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April 18, 2009

Box Score

Watch the Game

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Casey McElroy’s three-run homer capped a five-run third inning for Auburn as the Tigers defeated the Gamecocks 6-4 on Saturday afternoon in game two of a three-game SEC baseball series at Carolina Stadium. Both teams are now 25-14 and 8-9 in the SEC and will meet in the rubber game of the series on Sunday afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 1:30 p.m. The game can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network and at

Auburn reliever Bradley Hendrix picked up the win after three innings of work. He allowed two runs on three hits with a strikeout. He is now 7-2 on the year. Reliever Austin Hubbard pitched the final 1.1 innings and did not allow a hit or a run to pick up his ninth save of the season. South Carolina starter Nolan Belcher suffered the loss and is 2-2 on the year. He gave up six runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and two walks in 7.2 innings.

The third inning proved crucial in Saturday’s result as Auburn started the frame with three consecutive singles including a RBI single by Joseph Sanders. Hunter Morris would make it 2-0 as he followed with a RBI ground out. After a two-out walk to Brian Fletcher, the Tigers went ahead by five runs on McElroy’s three-run blast. McElroy followed off three straight pitches from Belcher before launching a home run in to right centerfield wall. The homer was McElroy’s fifth of the season. Auburn added a single run in the fifth inning on the second homer of the game, a solo homer by Hunter Morris.

Trailing 6-0, South Carolina tried to mount a rally with two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Jackie Bradley, Jr. had the key hit in the frame with a two-out RBI base hit with the bases loaded to score Bobby Haney and DeAngelo Mack.

South Carolina continued the rally in the eighth inning with two more runs against the Tigers. Bradley, Jr. got it started again, this time with a solo homer to left field, his seventh of the season. South Carolina then proceeded to load the bases with two outs on base hits by Justin Dalles and Bobby Haney along with a walk to Adam Matthews. Whit Merrifield drove in a run with a walk to bring the Gamecocks within two runs. Auburn reliever Austin Hubbard was able to get out of the jam after the walk though as he coaxed Mack into a ground out to the second baseman ending the Gamecock threat.

Morris and Justin Hargett had two hits apiece for Auburn. Morris also drove in a pair of runs. Jackie Bradley, Jr. finished 2-for-3 with three RBI and Whit Merrifield was 2-for-4 as was Bobby Haney to lead the Gamecocks.