Honeycutt Strikes Out Nine As Gamecocks Defeat Eastern Michigan 6-0 In Home Opener
Feb. 23, 2007
Columbia, S.C. - Harris Honeycutt pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out nine batters as fourth ranked South Carolina defeated Eastern Michigan 6-0 on Friday afternoon in the Gamecocks' home opener at Sarge Frye Field. Carolina is now 6-1 on the year while the loss drops Eastern Michigan to 1-4 this season. Game two of the three-game series is set for 1:30 pm ET on Saturday with live audio, live gametracker stats and live video available at uscsports.com.
"It really was a great day," said USC head coach Ray Tanner. "It's great to win at home for the home opener. Harris Honeycutt was sharp. What was lost in the score today was (Eastern Michigan pitcher) Jeff Fischer. He was the MAC player of the year last year and had great numbers. Any pitcher that goes through a college season 100 innings and has an ERA under two is pretty good. It was no surprise we had trouble getting runs on the board. Fortunately we had the two-out rally where we stuck some in there. Harris did a nice job to give us a chance to win and we're very happy to win the first one."
Honeycutt, Blake Cooper and Nick Fuller combined for Carolina's second shutout in seven games this year. Honeycutt is now 11-0 in his career with the Gamecocks and 3-0 this season on the mound. Eastern Michigan starter Jeff Fischer worked 5.2 innings and allowed four runs on seven hits to take the loss. He is 0-1 on the year.
The Gamecocks tallied 11 hits including three from Cheyne Hurst as well as two apiece from Lonnie Chisenhall and Phil Disher. Chisenhall has a seven-game hitting streak for the Gamecocks. EMU had only four hits on the afternoon.
"Cheyne Hurst got his (second) start of the year," said Tanner. "He had been coming off the bench and had nine at-bats going into this game. He had three hits today and drove in a couple of runs. It's good to see we've got some depth on this team and have guys that can step up at different times."
South Carolina scored its first run in the second inning as Cheyne Hurst stroked an RBI single to score Justin Smoak and give the Gamecocks a 1-0 lead. The game would remain at one run until the sixth inning when the Gamecocks scored five runs off Fisher and Eagles reliever Sean Hoffman. Hurst would start the inning off for Carolina with an RBI base hit to give the Gamecocks a two-run edge. The Hurst single was followed by an RBI single from Reese Havens and a double from Travis Jones. With Carolina leading 3-0, the Gamecocks would add two runs on a throwing error by EMU second baseman Josh Ivan that was then followed by another RBI base hit, this one courtesy of Chisenhall.