April 27, 2003
Oxford, Miss. – Freshman left-hander Stephen Head pitched a two hit complete game Sunday and defeated South Carolina senior Chris Hernandez 2-0 in a pitcher’s duel and Mississippi won the Southeastern Conference baseball series two games to one.
South Carolina won 13-2 Saturday after a 6-5 Mississippi win on Friday.
Head, who usually closes for Mississippi and has nine saves, made just his second start of the season and improved his record to 3-1. He allowed only three base runners, a first inning single by Justin Harris, a two out fifth inning single by Kevin Melillo and a two out seventh inning walk to Landon Powell. Head threw only 86 pitches in nine innings. He struck out eight.
Hernandez was almost as effective. He held the Rebels hitless over the first four innings. Jonathan Swearingen hit his fifth home run of the season in the sixth inning for the first Mississippi run and the Rebels added a second run in the eighth on two walks, one of them intentional, a sacrifice fielder’s choice on which both runners were safe, and a bases loaded hit by Chad Sterbens that deflected off the glove of a diving Gamecock third baseman Brian Buscher.
Hernandez allowed five hits and saw his record drop to 2-4. One week earlier he lost a 2-1 decision to Mississippi State.
Mississippi improved its overall record to 27-18, 12-9 in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina fell to 28-17, 10-11. The Gamecocks fell half a game behind Florida into second place in the SEC Eastern Division as the Gators defeated Mississippi State for a 10-10-1 conference record.
Sterbens, who had the first Mississippi hit in the fifth inning and the RBI single in the eighth, was the only player in the game with two hits. Charlie Waite had a double for the only extra base hit besides the homer by Swearingen. The homer just cleared the left field fence about six feet inside the foul pole and was measured at 336 feet.