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April 15, 2009

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Citadel scored two runs in the top of the 11th inning and were able to get out of a pair of bases loaded jams in the 10th and 11th innings to defeat South Carolina 5-3 on Wednesday evening at Carolina Stadium. Bryan Altman had a 4-for-6 day at the plate for the Bulldogs and scored the winning run as well. The Citadel is now 21-14 on the year while the loss drops Carolina to 24-13 for the season. South Carolina gets back in action on Friday night hosting a three-game SEC series vs. Auburn.

With the score deadlocked at 3-3 in the bottom of the 10th, South Carolina appeared to be in position for a win. With the bases loaded after a hit by pitch to Nick Ebert, Carolina looked to score. With one out, Bulldog reliever Matt Reifsnider got out of the mess as he induced Jackie Bradley, Jr. into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning and to keep the game tied.

The pendulum swung into The Citadel’s favor then as Altman led off with a base hit and was able to score then on a base hit by Sonny Meade. On the single to right centerfield gap, Gamecock center fielder Whit Merrifield could not get a clean field on the ball allowing Altman to score the go ahead run from first base. With the bases loaded and two outs, The Citadel caught a break to score the second run as Trey Thomas was hit by a pitch to score Richard Jones.

South Carolina wasn’t done though and for the second consecutive inning loaded the bases, this time with no outs. Jeffery Jones had a pinch hit single, Andrew Crisp knocked a base hit and Scott Wingo walked to put the Gamecocks in scoring position. Copenhaver came on in relief but not without a scare as pinch hitter Brady Thomas ripped a 2-0 pitch down the line that was snared by first baseman Chris McGuiness for a line drive out stopping a potential double. Copenhaver then was able to get pinch hitter Michael Roth top pop out and Whit Merrifield to ground out preserving a 5-3 win for The Citadel.

Reifsnider picked up the win and is 1-0 on the year. He allowed no runs on two hits and three walks in one-plus inning of work. Copenhaver had the save with three outs in the last inning, his second of the year. South Carolina reliever Parker Bangs suffered the loss and is 1-2 for the season. He allowed two runs on three hits in two innings of work.

The Citadel out-hit South Carolina 13-10. Along with Altman’s four hits, the Bulldogs received multi-hit games from Nick Orvin (2-for-6), Sonny Meade (2-for-6) and Richard Jones (2-for-6). Andrew Crisp was 3-for-5 and Whit Merrifield went 2-for-5 with two runs for the Gamecocks.

South Carolina broke ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Merrifield reached base on a leadoff single and after a walk to DeAngelo Mack would score on Jackie Bradley, Jr.’s one-out single to right center.

It remained 1-0 until the top of the fifth inning when the Citadel came through with a pair of runs to go up 2-1. Nick Orvin got things started with a base hit to start the frame and Sonny Meade hit a one-out single to right field to give the Bulldogs runners on the corners. With two outs and runners still on first and third, Chris McGuiness tied the game with a RBI base hit to right field scoring Orvin. The Bulldogs would then go ahead with an unearned run as Meade scored after a throwing error by third baseman Andrew Crisp. Crisp tried to get the third out at first base but his throw was low to first baseman Nick Ebert allowing Meade to score from second.

South Carolina regained the lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth. Merrifield again gave the Gamecocks a quality at-bat as he reached base to open the inning on a single to right field. With one out the Gamecocks then put the hit and run on and a single from Nick Ebert advanced Merrifield to third base. He would score on Bradley, Jr.’s RBI ground out. With Ebert on second and two outs, Parker Bangs laced a RBI base hit to left center scoring Ebert and giving South Carolina a 3-2 lead. The hit extended Bangs’ streak to nine games.

It remained 3-2 until the eighth inning when The Citadel fought back to tie the game at 3-3. Sid Fallaw opened the inning with a base hit to left field. He would be substituted for pinch runner Brian Shubsda, who advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kyle Jordan. With two outs and Shubsda on third base, Altman laced a single to left center to tie the contest.

The Citadel starter TJ Clarkson was effective on the mound as he allowed just three runs on eight hits in eight innings of work. He struck out seven and walked two. Carolina starter Jay Brown went 4.1 innings and allowed two runs, one earned on seven hits with five strikeouts and two walks.