May 14, 2002
Charleston, SC – Garris Gonce batted 4-for-4 with an RBI single and Drew Meyer and Demetric Smith each homered as No. 4 South Carolina defeated Charleston Southern 16-4 at Buccaneer Field on Tuesday afternoon. South Carolina is now 40-12 on the season while Charleston Southern drops its record to 23-31. Senior LHP Gary Bell pitched five and one third innings for USC, earning the victory and improving his record to 8-2 on the year. R.J. Swindle took the loss for CSU and is now 6-8 on the season.
USC wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the first inning, scoring four runs off of the Buccaneer starter Swindle. Meyer led off the first inning with a home run to right field on the first pitch from Swindle. It was Meyer’s sixth home run of the season and the third time Meyer has led off the first inning with a home run for USC. With two outs and Yaron Peters and Garris Gonce on base, designated hitter Demetric Smith got into the act, hitting his first career home run to left center, increasing the Gamecock lead to 4-0.
South Carolina added another run in the second inning. Kevin Melillo singled and stole second base. With two outs, Steve Thomas singled to left field scoring Melillo and putting the Gamecocks ahead by five runs.
Charleston Southern struck back in the bottom half of the inning as Chris Kellett knocked a three-run homer to left center off of Bell, decreasing the Carolina lead to 5-3. Carolina increased its lead back to four in the fifth inning as Brian Buscher knocked a two-run RBI double to center to score Thomas and Peters. The double was Buscher’s 16th of the season and put Carolina ahead 7-3. CSU got one run back in the bottom half of the inning off a muffed throw.
USC added two more runs in the sixth inning with Meyer and Thomas each knocking in a run off of CSU reliever Brad Bissell. South Carolina batted around in the seventh and eighth innings scoring seven more runs off of CSU relief pitching. Thomas drove in two more runs with a RBI single in the seventh with Gonce, Melillo and Matt Riddle each driving in a run. USC benefited in both innings from three errors by Buccaneer infielders.
USC tied a school record turning five double plays in this afternoon’s game. It was the third time USC has turned three or more double plays in the month of May.
South Carolina returns home tomorrow night for a 7 p.m. game at Sarge Frye Field vs. Furman. RHP Chris Hernandez (0-0) will take the mound for the Gamecocks in his first career start.