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March 30, 2007

Box Score

Columbia, S.C. – Pinch hitter Ryan Davis’ two-out RBI single in the top of the 12th inning helped lift Vanderbilt to a 4-3 win over South Carolina on Friday evening at Sarge Frye Field in front of a season-high 6,039 fans. Vanderbilt reliever Casey Weathers pitched 4.1 scoreless innings to pick up the win and is now 4-1 on the year. Vanderbilt is now 25-3 and 4-3 in the SEC while the loss drops South Carolina to 22-5 and also 4-3 in conference play. Both teams face off in game two of the series at 4 pm ET on Saturday in a game televised live on Fox Sports Net South. It can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network.

It was an epic game as both teams saw several chances fall by the wayside until the 12th inning when Vanderbilt struck with the winning run. The inning opened with David Macias reaching base on an infield single, just beating out a throw by second baseman Travis Jones on a close play. Pedro Alvarez walked with one out to give the Commodores two runners on base. Carolina reliever Will Atwood got Ryan Flaherty to line out to center field for the second out of the frame. The Gamecocks then went to the bullpen to bring in reliever Jeff Jeffords with Vanderbilt countering with Davis to pinch hit. Davis knocked a 3-2 pitch from Jeffords up the middle to score Macias for the game-winning run. The Gamecocks would look to rally in the bottom half of the inning but Trent Kline lined into a double play with Harley Lail getting doubled up at first base to end the game and preserve a victory for the Commodores.

Weathers struck out seven batters in his 4.1 innings of work and allowed just two hits to pick up the win. Atwood went 2.1 innings and allowed just one run on two hits to suffer the loss. He is now 1-1 on the season.

South Carolina went ahead early in the game with a run in the bottom of the first inning. The Gamecocks put together three consecutive hits including an RBI single from Justin Smoak. With one out, James Darnell singled, advanced to second base on Kline’s opposite field base hit and scored on Smoak’s base hit up the middle. That lead increased to 2-0 in the second inning with another run off Vanderbilt starter David Price. Andrew Crisp singled to lead off the frame, went to second base on a sacrifice bunt from Travis Jones and scored on Lail’s RBI single.

Vanderbilt tied the game at 2-2 in the fourth inning with a pair of runs against Carolina starter Harris Honeycutt. Pedro Alvarez and Ryan Flaherty each singled to open the inning. After Honeycutt was able to get the next two batters out, Alex Feinberg knocked a 0-2 pitch up the middle for a single. Alvarez scored and on the play the single got by center fielder Andrew Crisp to allow Flaherty to score from first base and tie the game.

The Commodores went ahead 3-2 in the seventh inning. Feinberg walked on four pitches followed up a single from designated hitter Andrew Giobbi. Both would be sacrificed to second and third base on a bunt from Brad French. With one out and an 0-1 count against reliever Curtis Johnson, VU center fielder David Macias laid down a suicide squeeze bunt to score Feinberg and give Vanderbilt a one-run lead. After nearly tying the game in the seventh inning, the Gamecocks rallied to tie in the eighth inning against Price. Lail drew a leadoff walk that was followed up by a one hit single from Kline and a RBI base hit courtesy of Smoak, his second of the game.

The much-heralded pitching match-up of Gamecock starter Harris Honeycutt and Vanderbilt starter David Price lived up to the hype. Honeycutt went 6.1 innings and allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. Price worked 7.2 innings and allowed three runs on eight hits with 10 strikeouts and two walks.

Vanderbilt finished with an 11-10 hit advantage on the evening. Shea Robin, Feinberg and Macias all had two hits for the Commodores. Lail, Darnell, Smoak, Kline and Crisp tallied all 10 hits for the Gameoccks with two apiece. There was only one extra base hit in the game, a double by Robin in the ninth inning.