March 27, 2010
Auburn, Ala. – Sam Dyson hurled seven scoreless innings and struck out nine batters and combined with relievers Michael Roth and Matt Price to help South Carolina defeat Auburn 2-0 on Saturday afternoon clinching the weekend series vs. the Tigers. Scott Wingo tallied a game-winning RBI base hit in the eighth inning and Kyle Enders added a RBI single in the ninth as the Gamecocks improved to 19-4 and 5-0 in the SEC. Auburn drops to 16-7 and 3-2 in conference play. The series finale is set for 2 p.m. ET on Sunday. The game can be heard live on the Gamecock Radio Network and at GamecocksOnline.com.
It was a pitcher’s duel as junior right-hander Sam Dyson and junior left-hander Cole Nelson both went back and forth matching zeroes on the scoreboard through the first seven innings. Dyson escaped a couple of jams including a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the third inning with one out. The Gamecock right-hander struck out Brian Fletcher and then coaxed Casey McElroy to fly out to left field ending the Auburn threat. Auburn would also strand a pair of runners in the fourth inning as Dyson was able to get Justin Fradejas to ground out to Scott Wingo preserving the scoreless tie. The Tigers loaded the bases one more time against Carolina in the seventh with Dyson again fanning Fletcher with a strikeout looking keeping the game at 0-0.
It would be the top of the eighth when the Gamecocks made their mark with a single run against Nelson. Adam Matthews was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame and Bobby Haney knocked a single to left field giving the Gamecocks a pair of runners. That would set up Scott Wingo, who drove a 1-2 pitch from Nelson to the gap in left center and over center fielder Creede Simpson scoring Matthews and giving the Gamecocks a 1-0 lead. Auburn was able to nab Haney out at the plate on the play keeping Carolina up just a run. After Michael Roth and Matt Price set down Auburn in the top of the eighth inning, South Carolina added some insurance with a run in the top of the ninth inning. With one out, Brady Thomas stole second base and advanced to third on a throwing error by Auburn catcher Ryan Jenkins. He would then score on a single down the right field line by Enders. Matt Price closed the game out for Carolina retiring all three batters he faced in the ninth inning to pick up the save.
Dyson earned the win after allowing no runs and scattering 10 hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out nine in the win. He is now 2-0 on the year. Cole Nelson went 7.2 innings and allowed one run on four hits with a strikeout and no walks. He is now 4-1 on the year. Price’s perfect 1.1 innings with a pair of strikeouts earned him his second save of the year.
South Carolina won despite being out-hit 11-5 by the Tigers. Five different players recorded hits for Carolina with Auburn being led by Hunter Morris’ 3-for-5 day the plate as well as three hits by Justin Hargett and a pair of hits from Ryan Jenkins. Whit Merrifield’s base hit in the fourth inning ties him with Brian Buscher (2002-03) for 22nd on the USC all-time career list with 201 hits.
South Carolina now owns a 13-game hitting streak. With the series victory over Auburn, the Gamecocks have now defeated Auburn in 11 consecutive series dating back to the 1998 season. South Carolina’s shutout of Auburn was the first time that Auburn has not scored at home in a game since a loss to South Alabama on March 1, 2005 (a span of 166 games).
South Carolina will send freshman LHP Tyler Webb (1-1, 2.53 ERA) to the hill tomorrow with Auburn countering with junior RHP Grant Dayton (2-1, 5.56 ERA).