June 7, 2002
Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina batted around the order in the first and second innings, scored ten runs in the first three innings, and held on to defeat the defending national champion Miami Hurricanes 10-7 in NCAA Super Regional action at Sarge Frye Field.
South Carolina scored 10 runs off of 15 fifteen hits and committed three errors, two of which came in the first inning. Miami scored seven runs off of 13 hits and went errorless in the game. Both teams will face each other again on Saturday night in Columbia, S.C. at 7:00 p.m.
Miami had the chance to score in the top of the first as Javy Rodriguez came to bat with one out and Danny Figueroa at third. Rodriguez hit an easy grounder back to the pitcher and Figueroa was caught in between third and home in a rundown, giving the Hurricanes two outs. The next batter, Danny Matienzo, struck out swinging to end the inning for Miami.
South Carolina got on the board first in the bottom of the first as Steve Thomas singled to left with one out. Yaron Peters followed Thomas with a single, advancing Thomas to third. Brian Buscher kept the Carolina bats alive, singling to left field, and scoring Thomas. Garris Gonce struck out looking to give Carolina two outs. Trey Dyson, the designated hitter, came up next and singled to center field, scoring Peters and advancing Buscher to third. Justin Harris took a ball on the elbow, allowing him to take first base and advancing Dyson to second. Catcher Landon Powell was up next and hit a single to right field, scoring Dyson and Buscher. Kevin Melillo fouled out to third to end the inning, but the damage was done as Carolina took a 4-0 lead over Miami.
The Gamecocks’ bats were hot again in the bottom of the second as Drew Meyer bunted down the third base line for a hit to start things off. Steve Thomas, advancing Meyer to second. Both Meyer and Thomas advanced to third and second, respectively, as the Gamecocks successfully attempted a double steal. First baseman Yaron Peters walked to load the bases and the Hurricanes would bring in Brandon Camardese to pitch for Kiki Bengochea. Brian Buscher, with bases loaded, sent a shot over the right field wall giving the Gamecocks their fourth grand slam of the season and an 8-0 lead over the Hurricanes.
South Carolina would score two more in the bottom of the third as Southeastern Conference Player of the Year Yaron Peters came up with one out and one runner on base. Peters showed why he was SEC Player of the Year, hitting his 28th homerun of the season, a Carolina record, and giving Carolina a 10-0 lead.
Miami came back in the top of the fourth as Kevin Howard hit a solo home run over the right field fence, cutting the Miami deficit to nine. Jim Burt followed Howard with a single to center. Matt Dryer singled and then advanced to second on an error by the USC first baseman. Burt was caught at third giving Miami two outs. Kevin Mannix walked to put runners on first and second. Paco Figueroa doubled to left center, scoring Mannix and Dryer. Danny Figueroa grounded out to short to end the inning, but the Hurricanes cut the Carolina lead to 10-3. Miami would tack on two more runs in the tio of the fifth to cut the Gamecock lead in half, 10-5.
Miami would tack on one more run in the top of the seventh as Javy Rodriguez scored from third as Jim Burt singled. With Miami down 10-6, they came up in the top of the ninth with Danny Matienzo stepping up to the plate with one out. On the 1-1 pitch, Matienzo hit a hard shot into deep right field that cleared the fence to cut the Carolina lead to three. Howard would walk and South Carolina would bring in closer Blake Taylor to finish the game. Taylor would force Burt to ground out to give Miami two outs and a runner on second. The next batter, Matt Dryer, fouled out to right field to seal the Gamecock win, 10-7.