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March 18, 2002

Drew Meyer hit a three run home run, Yaron Peters also homered, and Landon Powell had two RBI singles to lead fourth ranked South Carolina to a 9-6 win over Mississippi State Sunday and a 2-1 edge in the Southeastern Conference baseball series.

Steve Bondurant, 2-0, relieved starter Chris Spigner with no outs and Mississippi State leading 3-1 in the bottom of the first inning to earn the win and Blake Taylor worked the final 1 2/3 innings to register his fourth save and second in as many games against Mississippi State. Bulldog starter Joey Collums, 1-1, took the loss.

South Carolina, which won the Saturday game 5-3 after losing 12-4 Friday night, improved its record to 18-3, 2-1 in the Southeastern Conference race. Mississippi State fell to 10-6-1, 1-2.

South Carolina scored an unearned run in the top of the first inning on a bloop single by Justin Harris, a Passed ball, an infield out that advanced Harris to third, and a perfect suicide squeeze bunt by Steve Thomas.

Spigner failed to retire a batter as Matthew Maniscalco and Chad Henry singled and Matthew Brinson walked to load the bases in the bottom of the first. Jason Burkley doubled to drive in two Maniscalco and Henry and Bondurant replaced Spigner. Brinson scored on an infield out to make the score 3-1.

The Gamecocks narrowed the deficit to 3-2 with a fun in the third but and chased Collums with four runs on four hits in the fourth, including the homer by Meyer and doubles by Brian Buscher and Thomas. Mississippi State scored one in the bottom of the inning but an error and two hits plated a Gamecock run in the fifth to make the score 7-4.

Three hits chased Bondurant in the bottom of the fifth and Tony Adler walked two batters to force in thre second Mississippi State run of the inning. Peters homered in the top of the sixth, his ninth of the season. He has 36 RBI in 21 games. South Carolina added a run in the ninth inning to lead 9-6.

The Gamecocks totaled 12 hits, two each by Meyer, Peters and Powell. Thomas, Peters and Buscher had doubles. Henry had three of Mississippi State’s 10 hits and Maniscalco and John Burkley had two. Burkley had a double and Henry a triple.

South Carolina played its fourth consecutive errorless game and 13th in 21 games this season.

SOUTH CAROLINA		101 411 001 - 9-12-0
MISSISSIPPI STATE	300 120 000 - 6-10-1

Spigner, Bondurant (1), Adler (5), Taylor (8) and Powell. Collums, Blakeney (4), Owens (7), Carroll (9), Dowe (9) and Burkley. W-Bondurant (2-0). L-Collums (1-1). Save-Taylor (4). 2B-USC, Thomas, Peters, Buscher, MSU, Burkley. 3B-MSU, Henry. HR-USC-Meyer (2), Peters (9).