Gamecocks Pound Clemson 12-0 In Battle Of Nationally-Ranked Teams|
March 3, 2007
CLEMSON, S.C. - Phil Disher and James Darnell belted three-run home runs and Harris Honeycutt allowed just two hits over 7.0 innings to lead the fourth-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks (9-1) to a 12-0 rout over the second-ranked Clemson Tigers (7-2) Saturday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. It was the first of four scheduled contests between the Palmetto State's two top-5 ranked teams in 2007.
The whitewash was Carolina's first shutout of the Tigers since 1986, the first Gamecock shutout at Doug Kingsmore Stadium since 1974 and was USC's largest margin of victory in the series since a 21-8 win in 2001.
The Gamecocks jumped out to an early lead with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning off Clemson starter and loser David Kopp (1-1). Cheyne Hust led off the game with a double down the left field line. He moved to third on a balk, then scored on Justin Smoak's RBI double to left-center. Smoak scored the game's second run when Disher followed with an RBI single to center.
Hurst got things going again for the Gamecocks in the top of the third inning with a leadoff walk. Lonnie Chisenhall followed with a bloop single to left, the ninth game in which he has hit safely in 10 starts this season. After a fly out, both runners scored on Disher's fourth home run of the season, a shot that landed on the roof of the batting cages beyond the right-center field wall, putting USC up 5-0. Disher's blast gave him a team-leading 17 RBI in just 10 games.
Darnell put the game away in the top of the sixth with his team-leading fifth-home run of the year. Trent Kline beat out a one-out single to second and Andrew Crisp walked, sending Kopp to an early shower. Darnell greeted reliever D.J. Mitchell with a three-run blast over the left field wall on a 2-2 offering.
Carolina added four insurance runs in the seventh. Hust again led off the inning with an infield single. One batter later, Smoak hit a wind-blown home run over the left field wall, his third round tripper of the campaign. Disher reached second on a throwing error, Kline walked, Crisp stroked an RBI single to center and Darnell followed with an infield single for his fourth RBI of the game.
Honeycutt (4-0) kept the Tigers off-balance all afternoon. He opened the game with 4.2 hitless innings until ninth-place hitter J.D. Burgess stroked a solid single to center to break up the no-hitter. He walked four and fanned seven batters, all looking. The win improved his record to 12-0 in his Carolina career.
The Gamecocks now lead the series 15-14 dating back to the 2000 season.
The teams will meet again on Sunday at Sarge Frye Field on the University of South Carolina campus in Columbia. Game time is set for 1:30 p.m. ET. The game is a sell out. Fans without tickets can watch the game via the internet at www.uscsports.com or listen to the Gamecock Sports Network.
The University of South Carolina Athletics Department will offer a shuttle service for fans attending Sunday's sold-out game. The shuttle will run from the Pendleton Street and Senate Street Garages to Sarge Frye Field beginning at noon. The shuttle, which is $1 for a round trip ride, will run in 15-minute intervals throughout the game. The drop off point will be on Whaley Street, near the university fieldhouse, approximately 200 yards from Sarge Frye Field. The Pendleton Street Garage is located at the corner of Pendleton and Pickens. The Senate Street Garage is located on Pickens Street behind the Inn at USC.