May 25, 2011
HOOVER, Ala. – Junior left-hander Michael Roth did not allow an earned run and hurled his first complete game of the season and Evan Marzilli and Peter Mooney each drove in two runs as top ranked South Carolina rallied from an early three-run deficit to open the SEC Tournament with a 7-3 win over Auburn at Regions Park. Carolina improves to 45-12 while Auburn drops to 29-28 on the year. Carolina will face Vanderbilt in the final game on Thursday at a time still to be determined. It will be televised live on SportSouth and can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network. FoxSportsSouth.com will also have live video streaming of the SportSouth telecast.
After giving up three unearned runs in the top of the first, Roth battled the rest of the way and limited the Tigers to just three hits in the final eight innings. He retired 13 consecutive batters as well to end the game. Roth improves to 11-3 for the season. He had two strikeouts, two walks and six hits allowed. Auburn starter Jon Luke Jacobs lasted only three innings and allowed four runs on five hits with a strikeout and a walk to take the loss. He is now 1-5 for the season.
“I think that I had a little better composure this time than I did last week,” said Roth. “I wouldn’t have as good of numbers as I do without the guys playing behind me and they showed that today because I didn’t have many strikeouts.
Trailing 3-0, South Carolina answered Auburn’s three runs with three of its own in the bottom of the second inning to tie the game. Brady Thomas led off the frame with a single up the middle that was followed by a base hit to left field from Jake Williams. Adrian Morales knocked in Thomas with a RBI double down the left field line. Marzilli would then tie the game as he launched a ground rule double over the wall in left-center that scored both runners and knotted the game 3-3.
Carolina took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the third as Wingo walked to open the frame, stole second and scored on Jake Williams’ two-out RBI base hit to left field, Williams’ second hit of the game. Carolina also added a single run in the fourth inning to extend the advantage to 5-3 as Marzilli led off with a bunt single and scored eventually on Peter Mooney’s two-out RBI ground rule double to right field.
“We knew after that first inning that we couldn’t win the game with one swing of the bat, so that’s what I tried to do with my approach,” said Marzilli. “Just take it one at-bat at a time and get the timely hits that we needed to get the win.”
South Carolina added some insurance in the sixth inning scoring two more times to go ahead 7-3 on the Tigers. Marzilli and Beary were each hit by a pitch with one out that set the table for DeSean Anderson, who had a pinch-hit RBI single that was followed by a RBI sacrifice fly courtesy of Mooney.
“That day didn’t start out so well with first inning Auburn put out, so I knew it was going to be difficult for us,” said South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner. “I knew Michael (Roth) would stay in there and battle for us. I didn’t think he’d shut it out for us the rest of the way, but I’m proud of all the guys hanging in there and really coming away with a good victory today and Michael just pitched extremely well for the final eight innings.”
South Carolina had eight hits to just six by Auburn on the evening. Evan Marzilli tied a school record at South Carolina for consecutive hits with nine straight. Dating back to three hits in game two of the Alabama series and a 4-for-4 day in the series finale vs. the Crimson Tide, Marzilli started the day off with two hits against the Tigers to tie the mark set by Skeets Thomas (1989/two games) and Tim Angiolini (1999/four games). He was hit by a pitch and walked in his final two plate appearances. Williams was also 2-for-4 with a RBI and run scored. Kevin Patterson led Auburn with a 2-for-4 day with two RBI.
Auburn broke ahead 3-0 in the top of the first inning. All three runs came with two outs as Tony Caldwell drove in Wes Gilmer with a two-out base hit up the middle and after a Creede Simpson single, both would score on Kevin Patterson’s RBI double down the right field line.