April 22, 2005
Tuscaloosa, Ala. – T.J. Large and David Robertson combined to limit South Carolina to three hits and Gabe Scott added a homer and two RBI as 15th ranked Alabama defeated the eighth ranked Gamecocks 6-4 on Friday evening at Sewell-Thomas stadium. The win improves Alabama to 28-12 and 10-6 in the SEC while the loss drops Carolina to 29-10 and 9-7 in the conference.
Large allowed four runs on three hits with two strikeouts and four walks allowed to earn the win. He is now 6-3 on the season. Robertson pitched to the final three batters in the ninth inning earning his third save. Carolina starter Aaron Rawl pitched seven innings and allowed four runs on nine hits with seven strikeouts and no walks allowed. Rawl’s seven strikeouts tied his second highest total in a game this year. He is now 7-3 for the season.
South Carolina took the lead early in the first inning with two runs off Large. Walks to Steven Tolleson and Michael Campbell set the table for designated hitter Jon Willard, who knocked a two-out RBI double to right center scoring Tolleson and Campbell. The double for Willard was his eighth of the season.
The Gamecocks remained ahead two runs until the sixth inning when Alabama scored three runs. Gabe Scott hit a one-out RBI double to score Emeel Salem from first base and Evan Bush followed with a two-run homer to left centerfield giving the Crimson Tide a one-run lead. Bush has 12 home runs on the year and four in his last six games for the Crimson Tide. Alabama would score three more runs in the eighth inning to increase its lead to four runs. Scott added his second RBI of the game to lead off the eighth. Scott currently owns a 27-game hitting streak this season for Alabama. The Crimson Tide also got a RBI triple from Morrow Thomley scoring Zac Welch. Thomley would score on the play from third to home on a Carolina error.
Carolina looked to rally in the top of the ninth inning. Steven Tolleson led off the frame with a single and Steve Pearce launched a two-run homer to right field cutting the Bama lead to two runs. Robertson replaced Large and got the next three outs to secure the Crimson Tide win. Pearce’s home run was his team-leading 10th on the year.
South Carolina and Alabama meet on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. CT in game two of the series. The Gamecocks will start senior RHP Jason Fletcher with Alabama countering with sophomore LHP Wade LeBlanc. Saturday’s game will be televised on Fox Sports Net South & SEC-TV with Dave Neal and Larry Conley calling the action. Live audio broadcast is also available at www.uscsports.com and on 103.1 FM and 1320 AM in Columbia. Mike Morgan and Tom Price are on the call on the Gamecock Radio Network.