April 1, 2005
Columbia, S.C. – Jason Fletcher allowed one infield hit in 5 2/3 relief innings Friday night and Ryan Mahoney and Davy Gregg drove in two runs apiece to lead South Carolina to a 7-5 win over Georgia in the opener of a three game Southeastern Conference baseball series.
Fletcher relieved starter Aaron Rawl with the bases loaded, three runs in, two outs and South Carolina leading 6-5 in the top of the fourth inning. He induced a double play grounder by Joey Side to end the Bulldog rally. The only hit by Georgia after that was a two out infield single in the ninth inning by Brandon Lowe. Fletcher walked two and struck out five to improve his record to 3-1. South Carolina is 22-5, 3-4 in conference play.
Georgia starter Mitchell Boggs was charged with the loss to drop to 2-3. He allowed six hits and six earned runs in three innings. The Bulldog record is 15-10, 2-4.
The second game is scheduled for 4 p.m., Saturday at Sarge Frye Field with right-hander Zac McCamie, 5-1, the scheduled South Carolina starter. Georgia will start right-hander Michael Hyle, 1-1. The game will be televised on FOX Sports Net and SEC-TV.
The game was played on a wet field following daylong rain before a crowd of 1,811 and involved several controversial plays.
After Georgia took a 2-0 lead on two hits and two Gamecock errors in the top of the first South Carolina scored three times in the bottom of the inning. Chris Brown walked, Michael Campbell was hit by a pitch and Steve Pearce beat out an infield hit to load the bases with no outs.
Jon Willard hit a long drive and South Carolina coach Ray Tanner argued it hit a light pole for a grand slam home run. The umpires ruled the ball hit the fence and was in play . Brown scored but Campbell and Tolleson tagged up in case the ball was caught and both were out at the plate on tandem tags by catcher Derek Smith on a relay throw from center fielder Joey Side to second baseman Brandon Masters to Smith.
Willard was credited with a single, moving to second on the throw, with Pearce reaching third base. Both scored on a double by Ryan Mahoney to give South Carolina a 3-2 lead.
Georgia’s two first inning runs scored on a pair of Gamecock errors on the wet turf and singles by Justin Niefer and Jason Jacobs.
South Carolina moved ahead 6-2 with three in the third inning on two walks and a triple by Gregg. Gregg scored on a wild pitch.
Georgia sent Rawl to the showers and narrowed the South Carolina lead to 6-5 in the fourth inning. Doubles by Bobby Felmy and Derek.Smith wrapped around a walk, followed by a sacrifice fly plated two runs. Josh Smith singled to load the bases and Niefer was hit by a pitch to drive in another. Fletcher came in a ended the rally.
The final South Carolina run came in the seventh inning when Campbell singled to stretch his hitting streak to nine games. He moved to third on a two base throwing error on a sacrifice bunt by Tolleson and scored on an infield out by pinch hitter Phil Disher. Brown singled in the eighth inning to stretch his hitting streak to 10 games.