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Feb. 23, 2009

Box Score

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Columbia, S.C. – DeAngelo Mack hit a three-run homer and four South Carolina pitchers combined for a three-hit shutout as South Carolina defeated Duquesne 6-0 to sweep a three-game series. Carolina improves to 3-0 on the year while the loss drops the Dukes to 0-3 for the season. Carolina will next be in action on Saturday, Feb. 28 at Clemson with first pitch at Doug Kingsmore Stadium at 2 p.m. Both teams will also meet on Sunday, Mar. 1 at Carolina Stadium, first pitch for the second game of the series is 1:30 p.m.

The Carolina pitching staff had a strong opening weekend with two shutouts for the Dukes. Monday’s game saw right-hander Blake Cooper effective in his first start as he hurled six scoreless innings with just two hits allowed while striking out seven batters. Relievers Grimes Medlin, Matt Price and Parker Bangs all saw action in relief as they closed the game out with three scoreless innings for the bullpen to earn the shutout victory. Duquesne starter Paul Bugajski suffered the loss after going four innings and allowing six runs, four earned, on seven hits with two strikeouts and two walks.

The Gamecocks got out of the gates fast with all six runs coming in the first two innings. Jeffery Jones doubled with two outs in the bottom of the first followed by a walk to Parker Bangs that set the stage for Mack. The junior outfielder delivered with a deep home run shot to left center putting Carolina ahead by three runs. For Mack, it was his second homer of the series.

South Carolina increased the lead to 6-0 in the second inning. Justin Dalles and Bobby Haney both reached on base hits to left field to start the frame. Bugajski would then hurt himself on a sacrifice bunt by Scott Wingo as the Duquesne right-hander threw wide of third base in his attempt to force Dalles at third allowing the Gamecock catcher to score and putting Haney on third base. Jackie Bradley, Jr. drove in Haney with a ground out to second base and Wingo would score on Whit Merrifield’s sacrifice fly to left field.

With a six-run lead, Cooper settled in and kept the Dukes batters at bay throughout his six-inning stint. The junior right-hander had 52 strikes in 75 pitches and worked ahead throughout the game. His six innings of work was the longest outing for the Gamecocks this weekend. Medlin, Price and Bangs all had one strikeout apiece to give Carolina 10 for the afternoon. The South Carolina pitchers just allowed four runs and 10 hits in 27 innings pitched for a 1.33 ERA after the first weekend.

DeAngelo Mack figured in a majority of the scoring this weekend as the junior outfielder went 3-for-8 (.375) with five runs scored and six RBI to go along with his two home runs. Mack and Andrew Crisp led the way at the plate on Monday with two hits apiece.

Live audio broadcast for Saturday’s game at Clemson will be available at with a live video broadcast also available for Sunday’s home game vs. the Tigers. Sunday’s game at Carolina Stadium is sold out.