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May 2, 2009

Box Score

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – DeAngelo Mack tallied his second two-homer game of the season on his way to a career-high four hits as South Carolina belted its way to a 14-5 victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday evening at Carolina Stadium. The win is Carolina’s second straight over Vanderbilt and improves the Gamecocks to 29-18 and 11-12 in the SEC. The loss drops Vanderbilt to 27-19 and 10-12 in conference play. The teams close out the series on Sunday afternoon with first pitch at 1:35 p.m. The game will be televised live on SportSouth and can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network. The clinched series for Carolina marks the first time since 2004 that Carolina has a won a series over the Commodores.

Mack was 4-for-5 with the two homers to lead the Gamecocks. He now has 13 on the year. Nick Ebert also hit his team-leading 17th home run and Whit Merrifield hit his ninth of the season. South Carolina finished with 16 hits on the evening. Jackie Bradley, Jr. went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and Merrifield and Ebert had two this apiece to lead Carolina. Eight of nine Gamecock starters drove in runs. Ebert had four RBI, with Mack, Andrew Crisp and Jeffery Jones driving in two apiece. The top part of the order for Carolina (Mack, Merrifield, Bradley, Jr. & Ebert), went 11-for-15 with eight RBI and 11 runs scored.

Aaron Westlake was 3-for-3 and Steven Liddle was 2-for-4 to lead Vanderbilt at the plate.

Carolina starting pitcher Nolan Belcher picked up the win after 7.1 innings of work. He allowed five runs on six hits with five strikeouts and three walks. He is now 3-3 on the year. Vanderbilt starter Drew Hayes suffered the loss and is now 4-3 on the year. He went three-plus innings and yielded nine runs on nine hits with three walks and two strikeouts.

With the score deadlocked 1-1 in the bottom of the third inning, South Carolina knocked Hayes around for six hits and scored six runs to take a 7-1 lead. With one out and runners on first and third base, Jackie Bradley, Jr. got things started with a RBI single scoring Scott Wingo. Nick Ebert followed with a RBI single of his own to score DeAngelo Mack. After a walk to Justin Dalles loaded the bases, the Gamecocks scored the third run of the inning with Andrew Crisp tallying a RBI ground out. With two outs, Carolina wasn’t done as Jeffery Jones drove in a pair with a RBI single and eventually scored on a RBI double by Bobby Haney.

After Belcher got through the top of the fourth unscathed, the Gamecock offense continued to pose problems for the Commodores as they scored four more to increase the advantage to 11-1. It started with the Gamecocks chasing Hayes from the game with back-to-back homers courtesy of Whit Merrifield and DeAngelo Mack. Merrifield launched the first pitch he saw over the left centerfield wall and Mack drove a 1-1 pitch from Hayes over the right field wall. With reliever Grayson Garvin into the game, Carolina scored twice more as Andrew Crisp recorded a RBI single and Parker Bangs drove in a run with a double.

Vanderbilt put two runs on the board in the top of the fifth on a two-run homer by Jonathan White. Carolina answered in the bottom half with a run as Ebert drove in Merrifield with a sacrifice fly. Vanderbilt followed in the sixth with a solo homer by Westlake. Carolina scored its final two runs of the game in the seventh inning as Ebert followed a Bradley, Jr. single with a two-run homer to left field. Vanderbilt’s final run came in the eighth inning with Liddle’s ninth home run of the season.