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March 25, 2006

Box Score

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina came from behind with a four run fifth inning rally Saturday, the key hit a three run home run by Robbie Grinestaff, to defeat Florida 6-5 and take a 2-0 lead in a Southeastern Conference baseball series between two nationally ranked top ten baseball teams.

The seventh ranked Gamecocks, 21-3 overall and 4-1 in the SEC, will try for a sweep Sunday with the final game scheduled for 1:30 p.m., at Sarge Frye Field. The South Carolina pitcher will be junior left-hander Forrest Beverly, 4-1, while the ninth ranked Gators will send freshman LHP J.K. Lacoste to the hill. Florida fell to 17-10, 2-3.

What was expected to be a pitchers’ duel between South Carolina freshman Mike Cisco and Florida sophomore Bryan Augenstein turned into a slugfest with Cisco surviving to claim his third win against no losses, thanks to 3 2/3 innings of hitless relief by sophomore Wynn Pelzer who recorded his second save. Augenstein’s record dropped to 5-2.

Cisco gave up nine hits, three by Gavin Dickey who had two home runs and drove in four of Florida’s five. However, the freshman right-hander left with a 6-5 lead and two runners on base with one out in the top of the sixth inning. Pelzer walked the bases loaded but struck out two to end the threat and went on to save the decision for Cisco.

Florida took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning when leadoff batter Dickey homered and Adam Davis walked, stole second base and scored on a single by Matt LaPorta. South Carolina got one run back in the bottom of the first on three two out singles by Michael Campbell, Neil Giesler and Drew Martin.

The Gamecocks tied it in the third with three consecutive singles, again by Campbell, Geisler and Martin, but Dickey’s three run homer in the fourth inning put the Gators out front 5-2. The two homers were the sixth and seventh of the season for the Florida center fielder.

In the bottom of the fifth inning Cheyne Hurst doubled and Trent Kline singled. Hurst scored when Kline’s hit eluded Dickey in center field for an error. Martin walked and Grinestaff hit his sixth home run of the season to give South Carolina the lead at 6-5 and wrap up the scoring.

After pitching out of the bases loaded jam in the sixth inning, Pelzer walked one batter in the seventh and ninth innings but escaped further damage. He struck out five. Cisco also struck out five and walked two.

South Carolina pitchers fanned 25 Gators in the first two games of the series. In 219 innings Gamecock pitchers have 248 strikeouts.

Augenstein gave up 14 hits in 7 1/3 innings, three of them by Giesler who stretched his current hitting streak to 16 games. Giesler has at least one hit in 20 of the 21 games he has played. He has 14 multi-hit games and leads the Southeastern Conference with a .500 average on 41 hits in 82 at bats. Hurst, Campbell and Martin had two hits each.

Three hits by Dickey and two by Chris Petrie led Florida’s nine hit attack. Hurst and Justin Smoak had doubles for the Gamecocks and Davis had a double for Florida.