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April 11, 2003

Box Score

Gainesville, Fla. – Bryan Triplett’s two-out RBI single in the seventh inning broke a 4-4 tie and Justin Harris tied a career-high with four hits as South Carolina held on to defeat Florida 9-4 to win the first of a three-game Southeastern Conference baseball series. South Carolina is now 21-13 on the year and 6-7 in the SEC while the loss drops Florida to 24-10-1 and 5-7-1 in the SEC. The Gamecocks now sit in a three-way tie for first place in the SEC Eastern Division with Tennessee and Vanderbilt, one half game ahead of the Gators.

Senior LHP Steven Bondurant worked eight and 1/3 innings to improve to 4-2 on the year for the Gamecocks and finished the game with a career-high 12 strikeouts. The 12 strikeouts by Bondurant are the most by a South Carolina pitcher this season. Bondurant allowed four runs on 10 hits. Sophomore RHP Cliff Donald worked the final 2/3 innings to seal the win for Carolina. Darren O’Day took the loss for the Gators and is now 3-2 on the year.

Carolina knocked 18 hits off six Florida pitchers, the most by the Gamecocks in an SEC game this season. Senior INF Justin Harris finished the game 4-for-6 and scored two runs to lead the Gamecocks at the plate. Landon Powell also tied a season-high with three hits and added a RBI. The Gators came away with 10 hits on the game with Jonathan Tucker and C.J. Smith each with two to pace the Gators.

With the score tied 4-4 in the seventh inning Harris and Powell each singled and the Gamecocks had runners on first and third with two outs. Triplett singled to left field and the Gamecocks took a 5-4 lead. Carolina put three more runs across in the top half of the eighth inning to increase the lead to four runs. Kevin Melillo reached base on an error by left fielder Jeff Corsaletti. With two outs and Melillo on third base, Tim Seaton singled to left center to score Melillo. After a Justin Harris single put runners on the corners, Tom Potter’s wild pitch scored Seaton and Landon Powell knocked an RBI single and the Gamecocks took a 8-4 lead. Jon Coutlangus added an RBI single in the ninth inning for the final Carolina run in the game.

Florida got on the scoreboard early with three runs in the first two innings off of Bondurant. Ben Harrison knocked a one-out RBI single to left field to score Jonathan Tucker and give the Gators a 1-0 lead in the first inning. The Gators increased the lead to 3-0 with two runs in the second. Jeff Corsaletti led off with a double and Bondurant issued his first walk of the game to Matt Graziano. After a sacrifice bunt, RBI singles from Jake Riordan and Brett Dowdy scored Corsaletti and Graziano to give the Gators a three-run lead.

Down 3-0 entering the third inning, Carolina batted around and scored four runs off Florida starter Adam Sanabria to take a one-run lead. Michael Campbell’s seventh double of the year and a bunt single by Jon Coutlangus put runners on first and third with no outs to open the inning. Freshman Steven Tolleson knocked an 0-2 pitch from Sanabria to left field for a single that scored Campbell and brought the Gamecocks within two runs. With one out and runners at the corners Brian Buscher knocked a 2-1 pitch over the right field scoreboard, his seventh HR of the year giving Carolina the 4-3 lead. Buscher, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., has now hit safely in 31 of 34 games for South Carolina this season.

Florida scored in the bottom half of the fifth inning to knot the game at four. After a two-out double by Jonathan Tucker, two wild pitches from Bondurant put Tucker across home plate and the Gators and Gamecocks tied 4-4.

Justin Harris extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a single in the first inning. Harris’ hitting streak is the second longest by a Gamecock player this year.