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March 19, 2006

Box Score

Auburn, Ala. – Evan Crawford pitched seven scoreless innings and a five-run fourth inning was enough to help lift Auburn to a 7-1 victory over ninth ranked South Carolina on Sunday afternoon in the third game of an SEC baseball series. The loss snaps Carolina’s eight-game winning streak and drops the Gamecocks record to 17-3 and 2-1 in the conference. Auburn is now 11-12 and 1-2 in the SEC. Carolina comes away from the weekend with a series victory after winning on Friday and Saturday against the Tigers.

Crawford allowed just four hits and four walks and had four strikeouts in his seven innings of work. He is 2-3 on the year. USC starting pitcher Forrest Beverly suffered the loss and is now 4-1 on the year. Beverly went 3.2 innings and allowed five runs on six hits with three strikeouts and two walks.

Auburn broke open the scoring in the fourth inning as the Tigers batted around and put together five runs against Beverly. A leadoff walk to Russell Dixon and a base hit from Josh Donaldson set the stage for the Tiger cleanup hitter, Andy Bennett. Bennett drove the third pitch he saw over the right field wall for a homer giving the Tigers a three-run lead. Mike Bianucci would score Auburn’s fourth run in the inning as he scored from first on a double down to right field by Phillip Stringer. Auburn then loaded the bases and extended the lead to 5-0 on a Dan Luczak walk to Russell Dixon, his second of the inning.

Carolina looked to rally in the top half of the fifth inning loading the bases with two outs against Crawford. Cheyne Hurst singled and Chris Brown and Neil Giesler each walked bringing Robbie Grinestaff up with the bases full. Crawford was able to get out of the jam though with a strikeout against the Gamecock designated hitter.

Auburn would score single runs in the sixth and seventh innings before Carolina finished the scoring on the afternoon with a solo homer from Michael Campbell in the eighth inning, his first of the year. Stringer and Bianucci each had two hits to lead the Auburn offense.

Hurst and Justin Smoak had two hits to pace the Gamecock hitters. Neil Giesler extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a single in the first inning.

Carolina returns home for a six-game homestand beginning on Tuesday (March 21) with a non-conference tilt vs. Charleston Southern. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. USC will also host Furman on Wednesday (March 22) before a three-game series on the weekend vs. the Florida Gators.