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March 25, 2009

Box Score

Columbia, S.C. – DeAngelo Mack’s two-out RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted South Carolina to a 2-1 victory over Georgia Southern on Wednesday night at a rainy and damp Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks have won two straight and are now 16-6 on the year while the loss drops Georgia Southern to 17-5 for the season. Carolina heads back on the road for a weekend SEC series at Kentucky. The opener is scheduled for 6:30 pm and can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network.

With the score deadlocked at 1-1 in the bottom of the 10th, South Carolina got things going with a one-out single by Jackie Bradley, Jr. Five pitches later, the Gamecocks had two runners on base as Whit Merrifield drew a walk against GSU reliever Dexter Bobo. With two outs and runners still on first and second base, Mack came to the plate. On Bobo’s 1-2 pitch, Mack drilled a base hit through the right side and Bradley, Jr. scored from second base with the winning run for a Gamecock victory. Mack finished the night 3-for-4 at the plate and also was intentionally walked once. Bradley, Jr. also had two hits as the Gamecocks won the first extra inning game for the team this season.

“I’m sure that many people though there would not be a game here tonight at Carolina Stadium,” said head coach Ray Tanner. “One of the things that I’m notorious for is not calling off games at home. I even had my doubts that we’d be able to get it in based on the radar. (Georgia Southern) Coach Hennon wanted to play. The field was in great shape. It can handle the water. It was a great college baseball game despite the conditions. It was amazing that the game was a 2-1 extra inning affair. We had some great pitching, they had some great pitching and D-Mack comes up with a big time base hit on a tough pitch, change up down and in, against a very good left hander. We were able to get a win. Two nights in a row we played two of the best teams in the Southern Conference. We won two mid-week games and now are getting ready to go to Kentucky.”

Alex Farotto earned the win for the Gamecocks with one perfect inning of relief. He is now 3-0 on the year and has factored in all seven of his appearances this year as he also owns four saves for the season. Bobo took the loss for GSU and is now 2-1 on the year.

Despite the wet conditions, both teams received quality outings from a pair of pitchers. Georgia Southern left-hander Jake Brown allowed just one run on five hits in seven innings and struck out six while walking one. Gamecock reliever Matt Price was equally effective. After entering the game for starter Michael Roth in the third inning, Price went seven scoreless innings and limited the Eagles to just three hits and a walk while striking out four batters. The seven-inning stint was the longest of his career.

“Matt was very special,” said Coach Tanner. “I thought that Roth was a good guy to go tonight. He was much like their starter. But I thought the conditions were tough to play defense in with some moisture on the grass. They were going to put some balls in play, and you’re going to have to play some defense. After the second inning I just felt we needed to get more of a power arm in there and Matt was very special tonight, no doubt about it, against a very good club. He gave us everything he had, an outstanding pitching performance tonight.”

Georgia Southern went ahead 1-0 in the top of the second inning. Eric Phillips and Brian Pierce each singled to lead off the frame with Phillips scoring on a one-out base hit from Kevin Bowles. Carolina tied the game in the bottom of the third inning at 1-1 as a pair of singles from Bobby Haney and Jackie Bradley, Jr. set up Whit Merrifield, who knocked in Bobby Haney with a RBI groundout.

The teams both tried to put the scoring run across in the next six innings but neither could muster a run. Georgia Southern had two runners on in the sixth before Price got out of the jam with a strikeout to end the frame. Carolina had runners in scoring position in the sixth, eighth and ninth innings but could not get the go ahead run to score until the 10th inning.