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May 25, 2002

Box Score

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. – Trailing 7-6 in the top of the eighth inning, second ranked South Carolina stormed back with four runs and held on to defeat LSU 10-8 in the SEC Baseball Tournament Saturday afternoon. With the win, South Carolina will face LSU at approximately 9:30 p.m. ET with the winner advancing to the championship game to face the winner of the Alabama/Florida game. South Carolina is now 47-13 on the season with freshman LHP Matt Campbell getting the win, improving his record to 3-2. Jake Tompkins took the loss for LSU and is now 5-1 on the season. LSU for the season is 40-18. Junior RHP John Wesley pitched two innings and earned his first save of the season.

Down 7-6, Carolina opened the eighth inning with Yaron Peters, back for his first game from a hamstring injury, taking a walk. With one out and pinch runner Tim Seaton on second base, Justin Harris singled to left field to tie the game at seven and advanced to second base on the throw home. Landon Powell stepped up to the plate and grounded a ball to first base. First baseman Blake Gill threw to Tompkins who muffed the throw, causing Harris to score from second to home to give Carolina an 8-7 lead. A two-out double by Meyer put runners on second and third for Carolina setting up Steve Thomas who doubled to right field to score both runners giving the Gamecocks a 10-7 lead. The double for Thomas was his 24th of the season, tying the Carolina record for doubles in a season. Dave Smyth also had 24 doubles in 1986 for the Gamecocks. LSU would score one run in the bottom half of the inning to cut the Gamecock lead to 10-8.

Drew Meyer batted 4-for-5 and has now tied the single-season record at USC for hits in a season with 104. The record was set by Jeff Barns in 1985 when Barns had 104 hits. Meyer broke Barns single-season record for singles in a season with a first inning single. Meyer now has 75 one-base hits on the year.

South Carolina opened up a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Drew Meyer led off with a single, advanced to second on a balk and scored with two outs on a wild pitch by LSU starter Brad David.

LSU took its first lead of the game in the bottom half of the second as Sean Barker singled to right field and scored on a triple by Matt Heath. Heath scored on a RBI groundout by Blake Gill. LSU increased its lead to 3-1 as Jon Zeringue launched a solo home run to left field. Down 3-1 in the third inning, South Carolina came back to take its second lead of the game batting around in the inning and scoring four runs off of David. With one out Carolina loaded the bases as Meyer singled and Steve Thomas and Brian Buscher each reached base by a hit by pitch. Garris Gonce’s RBI single to right field scored Meyer to bring the Gamecocks to within one run. With the bases still jammed, Peters doubled down the left field line on a 3-2 count to score Thomas and Buscher and give the Gamecocks a 4-3 lead. The double by Peters was his 19th of the season. Carolina increased its lead to 5-3 as Demetric Smith hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Gonce.

LSU knotted the game up at five in the fourth inning, scoring two runs off Carolina starter Chris Spigner. J.C. Holt’s RBI single to center with one out scored David Raymer to cut the Carolina lead to 5-4. Aaron Hill doubled down the left field line to score Chris Phillips to tie the game at five, knocking out Spigner. Freshman LHP Matt Campbell entered with runners on second and third and was able to get out of the jam, getting Wally Pontiff to pop up to third baseman Brian Buscher and striking out Barker.

LSU gained its second lead of the game in the bottom half of the fifth as Phillips’ two-out RBI single to center off Campbell scored Blake Gill, putting the Tigers on top 6-5. Carolina came right back in the top of the sixth to tie the game. Justin Harris reached base on an error LSU shortstop Aaron Hill, who threw into the Tiger dugout allowing Harris to advance to second. Landon Powell tagged the next pitch to center, where David Raymer made a diving catch on the warning track. With the catch, Harris tagged from second base and advanced all the way to home tying the game at 6-6. Raymer would leave the game at the end of the inning with a hip pointer.

LSU retook the lead in the bottom half of the sixth inning on an unearned run. Aaron Hill opened the frame reaching base on an error by second baseman Kevin Melillo and advanced to second base as the ball trickled into center. With Hill on third and two outs, Heath knocked his third hit of the game to right field to score Hill giving the Tigers a 7-6 lead.

South Carolina third baseman Brian Buscher extended his hitting streak to 20 games with a single in the fifth inning. The Gamecock record for consecutive games with a hit is 25 by Greg Keatley in 1976. Michael Floyd hit safely in 23 games in the 2001 season for South Carolina.