Feb. 12, 2006
Columbia, S.C. - Freshmen infielders Reese Havens and James Darnell drove in five fifth inning runs Sunday to lead South Carolina to an 8-3 win over Elon and a 2-1 advantage in the three game season opening baseball series.
Shortstop Havens singled with the bases loaded to drive in two and second baseman Darnell followed with a three run home run as the Gamecocks erased a 3-2 Elon advantage to lead 7-3. Senior catcher Ian Paxton homered in the eighth inning for the final Gamecock run.
Left-hander Forrest Beverly pitched five plus innings to earn the win. Elon starter Steven Hensley was charged with the loss.
Beverly allowed five hits, all of them in the third inning when Elon scored its three runs to take a 3-0 lead. Beverly retired the first seven batters that he faced but five of the next six hit singles. Chris Price drove in two with a one out bases loaded hit and Grant Rembert's infield single plated the final Elon run.
Beverly then retired the next seven Phoenix batters but was relieved by freshman Mike Cisco when Beverly walked Price to lead off the Elon sixth inning. Cisco, grandson of former major league pitcher and coach Galen Cisco, retired nine consecutive batters before leaving after the eighth inning.
South Carolina left four base runners stranded over the first three innings before scoring twice in the fourth to cut the Elon lead to 3-2. Michael Campbell walked and scored on a double by Havens, the first of three runs batted in by the freshman shortstop. Havens moved to third on a hit by Darnell and scored on a ground out by Trent Kline.
All eight of South Carolina's runs batted in were by the seventh, eighth and ninth slots in the batting order, three each by seventh and eighth hitters Havens and Darnell and one each by catchers Kline and Paxton, batting ninth.
Darnell played briefly as a substitute in the first two games of the Elon series but homered in his first collegiate start. He is from Danville, California. With Darnell at second base, Havens, from Sullivan's Island, at shortstop, and Justin Smoak of Goose Creek at first base, three fourths of South Carolina's starting infield Sunday were true freshmen.
South Carolina had 12 hits to six for Elon. Havens, Darnell and senior third baseman Neil Giesler each had two. Senior right fielder Mark Stanley had a double. Elon's six hits were by six different players. The only Phoenix extra base hit was a double by pinch hitter Jordy Snyder.
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