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March 24, 2009

Box Score

Charleston, S.C. – South Carolina broke out of the gates early with eight runs in the second inning and added six more in the middle innings on its way to a 14-2 victory over College of Charleston on Tuesday night at Patriots Point. Carolina improves to 15-6 on the year while the loss drops the Cougars to 17-4 for the year. The Gamecocks return home for a non-conference tilt with Georgia Southern on Wednesday night, first pitch at Carolina Stadium set for 7 p.m.

Carolina starting pitcher Blake Cooper notched his second straight quality start as he limited the Cougars to one run on five hits with three strikeouts and two walks in 5.2 innings of work. He earned the win and improved to 3-2 for the year. College of Charleston starter Nick Osterman lasted only 1.2 innings and suffered the loss dropping his record to 1-1. An error in the second inning didn’t help the Cougar right-hander as he allowed six runs, all unearned, on four hits in defeat.

The Gamecocks belted out three homers in the game with the middle of the order providing the power. Nick Ebert, Kyle Enders and Andrew Crisp (4-5-6 in the lineup) all homered for Carolina. South Carolina now has 40 homers on the year with home runs in 20 of 21 games played. South Carolina finished with 11 hits in the contest. Crisp had a 3-for-4 night at the plate and tied his season-high with three RBI. Whit Merrifield, DeAngelo Mack and Kyle Enders were each 2-for-4 as well. Nick Ebert and Jackie Bradley, Jr. each drove in two runs. College of Charleston had eight hits in the game with Clay McCord and Austin Morgan both tallying two hits.

South Carolina batted around in the top of the second sending 13 batters to the plate and taking an 8-0 lead. Andrew Crisp opened the frame with a double and Casey Rihn was hit by a pitch with one out to give the Gamecocks runners on first and second. Carolina then became the beneficiary of an error as shortstop Joey Bergman threw low to third base allowing Bobby Haney to reach base and Crisp to round third and score for the first Gamecock run. Rihn also moved up to third base on the play and then scored on a fielder’s choice RBI off the bat of Jackie Bradley, Jr. With two outs and a two-run lead, the top of the order for the Gamecocks strung five consecutive hits together. Whit Merrifield tallied a RBI double, DeAngelo Mack singled home a run, Nick Ebert blasted a two-run homer and Kyle Enders doubled. Crisp in his second at bat of the inning was also hit by a pitch, Bangs walked to load the bases and Rihn drove in the eighth run as he was hit by a pitch for the second time in the inning.

The Gamecocks added three runs in the top of the fourth building a double-digit advantage. Back-to-back home runs by Enders and Crisp highlighted the frame along with a RBI base hit from Bradley, Jr. as Carolina went ahead 11-0. South Carolina scored another three spot in the top of the fifth inning to go ahead by 14 runs. After loading the bases with one out, Crisp drove in two more runs with a single to right field. On the play, right fielder Clay McCord struggled fielding the ball which allowed for Enders to score all the way from first base. College of Charleston got on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the fifth with McCord driving in the Cougars’ first run of the game on a RBI single. College of Charleston would also score in the eighth on a RBI base hit from Joash Brodin.

Tuesday’s game was the third this season with South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner coaching against one of his former assistants. College of Charleston head coach Monte Lee served as an assistant from 2003-08 on the Gamecock coaching staff. Coach Tanner is 3-0 in games this year vs. his former assistants.