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April 1, 2007

Box Score

Columbia, S.C. – Freshman right-handed pitcher Blake Cooper pitched a career-high 7.2 innings and James Darnell and Phil Disher each homered as top ranked South Carolina defeated third ranked Vanderbilt 8-2 in the final game of a three-game SEC baseball series at Sarge Frye Field. Carolina improves to 23-6 and 5-4 in conference play while the loss drops Vandy to 26-4 and 5-4 in the SEC as well.

Cooper did not allow a run until the eighth inning and was effective against the Commodores as he limited them to two runs on six hits while striking out four batters and walking one. He is now 4-0 on the year for the Gamecocks. Vanderbilt starter Nick Christiani lasted only 2.1 innings and allowed five runs on four hits with two walks to lower his record to 5-2 this season.

The Gamecocks jumped on Christiani in the first inning with three runs off the pair of homers from Darnell and Disher. Darnell’s was a solo shot with Disher knocking a two-run blast to deep left field to put Carolina on top by three runs.

That lead increased to 5-0 after scoring single runs in the second and third inning. The third inning featured Disher’s third RBI of the game, a single to score Darnell. The Gamecocks added to their cushion in the fifth and sixth innings with three more runs against Vanderbilt reliever Stephen Shao. Disher drove in his fourth run of the game in the fifth inning with another single, his third hit of the game and Darnell pushed across two more runs in the sixth with a RBI double.

Darnell and Disher drove in seven of the eight runs for the Gamecocks on the afternoon. Darnell finished 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBI and Disher finished 3-for-4 with a run and four RBI. His four RBI total tied a career-high. Justin Smoak also extended his hitting streak to 10 games. The Gamecocks finished with 10 hits for the day.

The Commodores scored their only two runs in the eighth inning. David Macias and Alex Feinberg each hit two-out doubles to score Andrew Giobbi and Macias. The Gamecocks brought in reliever Alex Farotto to close out the game in the last 1.1 innings as he finished with two outs.

South Carolina returns to action on Wednesday night hosting Furman in a non-conference tilt. First pitch is set for 7 pm at Sarge Frye Field.