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May 15, 2009

Box Score

Sarge Frye Memorial | Senior Day | Watch the Game

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Freshman left-handed pitcher Nolan Belcher did not allow an earned run in 6.1 innings of work and struck out a career-high 11 batters and home runs by Nick Ebert and Justin Dalles for the second straight day helped lift South Carolina to a 7-4 victory over Georgia in game two of a three-game SEC baseball series. The Gamecocks and Bulldogs will close out the series on Saturday with first pitch set for 1 p.m. with the game televised live on SportSouth and also available on the Gamecock Radio Network.

South Carolina has now won nine of its last 10 games played and is now in sole possession of second place in the SEC Eastern Division. In addition, a loss this evening by Arkansas coupled with the Gamecocks’ win over Georgia, secures Carolina the fifth seed in next week’s SEC Tournament.

Belcher worked into the seventh inning and allowed just one unearned run on three hits and three walks to pick up the win. He is now 4-3 on the year. Belcher’s 11 strikeouts bested his previous career-high that he set on April 4 vs. Arkansas. Georgia starter Alex McRee worked three-plus innings and allowed seven runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and four walks to suffer the loss. He is 4-3 on the year.

Nolan Belcher gave us a great start tonight,” said South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner. “I really felt like that was the key to the game. He was very good; his fastball had better legs than maybe he’s had the last couple of weeks. He had a tough start at Tennessee. (Parker) Bangs gave us a quality inning. We came up with some runs early and Georgia put some pressure on us at the end. We were able to hang in there. We had good enough pitching to win, that was the key.”

The Gamecocks broke ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning on a two-run homer by Nick Ebert. The Gamecock first baseman, who homered twice on Thursday, followed up a hit by pitch to DeAngelo Mack with a two-run blast to left center. The home run was Ebert’s 21st of the season.

That lead extended to 3-0 in the second inning as Whit Merrifield reached base on a two-out infield single that drove home Parker Bangs. After Georgia scored a single run in the top of the third, Carolina would put three more runs across in the bottom of the third on a three-run homer by Justin Dalles, his 12th of the season. A walk to Ebert and a hit by pitch against Jackie Bradley, Jr. set the stage for Dalles who launched a 1-0 pitch from McRee over the left field wall.

Carolina extended the lead to 7-1 in the bottom of the fourth as DeAngelo Mack reached base on a leadoff triple and scored on a RBI single by Bradley.

The Bulldogs closed the gap with two runs in the eighth and one in the ninth inning. Colby May drove in a pair of runs with a RBI double in the eighth and Bryce Massanari added a RBI single in the last frame. Carolina closer Alex Farotto was able to secure a win for the Gamecocks with a ground out by Joey Lewis to end the game and preserve a Carolina victory.

Carolina out-hit Georgia 9-7. DeAngelo Mack extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a 2-for-4 game with two runs scored. Parker Bangs also had two hits. May was 2-for-4 to lead Georgia.

Note – Before Friday night’s game, the South Carolina Athletics Department, athletics director Eric Hyman and head baseball coach Ray Tanner unveiled a plaque behind the batter’s eye and in the center field plaza honoring Sarge Frye. The plaque honors the legacy of Frye and his contribution to Gamecock Athletics and student-athletes at Carolina. The Gamecocks also honored its senior class with Senior Day ceremonies before the game.