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March 28, 2009

Box Score

Lexington, Ky. – Andy Burns’ one-out two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted Kentucky to a 5-4 win over South Carolina in game two of a doubleheader at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The Wildcats improved to 16-8 and 4-4 in the SEC while the loss dropped the Gamecocks to 17-7 and 3-5 in league play. The rubber game is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET on Sunday afternoon.

Things looked good for Carolina as the Gamecocks went ahead 4-3 in the top of the ninth inning. Kyle Enders drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third base on a single by Adam Matthews. On the play, Matthews was gunned down at second base attempting for double. With two outs and Enders still on third, the Gamecocks went ahead on a RBI bunt base hit by Scott Wingo. With a 4-3 lead, the Gamecocks went to the bullpen in the bottom half and brought in left-hander Alex Farotto. The senior, who recorded a save earlier in game one of the doubleheader, got the first out of the inning on a groundout and was 1-1 in the count to Chris Wade before an inside pitch just grazed the Kentucky shortstop allowing him to reach base on a hit by pitch. Enter Burns, who went after Farotto’s first pitch and lofted a ball opposite field to right, where it just cleared the fence for a game-winning homer.

Kentucky reliever Logan Darnell picked up the victory and is now 3-0 on the year after facing one batter in the top half of the ninth. Farotto suffers the loss and is now 3-1 for the season.

After a whirlwind 20-19 Gamecock victory in the opener of the doubleheader, Carolina and Kentucky had more of a pitcher’s duel in the nightcap. The Gamecocks matched up with freshman left-hander Nolan Belcher while Kentucky went with senior left-hander Chris Rusin.

South Carolina broke ahead 1-0 in the top of the second inning. Andrew Crisp reached base with a one-out double that was followed up by Kyle Enders’ RBI double to right field for the first run of the game. Kentucky tied it at 1-1 in the third inning as they loaded the bases with one out against Belcher. The Gamecock left-hander then let one slip and hit Chris Wade allowing Gunner Glad to score. Belcher worked out of the bases loaded jam though as he induced Chris McClendon into a 6-4-3 double play keeping the Wildcats at one run in the frame.

The game remained deadlocked until the sixth inning when the Gamecocks regained the lead with a pair of runs against Rusin. Jackie Bradley, Jr. had a leadoff single and Whit Merrifield doubled to left center putting runners on second and third base with no outs. Bradley, Jr. would score on a deep fly ball to left field off the bat of Nick Ebert for a sacrifice fly. Heads up base running from Merrifield put him at third base with one out. With the infield moved in, Merrifield would score as DeAngelo Mack roped a base hit into left field.

Kentucky cut the deficit to 3-2 with a run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Kennan Wiley reached base with an infield single and Gunner Glad hit a base hit into left center as UK put two runners on base with no outs. A sacrifice bunt and a walk to Chad Wright loaded the bases with one out for the Wildcats. Chris Bisson drove in Wiley then with a RBI fielder’s choice.

Kentucky tied the game in the eighth inning despite not reaching base with a hit. With the bases full with two outs, left-hander Adam Westmoreland let one slip allowing pinch runner Neiko Johnson to score on a wild pitch.

Both starters had quality starts and earned no-decisions. Belcher lasted 5.2 innings and allowed one run on four hits with four strikeouts and three walks. Rusin worked 8.2 innings for Big Blue and allowed four runs on 10 hits with nine strikeouts and one walk allowed.

South Carolina out-hit Kentucky 10-7 in the game, the first time this season that the team has lost a game when it has out-hit its opponent. Mack was 2-for-4 with a RBI to lead the team at the plate. Gunner Glad was 2-for-3 with a run scored to pace the Wildcats.

Sunday’s series finale will be broadcast live on the Gamecock Radio Network and at