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Feb. 11, 2005

Box Score | Quotes

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Aaron Rawl pitched seven strong innings Friday and catcher Ian Paxton drove in three runs with a homer and a single as South Carolina opened its baseball season with a 5-1 win over Longwood University.

Them second game of the three game series is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., Saturday at Sarge Frye Field.

Rawl, a senior right-hander, allowed four hits, one earned run, no walks and struck out five in notching his 27th career victory. Paxton, a newcomer from Gulf Coast Junior College, hit a two run second inning home run and drove in a third run with an infield single in the fifth inning. He also picked a runner off first base and caught another trying to steal second.

Conor Lalor, who missed the entire 2004 season due to Tommy John surgery following a freshman season when his record was 5-0, pitched two hitless innings with two strikeouts.

Longwood, which opened its season with five games in Hawaii last week, saw its record drop to 1-5. Starter John Farrell, 0-1, was charged with the loss. He allowed seven hits and four runs, three earned, in 3 1/3 innings.

South Carolina collected 12 hits, two each by Paxton, Davy Gregg, Michael Campbell, Steven Tolleson and Joey Friddle. Gregg, Tolleson and Neil Geisler recorded doubles.

Rawl faced the minimum over the first five innings. Charlie Yarbrough singled in the second but was erased by a double play. Tyler Ames singled in the fourth but was picked off by Paxton. Longwood scored in the sixth inning. Tyler Childress doubled and Robert Gillis was hit by a pitch. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice and Childress scored on an infield hit by Brett Mooney.

South Carolina scored in each of the first three innings. In the first, Campbell singled, stole second, and scored on Tolleson’s double. In the second Tommy King reached on an error and scored ahead of Paxton’s drive over the left field fence. In the third inning Tolleson beat out a bunt, stole second and scored on Geisler’s double.

The final Gamecock run scored in the fifth inning when Geisler walked, moved to third on a hit and run single by King, and scored on Paxton’s infield hit.