May 10, 2002
Columbia, SC – Yaron Peters drove in five runs Friday night and fourth ranked South Carolina battled back from a four run second inning deficit to defeat Tennessee 10-6 in the first game of a weekend Southeastern Conference baseball series.
Aaron Rawl, 3-1, the second of four Gamecock pitchers, was the winner with Blake Taylor working the final two innings to earn his SEC leading 15th save. Tennessee starter Ben Riley, 5-3, took the loss. He gave up seven earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. The second game is scheduled for 4 p.m., Saturday at Sarge Frye Field.
South Carolina improved to 38-11 overall, 17-7 in the SEC. Tennessee dropped to 24-26, 9-16. The Gamecocks opened up a game and a half lead over Florida in the SEC Eastern Division race. The Gators lost to LSU 5-4 in 10 innings. The Gamecocks remained half a game behind Western Divisison leader Alabama in the overall SEC standings. Alabama defeated Mississippi State 9-5 Friday.
Tennessee chased South Carolina starter Gary Bell with four runs in the top of the second inning, two of them earned. The Vols had four hits and the Gamecocks committed their only error of the game in the inning. Brandon Hopkins drove in two runs with a base hit and Matt Sternberg doubled in another with the final run in the Tennessee uprising coming on an RBI hit by Jordan Czarniecki.
South Carolina struck back to take a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the second. Trey Dyson started the rally with a two run home run, his 15th of the season. The Gamecocks then loaded the bases on a hit by Landon Powell and two walks. Peters drove in three runs with a double down the left field line.
Tennessee quickly tied the score at 5-5 when Randy Moffett led off the third inning with his fifth home run. Moffett had a perfect night at the plate with four hits and a walk.
The Gamecocks scored two fifth inning runs to take a 7-5 lead. Two walks, a balk a hit by Landon Powell and Steve Thomas’ 21st double of the season produced the runs.
South Carolina added two in the fifth to lead 9-5. Peters drove in both runs with a bases loaded two out single. Sternberg’s second double of the game and an RBI hit by Nick Crowe drove in the sixth Tennessee run in the sixth inning. Dyson drove in his third run of the game with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.
Tennessee out hit South Carolina 13-10 but Volunteer pitchers issued seven walks and hit two batters. South Carolina’s pitchers walked only one but hit three. In addition to four hits by Moffett, Czarniecki had three hits and Hopkins and Sternberg had two each for Tennessee.
Thomas and Powell had three hits apiece for South Carolina and Peters had two. Each of the three had a double.
TENNESSEE 041 001 000 – 6-13-1
SOUTH CAROLINA 050 220 01x – 10-10-1
Riley, Massey (4) and Bibee. Bell, Rawl (2), Spigner (7), Taylor (8) and Powell. W-Rawl (3-1). L-Riley (5-3) Save-Taylor (15). 2b-UT, Sternberg 2; USC, Peters, Powell, Thomas. HR-UT, Moffett (5); USC, Dyson (15)