June 2, 2002
Columbia, S.C. – The Tar Heels of North Carolina came out firing, taking an early 5-1 lead and went on to win 8-4 in 95 degree heat at Sarge Frye Field in Columbia, S.C. The Gamecock loss, their fist in the NCAA Regional double elimination tournament, forces a second game set to start at 5:40 p.m. EDT.
North Carolina (43-20) scored eight runs off of 16 hits and committed two errors. South Carolina (50-15) scored four runs off of 11 hits and went errorless in the game. Steven Bondurant (6-4) gets the loss for the Gamecocks while Scott Manshack (7-0) was credited with the win for the Tar Heels. North Carolina pitched seven different pitchers with Daniel Moore pitching the longest going for 2 1/3 innings.
UNC struck first in the top of the second as Ryan Blake hit a two-run home run over the left field fence. They scored again in the top of the third when Sean Farrell doubled to left field with two men on, scoring both runners. Farrell advanced to third on a Chris Maples single. Jeremy Cleveland struck out looking to give the Tar Heels one out, but following Cleveland was Ryan Blake who singled to left center, scoring Farrell. That would be all UNC would score in that inning as they took a 5-0 lead over the Gamecocks.
South Carolina would score one in the bottom of the third but still be down 5-1 in the top of the fifth. North Carolina struck again as Chris Maples hit a home run over the left field fence with two runners on, giving UNC an 8-1 lead. That seven run lead would last until the bottom of the eighth inning.
In the bottom of the eighth, Jared Greenwood, who just entered the game for USC catcher Landon Powell, singled then stole second as Kevin Melillo struck out. Short stop Drew Meyer flied out to left field to give South Carolina two outs. Right fielder Steve Thomas came up next and hit a two-run home run over the left field fence to put USC down 8-3. First baseman Yaron Peters kept the rally alive hitting a solo home run, his 25th of the season (a South Carolina school record), and pulling within four. However, the Gamecocks would be unable to score the rest of that inning and in the ninth as North Carolina went on to win 8-4.
Game seven of the NCAA Regional is set to begin at 5:40 p.m. EDT.