May 22, 2005
Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina backed strong pitching by sophomore left-hander Arik Hempy with a 14 hit attack Sunday to defeat Kentucky 12-1 and end the Southeastern Conference regular season with a three game sweep.
The Gamecocks, 37-19, 16-14 in the conference, move on to the SEC tournament which begins Wednesday in Hoover, Ala. South Carolina will be the sixth seed and will meet third seed Tennessee at 1 p.m., Central time in the tournament’s first round. Tennessee lost its Sunday game , 4-1, to Georgia and finished with a 39-17 record, 18-11 in the SEC. The Volunteers were the only team to sweep three games over South Carolina this season.
Hempy pitched six innings to improve his season record to 2-0 before a Sarge Frye Field crowd of 4,340. He allowed four hits, a first inning run, struck out eight and walked two. A bloop double by Shaun Lehrmann, a bunt single by Antone DeJesus, and a fielder’s choice produced the Wildcat run and a brief lead.
Andrew Albers, 4-6, started for Kentucky and was charged with the loss. In 5 2/3 innings he allowed eight hits and seven runs, five of them earned.
South Carolina took charge of the game with three runs in the third inning, one in the fifth, three in the sixth, and five in the eighth.
Singles by Ian Paxton and Michael Campbell, an RBI double by Steve Pearce, and two walks resulted in the three third inning runs. Pearce hit his 18th home run of the season in the fifth.
Three hits and two Kentucky errors produced three runs in the sixth inning. The hits were by Campbell, Neil Giesler and Tommy King.
Five hits, including a double by Brendan Winn coupled with another Wildcat error, resulted in the five run eighth inning. Winn had eight hits in 14 at bats in the three game series. Other hits in the eighth inning were a double by Campbell and singles by Chris Brown, Jon Willard and Davy Gregg.
Campbell had three of South Carolina’s 14 hits. Pearce, King and Gregg had two hits. Pearce and Brown had two runs batted in. The only Kentucky batter with two hits was catcher Justin Scutchfield.
South Carolina collected 42 hits in the three Kentucky games to end a long team batting slump. In a 9-7 Friday win South Carolina had 12 hits, followed by 16 hits in a 12-9 come from behind win on Saturday. The 42 hits included six home runs, two each by Neil Giesler and Pearce, and one by Seven Tolleson and Campbell.
One of he Giesler homers was a Saturday pinch hit with the bases loaded that erased a four run Kentucky lead. Tolleson won that game with a three run ninth inning walk off homer.