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Feb. 24, 2007

Box Score

Columbia, S.C. – Phil Disher’s two-out grand slam home run in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted South Carolina to an 8-5 win over Eastern Michigan in game one of a doubleheader. Disher hit the first pitch from EMU reliever Corey Chaffin over the center field wall to cap a six-run ninth inning and improve the Gamecocks’ record to 7-1 on the year. The loss drops EMU to 1-5 this season.

Carolina trailed 5-2 going into the ninth inning before staging a rally against the Eastern Michigan bullpen. Steven Reinhold reached base to open the inning on a hit by pitch and Trent Kline hit a one-out single to give Gamecocks a pair of runners on base. Jon Willard followed it up with an RBI base hit to crut the deficit to two runs. The Gamecocks would reach within one run then as a RBI fielder’s choice from Lonnie Chisenhall scored Kline. With a pair of runners on base, Chaffin walked Justin Smoak to load the bases and set the stage for Disher, who knocked his second career grand slam and third homer of the season.

Jordan Costner pitched 1.2 perfect innings of relief to pick up the win. He is 1-0 in his career with the Gamecocks. Carolina also got quality work from reliever Will Atwood, who worked three scoreless innings and kept the Eagles at bay.

Carolina got on the scoreboard first with a run in the first inning as Cheyne Hurst led off the frame with a double and scored on Lonnie Chisenhall’s RBI double down the left field line. Chisenhall has hit safely in all eight games for the Gamecocks this year.

Eastern Michigan would go ahead 2-1 in the second inning taking advantage of a pair of hits. Kyle Rhoad and Patrick Dean each singled and advanced on Michael Boyd’s sacrifice bunt. With one out, Rhoad would score on a balk issued to Brown. Dean would score the second run on a safety squeeze bunt courtesy of Aaron Powell. That lead would jump to 4-1 with two more runs in the third inning. South Carolina would get a run back in the fourth inning with a solo homer courtesy of Drew Martin, his second of the season. Eastern Michigan would increase the lead back to three runs in the fifth inning though as Josh Ivan hit a leadoff base hit, stole second and scored on Derek Lehrman’s RBI single.

Eastern Michigan starting pitcher George Biddle had a quality start for the Eagles working 7.2 innings and allowing just two runs on five hits with five strikeouts and two walks. Carolina starting pitcher Jay Brown went 4.1 innings and gave up five runs in six innings.

The Eagles had nine hits while the Gamecocks tallied eight in the game. EMU was led by Derek Lehrman who went 3-for-4 and Josh Ivan who went 2-for-5. Jeff Davis had two RBI for the Eagles. Chisenhall was the lone Gamecock hitter with more than one hit as he tallied two in the contest.