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Feb. 25, 2005

Box Score

Columbia, S.C. – Four Gamecocks had two hits, Aaron Rawl won his third decision and fifth ranked South Carolina improved to 7-0 Friday with an 8-3 win over Niagara in the first of a three game college baseball series.

The second game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., Saturday at Sarge Frye Field with Zac McCamie (2-0) the scheduled South Carolina starting pitcher.

Rawl, a senior right-hander, pitched six innings. He allowed three hits and two earned runs to improve his season record to 3-0 and his career mark to 29-9. Rawl struck out five and walked one. Brent Marsh pitched the final 1 2/3 innings and earned his second save.

Niagara starter James Avery, 0-1, allowed five hits in 5 1/3 innings but walked seven to take the loss. He was charged with five earned runs. Niagara’s record dropped to 0-4.

Jon Willard had only one hit, a two run double, but drove in three runs for the Gamecocks, the third RBI coming on a bases loaded walk. Neil Giesler had a solo home run and a single. Davy Gregg, Steven Tolleson and Steve Pearce also had two hits, all singles. Gregg stole three bases and Tolleson stole one.

The South Carolina pitchers — Rawl, Cliff Donald and Marsh — combined to strike out 10 and walked only two. Niagara used six pitchers who struck out six Gamecocks but walked 11 and threw four wild pitches. South Carolina had nine hits to six for Niagara.

Reed Eastley drove in all three Niagara runs and was the only Niagara player with two hits. He hit a two run home run in the sixth inning off Rawl and had an RBI eighth inning single off Donald.

South Carolina scored a first inning run without a hit, capitalizing on three bases on balls and a wild pitch. The Gamecocks led 3-0 after Willard’s two RBI double in the fifth inning but Eastley’s two run homer in the top of the sixth cut the margin to 3-2. Three hits and a pair of walks produced three runs in the bottom of the sixth and the Gamecocks added single runs in the seventh and eighth. Giesler homered in the seventh inning, his fist of the year.

Both teams played errorless baseball.