Feb. 27, 2005
Columbia, S.C. - Steve Pearce's second grand slam home run of the weekend broke an eighth inning 2-2 tie Sunday and powered fifth ranked South Carolina to a 6-2 win over Niagara and a sweep of a three game college baseball series.
South Carolina improved its record to 9-0 and Niagara dropped to 0-6. Jason Fletcher (1-0), the second of four Gamecock pitchers picked up the win in his first appearance of the season. Josh Sawatski (0-2) was charged with the loss.
Sawatzky kept the Gamecock hitters off balance through six innings and held a 2-1 lead until South Carolina designated hitter Jon Willard led off the bottom of the seventh with his third home run of the season.
Davy Gregg doubled to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning and advanced to third when Chris Brown singled to short center field. Michael Campbell lined to third for the first out but Steven Tolleson worked the only walk of the game to load the bases.
Pearce worked the count to two balls and two strikes and then drilled a change up high over the left field fence for his second bases loaded homer in two days. He had five hits in the Saturday 19-1 win over Niagara, including a grand slam and a solo homer. In the three game series Pearce drove in 10 runs with eight hits in 13 at bats. The series was his first action of the season following a six game suspension.
Niagara took a 1-0 second inning lead. Paul Soloni doubled and scored on a base hit by Mike Medici. South Carolina tied it in the third. Singles by Brendan Winn, Gregg and Brown loaded the bases with one out and Winn scored on a sacrifice fly by Campbell.
Niagara regained the lead at 2-1 in the top of the fourth inning when Andrew MacNevin hit his second home run of the season.
South Carolina collected 10 hits, two each by Brown, Willard and Gregg. Niagara had eight hits with Mike Alati and Medic each getting two.
South Carolina winds up a 10 game home stand with its first night game of the season against Wofford Wednesday night at Sarge Frye Field. Game time will be 6 o'clock, an hour earlier than normal.
The Gamecocks travel to Minneapolis for the Dairy Queen Classic next weekend, meeting Pepperdine, Minnesota and New Orleans in the Hubert Humphrey domed stadium, home of the American League Minnesota Twins.
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