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March 15, 2002

Two three-run innings in the fourth and sixth innings, helped propel No. 23 Mississippi State to a 12-4 win vs. No. 4 South Carolina in the first of a three-game college baseball series. The loss moves Carolina’s record to 16-3 overall and 0-1 in SEC play. Mississippi State is now 10-4-1 and 1-0 in the conference.

Senior LHP Gary Bell took his first loss of the season (4-1) going four and two third innings and allowed six runs off seven hits while striking out five batters. Junior 3B Brian Buscher batted 2-for-3 and senior Yaron Peters was 2-for-4, each with a home run to lead the Gamecocks. Trey Dyson also had a solo home run for USC. Mississippi State hurler Paul Maholm earned his third victory of the season, going all nine innings and allowing four runs on eight hits.

The Gamecocks got on the board first opening up the scoring with two runs in the top of the second inning. Leading off the inning, Peters knocked a 2-0 pitch to right center to put Carolina up 1-0. One batter later with one out, Dyson knocked his fifth home run of the season also to right center giving the Gamecocks a 2-0 lead.

Mississippi State obtained its first lead of the game in the bottom of the third inning. With two outs, the Bulldogs put together back-to-back singles, one off a bad hop, and Jason Burkley was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Matthew Brinson singled to right field to score two Bulldogs and knot the game at two. Steve Gendron singled to center field to score Burkley putting the Bulldogs up 3-2.

MSU increased its lead to 4-2 in the fourth with a home run from DH Jon Mungle. MSU went up three runs in the fifth inning with a two-out double by Enrico Jones to score Mungle and give the Bulldogs a 5-2 lead. Chad Henry continued the two-out scoring for MSU with a two-run single to right center off Gamecock reliever Chris Hernandez, increasing the Bulldog lead to 7-2.

USC came back in the sixth inning with one run. Steve Thomas doubled to left field and two batters later scored to bring the deficit down to four runs.

The Bulldogs came back in the bottom half of the inning with two more runs. The Gamecocks got one run back in the seventh inning as Brian Buscher knocked a solo home run to left center, his fourth of the year. MSU finished up the scoring with three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.

USC and Mississippi State will play the second game of the series tomorrow afternoon at Dudy Noble Field at 3 p.m.ET. Senior LHP David Marchbanks will be on the mound for USC, with senior RHP Tanner Brock taking the mound for the Bulldogs.