April 26, 2002
LEXINGTON, KY – Brian Buscher’s RBI single in the 10th inning scored pinch runner Tim Seaton and Blake Taylor earned his fourth victory of the season as fifth-ranked South Carolina defeated Kentucky 6-4 in the first of a three-game college baseball series. The Gamecocks are now 32-10 on the season and 12-6 in the SEC. Buscher finished the game 3-for-5 with two RBI. Brian Felkel took the loss for the Wildcats in relief moving his record to 2-2. Kentucky is now 14-26 and 3-15 in the SEC on the year.
Designated hitter Trey Dyson reached base on an error by first baseman Gordon Tyler with one out in the tenth inning. With pinch runner Seaton on first base, Garris Gonce knocked a sharp shot to shortstop Brad Pickrell, who threw off the bag to second base, to put two runners on for USC. Buscher knocked a single to right field to score Seaton and give USC a 5-4 lead. Two batters later, Landon Powell also singled to right field to score Buscher and give the Gamecocks a two-run lead. Blake Taylor retired three of four batters he faced in the 10th inning to move his record to 4-0 on the year.
The Wildcats opened up the scoring in the bottom of the second inning. A two-out RBI single to left field by Russ Rutherford scored Robert Newton and put Kentucky on top 1-0.
Carolina opened up its first lead of the game in the top of the third inning. Two-out walks by Kevin Melillo and Drew Meyer put two Gamecock runners on base. After a wild pitch by Hahn, Steve Thomas knocked a single past third baseman Rutherford to score Melillo and Meyer and give USC a 2-1 lead. Kentucky moved the score to 2-2 in the bottom of the inning as the Wildcats scored off a wild pitch.
South Carolina retook the lead in the third inning. After Trey Dyson led off with a double, with one out Brian Buscher knocked his 14th double of the season to left center to put USC on top 3-2.
The Gamecocks put one more on the board in the fifth inning to go up two runs. Kevin Melillo extended his hitting streak to nine games with his single in the fifth inning. After a one-out single by Steve Thomas, Yaron Peters knocked a long single off the right field wall to score Melillo increasing Carolina’s lead to 4-2.
With a 4-2 lead, Kentucky got one step closer in the fifth inning as Newton hit an RBI sacrifice fly to center to score Gordon Tyler. With two runners on and two outs, freshman Aaron Rawl took the mound and was able to get out of the jam with the Gamecocks still on top 4-3. Rawl came on in relief for starter Gary Bell, who went 4.2 innings allowing three unearned runs and six hits. Bell was named starter in place of David Marchbanks, who was scratched from the lineup due to a fever.
Spencer Preston tied the game for Kentucky in the eighth inning with a home run to right center field off of Taylor. Preston’s run was the first earned run for Kentucky in the game.
South Carolina and Kentucky will play the second game of the series tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. at Cliff Hagan Stadium.