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April 4, 2004

Box Score

Nashville, Tenn. – Landon Powell drove in four runs and Chad Blackwell pitched 4 2/3 innings of shutout relief Sunday and South Carolina defeated Vanderbilt 10-4 to win the Southeastern Conference baseball series two games to one.

The sixth ranked Gamecocks improved to 23-5 overall, 4-5 in the SEC. Vanderbilt, ranked 25th, dropped to 21-7 and is also 4-5 in the conference race.

Blackwell relieved starter Matt Campbell with one out in the fifth inning and three Commodore runs in to cut a 5-1 South Carolina lead to 5-4. Blackwell retired the side and allowed four hits and two walks but no runs to earn the win and improve his record to 2-1. He struck out four.

Ryan Mullins, the Vanderbilt starter, also lasted 4 1/3 innings. He allowed seven hits and five runs, four earned, and was charged with his second loss. He has won three times.

Powell, who was hitless in the first two games of the series, got the South Carolina scoring starter with a solo home run in the second inning, his seventh of the season. His sacrifice fly drove in a third inning run to extend the lead to 2-0 but Vanderbilt scored in the bottom of the inning to make it 2-1. Ryan Klosterman singled, stole second base and scored on a two out hit by Cesar Nicolas.

Three hits, a Vanderbilt error, a walk and a sacrifice produced three Gamecock runs in the top of the fifth and a 5-1 lead, knocking Mullins out of the game, but Vanderbilt chased Campbell with three in the bottom of the inning to again trail by one run.

In South Carolina’s half of the inning an error by Commodore first baseman Cesar Nicolas, the first of two doubles by Bryan Triplett, a sacrifice, a hit by Steve Pearce, a walk to Powell and a hit by Michael Campbell produced three runs. Vanderbilt’s three were produced by a hit batter, a single by Warner Jones, a two run double by Nicolas, and an RBI hit by Mike Baxter.

South Carolina resumed charge of the game with a three run sixth inning highlighted by Powell’s two RBI single.

The Gamecocks added single runs in the seventh and ninth innings for the final score of 10-4.

Triplett had three hits, two doubles and a single, and drove in two runs. Powell was two for three with a walk, sacrifice fly and four RBI. Pearce and Hank Parks also had two hits among the Gamecock total of 13.

Jones, who had a 32 game hitting streak broken Friday night and was hitless in the first two games of the series, had two hits, including a double. Nicolas had three hits and three RBI for the Commodores. Baxter had two hits.

South Carolina ends a string of eight consecutive road games with a non-conference trip to Clemson Wednesday night.