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May 8, 2009

Box Score

Knoxville, Tenn. – Tennessee slammed three home runs that accounted for eight runs including a grand slam by Zach Osborne on its way to a 9-5 win over South Carolina on Friday evening in game one of a three-game SEC baseball series at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Tennessee improves its record to 22-27 and 8-17 in the SEC while the loss drops Carolina to 30-19 and 12-13 in league play. The two teams meet in game two on Saturday afternoon with first pitch set for 4 p.m. The game can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network and at

Osborne’s grand slam and a two-run homer by Cody Brown highlighted a six-run fourth inning that pushed the Volunteers ahead by seven runs. Brown was 2-for-4 with three RBI. Kentrail Davis also had a two-run homer in the first inning for Tennessee. The Gamecocks finished with a 12-8 advantage in hits despite the loss. Jackie Bradley, Jr., Justin Dalles, Andrew Crisp and Parker Bangs all had two hits for the Gamecocks.

Tennessee starter Nick Hernandez picked up the win and improved to 3-5 on the year. He worked seven-plus innings and allowed five runs, three earned, on 12 hits with five strikeouts. South Carolina starting pitcher Sam Dyson worked six innings and allowed nine runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and one walk to suffer the loss. He is 7-4 on the year.

The Volunteers made their move in the bottom of the fourth inning with a 3-2 lead. After a rough first inning, Dyson had settled in retiring nine consecutive Tennessee batters heading into the frame. UT, however, got the bats going with three straight hits by Cody Hawn, Blake Forsythe and Charley Thurber. Dyson would get the first out of the inning at the plate as Jeff Lockwood reached on a fielder’s choice that saw Nick Ebert throw home to get Hawn on a force out. That set the stage for Osborne. With a 2-2 count and after fouling off a pitch with two strikes, Osborne roped a grand slam to left field to put the Volunteers up by five runs. For Osborne it was his third home run of the season. Brown pushed that lead to 9-2 later in the inning with a two-run home run of his own.

The Gamecocks would push across two runs in the fifth inning. Carolina caught a break on Scott Wingo’s strikeout as a ball in the dirt allowed Wingo to make an attempt to reach base. On the play, Tennessee catcher Blake Forsythe threw wide of first base allowing Wingo to make it all the way to second. He would eventually score on DeAngelo Mack’s RBI single. Carolina’s second run would be driven in by Jackie Bradley, Jr., who laced a two-out RBI single to score Mack.

South Carolina would add a run in the sixth inning as Bobby Haney tallied a RBI single to score Andrew Crisp. Tennessee was able to do a little damage control though as on the play Haney was thrown out trying to advance to second base. With one out and Parker Bangs on third base, Hernandez escaped allowing just a run as he struck out pinch hitter Casey Rihn and coaxed Whit Merrifield into flying out to left field to preserve a 9-5 lead for Tennessee.

Gamecock reliever Jay Brown came on in the seventh inning to hurl two innings of scoreless relief. He struck out three batters. Tennessee reliever Matt Ramsey matched Brown with two scoreless innings of his own with also three strikeouts.

Carolina held an early 1-0 lead after the top of the first inning. Ebert laced a two-out single that was followed up by a single off the bat of Jackie Bradley, Jr. Ebert would score the Gamecocks first run on a RBI single from Justin Dalles. Dalles knocked a 3-1 pitch from Hernandez through the left side.

The Volunteers answered back though in the bottom half scoring three runs to go ahead 3-1. The first three batters reached base as P.J. Polk led off with a double to center field and scored on Cody Brown’s RBI single up the middle. Kentrail Davis then gave Tennessee the lead with a two-run homer to right center, his ninth home run of the season.

South Carolina crept to within a run in the top of the fourth inning. Dalles reached base with his second hit as he knocked a leadoff double off the left field wall. He would then advance to third base on a sharp hit ball by Andrew Crisp that nicked left-hander Nick Hernandez in the left thigh. Dalles then scored on a RBI ground out off the bat of Parker Bangs.