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March 11, 2007

Box Score

Columbia, S.C. – Drew Martin hit a two-out pinch-hit grand slam home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to break a 4-4 tie as South Carolina defeated Brown 9-4 in the final game of a three-game college baseball series. Carolina sweeps the series vs. the Bears and improves to 13-2 on the year while the loss drops Brown to 1-6 this season. The Gamecocks return to action on Tuesday hosting a two-game series with Appalachian State. First pitch in the opener is set for 7 pm.

After Brown rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game at four apiece, the Gamecocks came back in the bottom half of the inning to take the lead for good. Harley Lail was hit by a pitch with one out with Cheyne Hurst advancing Lail to third base on a single. Brown starting pitcher Jeff Dietz was able to get Lonnie Chisenhall to line out and preserve the tie but then issued an intentional walk to Justin Smoak, setting the stage for Martin’s heroics. On Dietz’ 1-1 pitch, Martin drilled a deep homer over the center field wall for his third of the year to put the Gamecocks on top by four runs. It was Carolina’s third grand slam of the season and second pinch-hit homer of the year. South Carolina would score once more in the eighth inning as Travis Jones’ RBI triple scored Andrew Crisp from first base.

Gamecock reliever Jordan Costner earned the win with 2.1 scoreless innings of work. He struck out three batters and allowed just one hit. He is 2-0 this season. Dietz went seven innings and allowed eight runs on seven hits to suffer the loss. He is 0-2 on the year.

Sunday’s game featured the first appearance of the season of junior left-hander Arik Hempy, who started the game and went 2.2 innings allowing one run on three hits while striking out four batters. Hempy’s return to the mound was his first since March 31, 2006 when he suffered an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery.

The Gamecocks got right out in front in the early-going with two runs in the first inning off of Dietz. Justin Smoak drilled a one-out double to left center to score Lail and Hurst and give the Gamecocks a two-run edge. Smoak finished the weekend series vs. Brown, 7-for-11, with 11 RBI on the weekend and raised his season average to .328 on the year.

Brown would get a run back in the third inning on a sacrifice fly from Dietz, who also was the team’s designated hitter. South Carolina scored single runs in both the fifth and sixth innings and took a 4-1 lead into the seventh inning before the Bears mounted a rally. Devin Thomas would connect on a sacrifice fly RBI and Dietz would knock a two-out RBI base hit of Sean Wideberg to tie the game at 4-4.

Live audio, video and gametracker stats will be available at for both South Carolina games vs. Appalachian State.