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March 9, 2009

Box Score

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning including a game-winning two-out RBI base hit from Jeffery Jones to lift the 17th ranked Gamecocks to a 6-5 win over Presbyterian on Monday evening at Carolina Stadium. Freshman left-hander Michael Roth hurled three scoreless innings of relief to pick up his first career win as Carolina improves to 9-1 on the season. The loss drops Presbyterian to 2-9 on the year. South Carolina returns to action at home on Tuesday evening vs. Old Dominion with first pitch at 7 p.m.

South Carolina trailed 5-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. The comeback started with Whit Merrifield leading off with a single followed by a bunt base hit by Jackie Bradley, Jr. A sacrifice bunt from DeAngelo Mack moved the runners over to second and third base. With one out, the Gamecocks tied the game on Nick Ebert’s sacrifice fly to right field. With Bradley, Jr. still on second base and two outs, Jones delivered with a RBI single to score the go-ahead run.

Presbyterian didn’t waver though and had the potential tying run at third base with two outs in the top of the ninth inning. Roth was able to get out of the jam though as a line shot by Zac Rhinesmith was fielded by the Gamecock pitcher and thrown over to first base to end the game.

Roth is now 1-0 on the year. His three inning stint saw him just walk one batter. The loss went to PC reliever Jordan Pace. He allowed two runs on two hits in 0.2 innings of work.

South Carolina finished with an 8-4 advantage in hits with Nick Ebert finishing 1-for-2 with a homer and four RBI. The four RBI total is the highest by a Gamecock player in a game this year. Whit Merrifield also tallied two hits and has nine hits in his last four games for Carolina. Jesse Harmon led Presbyterian with a 2-for-3 day at the plate with a homer.

Presbyterian would get on the scoreboard first with a solo home run in the top of the third inning. Harmon launched his third home run of the year just over the right centerfield wall to give the Blue Hose a one-run lead.

That lead would be short-lived though as Ebert would push Carolina ahead in the bottom half of the third with a three-run homer. A base hit by Whit Merrifield and a walk to Jackie Bradley, Jr. set the stage for Ebert. On a 2-2 pitch from Moore, the Gamecock first baseman drilled a home run off the backdrop in center field putting Carolina on top 3-1. For Ebert, it was his fourth home run of the season. South Carolina added a run in the fourth inning on Bobby Haney’s RBI double to score Kyle Enders. Presbyterian got back at the Gamecocks in the fifth inning with three runs to tie the game at 4-4. Carolina took advantage of a couple of errors to score both runs. The Blue Hose then took a 5-4 lead in the sixth inning on a solo home run by first baseman Kenny Bryant.

Live video broadcast for Tuesday’s SC-ODU game is available at GamecocksOnline. The game can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network including 107.5 FM “The Game” in Columbia.