Feb. 20, 2004
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Home runs by Kevin Melillo, Tommy King and Brendan Winn helped seventh ranked South Carolina score all of its runs in the second and fifth innings Friday and the Gamecocks defeated UNC-Wilmington 7-4 to open a three game college baseball series.
The second game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Sarge Frye Field.
Junior right-hander Billy Buckner (1-0) pitched into the eighth inning and allowed eight hits and all four UNCW runs to receive credit for the win as South Carolina improved to 4-0. Zac McCamie pitched two thirds of an inning and Chad Blackwell retired the Seahawks in order in the ninth to earn his third save.
Left-hander Zach Kimball (0-1) took the loss as UNCW saw its record drop to 0-2. Kimball allowed nine hits and seven runs, six earned, in five innings.
South Carolina scored four times on six second inning hits. Winn singled, Melillo hit his third home run of the season ahead of a solo homer by Tommy King. It was the freshman designated hitter's first collegiate homer. Michael Campbell singled, moved to second on a sacrifice, and scored on a base hit by Steven Tolleson.
The Seahawks cut the Gamecock lead in half with two runs in the fourth. After retiring the first nine batters that he faced Buckner gave up four consecutive hits. Chip Grawey beat out a slow roller to shortstop, Aaron Smith singled and Matt Sutton doubled to score Grawey. Smith also tried to score on the play but was out at the plate. Sutton scored on a wild pitch.
UNCW cut the margin to 4-3 in the top of the fifth. Jonathan Batts singled, moved to second on an infield out, and scored on a base hit by Grawey.
The Gamecocks scored three times in the bottom of the fifth. Steve Pearce doubled with one out and scored when UNCW catcher Chris Hatcher threw wildly to first on Landon Powell's roller in front of the plate. Powell scored ahead of Winn's home run, his second of the season.
Winn, Pearce and Tolleson had two hits apiece to lead a 10 hit South Carolina attack. Tolleson and Pearce had doubles. Grawey had three hits and Sutton had two as UNCW managed nine hits. Sutton's double was the only extra base hit by the Seahawks.
The South Carolina pitchers did not walk a batter and struck out nine giving the Gamecock staff 56 strikeouts against just seven bases on balls in 36 innings over the first four game of the season.
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