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March 22, 2002

South Carolina left-hander Gary Bell, with ninth inning help from Blake Taylor bested Florida left-hander Jimmy Ramshaw 2-1 in a pitching duel Friday night to open a three game Southeastern Conference baseball series.

The fourth ranked Gamecocks improved to 20-3 overall and 3-1 in the SEC. Sixth ranked Florida dropped to 20-4, 3-1. Bell improved his record to 5-1 and Taylor earned his fifth save. Ramshaw dropped to 2-1. Each starting pitcher allowed six hits. Bell struck out eight and walked two. Ramshaw recorded seven strikeouts and two walks in a complete game effort.

Bell worked 8 1/3 innings but was relieved by Taylor when Florida’s Aaron Sobieraj drew a one out walk in the ninth. Taylor retired Ryan Shealy and Pat Osborn on flies to the outfield to end the game. The second game of the series is scheduled for 4 p.m., Saturday at Sarge Frye Field.

South Carolina took a 1-0 first inning lead. Justin Harris beat out a bunt, moved to second and third on infield ground outs and scored on a single by Yaron Peters. It was the 37th run batted in this season in 23 games for Peters. Peters walked to open the Gamecock fourth inning, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a two out single by Landon Powell.

Bell was helped by four outstanding defensive plays as South Carolina played its sixth consecutive errorless game and 14th game without an error this season. Brian Rose walked in the Florida third and with two outs attempted to score on a double down the right field line by Marion Garza. He was out right fielder Steve Thomas to shortstop Drew Meyer to catcher Powell.

Matt Goss doubled to lead off the Gator fifth inning but was thrown out by Powell when he attempted to steal third base. Ben Harrison followed with a long home run that produced the only Florida run of the night. It was Harrison’s fourth homer.

Gamecock third baseman Brian Buscher started a double play to end the Florida eighth inning after Rose had singled. First baseman Peters robbed Garza of a possible double for the first out of the ninth inning. The walk to Sobieraj followed before Taylor was called in to end the threat.

Goss had two doubles and Garza one for Florida. Meyer was the only Gamecock with two hits, one of which was a double. Garris Gonce had a double.

FLORIDA 000 010 000 – 1-6-0
SOUTH CAROLINA 100 100 00x – 2-6-0
Ramshaw and Rose, Mercadante (8). Bell, Taylor (9) and Powell. W-Bell (2-1). L-Ramshaw (2-1). Save-Taylor (5). 2B-UF, Goss 2, Garza, USC, Meyer, Gonce. HR-UF, Harrison (4).