost the lead to 9-5.
In the top of the ninth Alabama scored with no outs on a bloop single by Scott McClanahan, an infield hit by Travis Garner and an RBI single by Peter Stonard. Jeremy Brown walked to load the bases with no outs and a run in. After Gabe Scott struck out Garner scored on a hit by Brent Boyd, the fourth hit of the inning by Alabama.
Carlos Sosa hit into a double play, shortstop Drew Meyer to second baseman Justin Harris to first baseman Yaron Peters to end the game. It was the third double play turned by South Carolina as Alabama out hit the Gamecocks 15-11.
The Gamecocks jumped to a 5-2 lead with a two run first inning homer by Peters, his 10th of the season, a second inning run on hits by Buscher, Landon Powell and Jon Coutlangus, and Dyson’s two run third inning homer, his eighth.
Left-hander Brent Carter relieved Sanders and held the Gamecocks in check until the seventh inning uprising. He was relieved by Brian Reed with two runners on base and Reed hit Harris with a pitch to load the bases before giving up the grand slam to Buscher.
Garner had a perfect day at the plate for Alabama with three singles, a double and a third inning home run, his third. Boyd had three hits and Stonard two for the Crimson Tide.
Dyson had three hits in four at bats and drove in two South Carolina runs. Peters also drove in two runs with a pair of hits, giving him 43 RBI in 27 games. Buscher had two hits and four RBI.
ALABAMA 101 000 202 – 6-15-0
SOUTH CAROLINA 212 000 400 – 9-12-1
Sanders, Carter (3), Reed (7), Norris (8) and Brown. Marchbanks, Taylor (7) and Powell. W-Marchbanks (6-2). L-Sanders (4-1). Save-Taylor (7). 2B-UA, Garner, Brown, USC, Thomas. HR-UA, Garner (3), USC, Peters (10), Dyson (8), Buscher (5).