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April 2, 2004

Box Score

Nashville, Tenn. – Jeremy Sowers threw his first complete game of the season and Aaron Garza collected two RBI as 25th ranked Vanderbilt defeated sixth ranked South Carolina 6-2 in the first of a three-game series at Hawkins Field. The win improves Vanderbilt to 21-5 and 4-3 in the SEC while the loss drops South Carolina to 21-5 and 2-5 in the SEC. Vanderbilt’s win broke a 21-game winning streak for the Gamecocks against the Commodores dating back to the 1997 season.

Sowers struck out nine batters on the night and scattered eight hits in improving his record to 5-1 on the year. South Carolina starting pitcher Billy Buckner suffered the loss to drop to 4-1 on the season. Buckner worked four 2/3 innings and allowed three runs, two earned while striking out seven and allowing five hits.

Vanderbilt opened the first inning with a run off Buckner. Ryan Klosterman led off the inning with a triple and scored on a one-out RBI sacrifice fly to right from Warner Jones. The Gamecocks would tie the game in the second inning as one-out back-to-back doubles from Hank Parks and Davy Gregg erased the deficit for South Carolina.

South Carolina gained a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning as Michael Campbell knocked a two-out RBI single to score Gregg. The lead would be short for USC though, as Vanderbilt would score twice in the bottom half of the frame to take a 3-2 lead. Tony Mansolino had a two-out RBI double to score Warner Jones and Cesar Nicolas would score in the next at-bat on a fielding error by pitcher Arik Hempy.

The Commodores extended the lead to three runs in the seventh inning. Walks to Mike Baxter and Mansolino set the table for Aaron Garza who knocked a two-out RBI single off USC reliever Jason Fletcher to center field to score both runners and give Vanderbilt a 5-2 cushion. Nicolas finished the scoring for Vanderbilt in the eighth inning with a two-out solo homer off USC reliever Zac McCamie.

Vanderbilt finished the night with 10 hits including two apiece from Klosterman, Mansolino and catcher Jonathan Douillard. South Carolina had eight hits on the evening with Gregg and Bryan Triplett each collecting two hits.

South Carolina and Vanderbilt will continue the three-game series on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET with Aaron Rawl on the mound for the Gamecocks. Saturday’s game will be televised live on Fox Sports Net and SEC-TV with Dave Neal and Larry Conley calling the action.