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May 14, 2009

Box Score

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – Sam Dyson set a career-high with 13 strikeouts and hurled his second career complete game and Nick Ebert tallied two homers including a grand slam as South Carolina upended Georgia 7-2 in game one of three-game SEC baseball series on Thursday night at Carolina Stadium. Ebert’s two homers increase his season total to 20 on the year. It is the 10th time in school history that a Carolina player has totaled 20-plus home runs. The win improves Carolina to 35-19 and 15-13 in the SEC with the loss dropping Georgia to 35-18 and 15-13 in conference play. The same two teams meet on Friday night with first pitch set for 7 p.m. The game will be televised live on SportSouth and can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network and at The Athletics Department will hold a special presentation and ceremony on Friday in the center field plaza at 6 p.m. located near the main entrance to Carolina Stadium. Fans are encouraged to attend the ceremony. The department will unveil a plaque honoring Sarge Frye and his contributions to Carolina Athletics. Carolina Baseball will also honor the senior class before Friday’s game. Senior Day ceremonies will begin at 6:45 p.m on the field.

Dyson was solid all night as he limited the Bulldogs to just two runs on two solo homers. He allowed just four hits on the evening. His 13 strikeouts are also the most by a Gamecock pitcher in a game this year. He walked just one. Dyson is now 8-4 on the year. Georgia starter Trevor Holder allowed six runs, three earned, on five hits with six strikeouts and two walks in 6.2 innings of work. He is now 7-4 on the year.

Carolina led 3-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning when Carolina made its move to give Dyson a little insurance. Bobby Haney reached base on leadoff infield single that was followed by a sacrifice bunt by Scott Wingo. On the bunt, third baseman Colby May could not come up with the ball and was charged with an error. With one out and runners still on first and second base, DeAngelo Mack hit a high chopper over the pitcher that also took a bad hop with second baseman Michael Demperio unable to make the play loading the bases for Carolina. With two outs and the bags still full, Ebert grooved a 2-1 pitch from Georgia reliever Will Harvil over the left centerfield wall for a grand slam to push Carolina ahead 7-2. The home run was Ebert’s second of the game and his second grand slam on the season.

“We got a great pitching performance from Sam Dyson tonight,” said South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner. “He’s been a lot better at home than on the road. I thought (Trevor) Holder pitched well for Georgia. All the runs were via the long ball and Sam gave up a couple but he was pretty good with 13 strikeouts. Both pitchers I thought were very effective. Obviously the grand slam Nick Ebert had separated us a little but it was a great game. Not a lot of hitting, some home runs but not a lot of hitting.

Ebert finished 2-for-3 with six RBI, also a season-high total. He was the only player on both teams to tally a multi-hit game.

It is hard to (hit 20 home runs), especially when you’re a guy in the middle of the order,” said Coach Tanner. “The other team knows you’re one of the guys in the middle of the order. They know that you’re a tough out. The first home run he had tonight was a great pitch from (Trevor) Holder; I don’t know how he got it. He was able to get the barrel to it. The last one, it was a breaking pitch that he crunched pretty well with two strikes. He’s put in quality at bats this year.

Georgia broke ahead first in the game, 1-0, in the top of the first inning as Matt Cerione led off the game with a solo home run to left center. Cerione’s blast was his ninth home run of the season and gave the Bulldogs a one-run cushion. The Bulldogs looked to put more on the board but Dyson was able to work out of a two-out bases loaded jam with a strikeout against Zach Cone.

The Gamecocks would answer in the bottom of the second with a solo home run by Justin Dalles to tie the game at 1-1. Dalles roped a 3-2 pitch from Holder over the left centerfield wall. It increased Dalles’ home run total to 11 on the year.

It remained tied until the bottom of the third when Carolina jumped ahead 3-1 on a two-run homer by Ebert. With one out, Jackie Bradley, Jr. drew a one-out walk that set the stage for Ebert. On a 2-2 pitch from Holder, Ebert knocked a two-run blast to left field for his 19th home run of the year. Georgia would cut Carolina’s lead in half in the top of the fourth on a solo home run by Lyle Allen, his fifth of the season.