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Feb. 12, 2004

Columbia, S.C. – The University of South Carolina baseball team will open up the 2004 season on Friday afternoon at Sarge Frye Field as the Gamecocks host Charleston Southern in the first of a three-game series. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. with junior RHP Aaron Rawl (6-3, 3.84 ERA – 2003) to start for South Carolina and junior LHP R.J. Swindle (10-5, 2.21 ERA – 2003) on the mound for the Buccaneers. USC head men’s basketball coach Dave Odom will also throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

The Gamecocks have won five consecutive season openers including a 9-7 win last season vs. Charleston Southern. Down 7-2 after three and a half innings, South Carolina scored in five consecutive innings to open the 2003 season with a victory over the Buccaneers.

Rawl pitched the final three innings in relief to earn the victory. He allowed one hit – a two out ninth inning double — and struck out five to earn the win. Nino Fasulo was charged with the loss.

Swindle, the Charleston Southern starter, pitched three shutout innings before the Gamecocks got on the scoreboard with two runs in the fourth followed by one in the fifth and two runs each in the sixth, seventh and eighth.

South Carolina broke a 7-7 tie with two sacrifice flies in the bottom of the eighth inning. Justin Harris was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Brian Buscher singled and Landon Powell walked to load the bases. Harris was forced at the plate on a ground ball by Trey McDaniel. Charleston Southern center fielder Jordan Haar dropped Nick Gardiner’s sacrifice fly with Buscher scoring and Powell advancing to third. Powell scored on a sacrifice fly by Sadry Caf?.

South Carolina has made back-to-back appearances in the College World Series and four consecutive trips to the NCAA Super Regionals. The Gamecocks have also won four of the last five SEC Eastern Division titles and two of the last four SEC championships.

Saturday and Sunday games will start at 1:30 p.m. Live stats will be available for all three games of the home set at