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Feb. 22, 2002

A three run double by Landon Powell in the bottom of the eighth inning Friday sparked South Carolina to a 5-3 come from behind win over Virginia Commonwealth in opening day’s action at the Baseball at the Beach Tournament.

The fifth ranked Gamecocks improved to 7-0 while Virginia Commonwealth dropped to 5-6. South Carolina will meet eighth ranked Georgia Tech at noon Saturday. Georgia Tech met host Coastal Carolina in the late Friday game.

Tony Adler, 1-0, worked two hitless innings in relief of starter Chris Spigner to receive credit for the win. VCU starter Davy Martin, 1-2, was charged with the loss.

After South Carolina took a 1-0 first inning lead on a walk, a bunt single by Drew Meyer, a double steal and an infield out, Virginia Commonwealth scored three times in the top of the second.

Singles by Rigo Orozco, Justin Mattison and Nick Jones, a hit batter and a Gamecock error produced the 3-1 lead but the Rams managed only one hit over the final seven innings, none after the third. VCU’s only base runners over the final six innings reached on walks, two by Spigner and one by Adler.

South Carolina got a run back in the bottom of the second inning. Steve Thomas singled, moved to second on an infield out, to third on a balk, and scored on a bloop single by Brian Buscher. The score remained 3-2 until the three run Gamecock rally in the eighth inning.

South Carolina left the bases loaded in the fifth inning and had two runners on in the sixth when Steve Thomas hit into an inning ending double play, and left two more stranded in the seventh.

Yaron Peters led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a double and Kevin Melillo drew a walk. Garris Gonce was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game to load the bases. After Thomas popped up for the first out. Powell delivered a double in the left centerfield gap to drive in three runs.

South Carolina managed eight hits, two each by Thomas and Buscher. Buscher, Peters and Powell had doubles. All five Virginia Commonwealth hits, by five different players, were singles.

VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH 030 000 000 – 3-5-1
SOUTH CAROLINA 110 000 03x – 5-8-1
Martin, Marshall (8), Meredith (8) and Parrish. Spigner, Adler (8) and Powell. W-Adler (1-0). L-Martin (1-2). Save-None. 2B-USC, Buscher, Peters, Powell.