March 20, 2010
Columbia, S.C. – Christian Walker’s two-out two-run triple in the bottom of the seventh inning broke a 5-5 tie and Jeffery Jones homered and drove in four runs as South Carolina defeated Tennessee 10-7 on Saturday afternoon at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks clinch the series and are now 15-4 and 2-0 in the SEC while the loss drops Tennessee to 10-9 and 0-2 in conference play. South Carolina owns a nine-game winning streak. The series finale on Sunday has been moved to 1 p.m. due to the Sunday weather forecast. Live video broadcast is available at GamecockOnline.com with the game also available on the Gamecock Radio Network.
After Tennessee had rallied from five runs down to tie the game, Carolina responded with four runs in the bottom half of the seventh and a single run in the eighth on its way to the three-run victory. The four-run seventh started with two outs as Kyle Enders drew a walk and Jones was hit by a pitch to put a pair of runners on base. Up to the plate stepped Walker, who on a 1-2 count knocked a fastball down the right field line that got by a diving attempt from right fielder Charley Thurber for a triple to score both Enders and Jones and put Carolina back in the lead. After walks to Adam Matthews and Evan Marzilli, the Gamecocks tabbed on two more runs with a two-run single from Scott Wingo. Jones added a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning and despite a two-run homer by Cody Hawn in the top of the ninth, the Gamecocks were able to hold on for a 10-7 victory against the Volunteers.
Junior right-hander Parker Bangs earned the win in relief of Carolina after 2.1 innings of work. He allowed two runs on two hits with three strikeouts to pick up his first win of the year. He is 1-0 for the season. Tennessee reliever Drew Steckenrider suffered the loss and is now 0-1 on the year. He allowed four runs on one hit with two walks.
Tennessee out-hit Carolina 11-8 in Saturday’s game. Jeffery Jones finished 2-for-3 with three runs scored and four RBI to lead the Gamecocks. Walker was 2-for-5 with two RBI as well. Zach Osborne was 3-for-4 for the Vols with Hawn, Matt Hamaker and Khayyan Norfork also tallying two hits apiece.
The Gamecocks broke ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning despite not recording a hit. Whit Merrifield drew a leadoff walk and Adrian Morales was hit by pitch to give Carolina a pair of runners. After a one-out walk to Kyle Enders loaded the bases, the Volunteers made a switch with starter Aaron Tullo coming out of the game and reliever Steve Crnkovich entering the contest. He would walk Jones on four pitches to score Merrifield and give Carolina the one-run lead.
That lead extended to 4-0 in the bottom of the third as Jones drove in two more runs with a one-out double to left center that scored Morales and Enders. Jones would then score on a two-out RBI base hit courtesy of Adam Matthews. Merrifield added a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning, his fourth of the year that put South Carolina ahead 5-0.
Tennessee began its rally with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings against Gamecock starter Sam Dyson. Osborne had a two-out RBI base hit in the fifth and Matt Duffy connected with two outs with a RBI single in the sixth. Despite a no-decision, Dyson had a good outing on the mound for the Gamecocks in six innings of work allowing two runs on five hits with five strikeouts and two walks.
The Volunteers tied the game in the seventh inning at 5-5. Khayyan Norfork singled off of Gamecock reliever Jose Mata as did Osborne to give the Vols a pair of runners. With one out and reliever Michael Roth into the game, Hawn blooped a single just into left field and over Gamecock third baseman Whit Merrifield’s glove. Hamaker added a two-run single as well as the Vols tied the game.