Mack's Two Homers Help Lead The Way As Gamecocks Earn 7-5 Win Over Long Beach State
March 7, 2009
Columbia, S.C. - DeAngelo Mack recorded his first career two-homer game and Whit Merrifield and Parker Bangs also tallied two more homers as 18th ranked South Carolina upended Long Beach State 7-5 on Saturday afternoon at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks improve to 8-0 on the year while the loss drops LBSU to 2-7 for the season. Carolina goes for the sweep on Sunday afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Live video broadcast is available at GamecocksOnline.com with the game also on the Gamecock Radio Network.
Mack went 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and three RBI. He now has six homers on the year with 13 RBI and is batting .400 (12-for-30) through eight games this season. Mack hit solo homers to lead off both the fifth and seventh innings. Bangs' homer also led off the bottom of the second inning with Merrifield's solo shot in the sixth inning also starting off that frame. Carolina has homered in all eight games this year and has 13 for a team total.
Freshman reliever Matt Price picked up his first career win after 2.2 innings of work out of the bullpen. He allowed just one run on two hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Senior left-hander Alex Farotto followed him and hurled 2.2 perfect innings of relief with five strikeouts notch the save. He is 1-0 on the year with three saves. Long Beach State junior left-hander Adam Wilk took the loss and is 1-1 for the season. He went 4.2 innings and allowed five runs, four earned on eight hits. He struck out three and walked two.
Long Beach State broke ahead 2-0 in the top of the first inning with T.J. Mittelstaedt and Devin Lohman hitting back-to-back home runs off of Carolina starter Nolan Belcher. South Carolina bounced back with a run in the bottom of the first inning to cut the deficit to 2-1. Carolina put together three base hits including a two-out RBI base hit from DeAngelo Mack to score Jackie Bradley, Jr. The Gamecocks would go ahead 3-2 in the second inning. Parker Bangs opened the frame with a solo home run to left field, his first homer of the year. Carolina then took advantage of a Dirtbag miscue as LBSU shortstop Devin Lohman threw high for a force play at second base allowing Bobby Haney to score.
The Dirtbags regained their lead in the fourth inning as Rylan Sandoval's two-out RBI double scored John Hill and Kirk Singer. Trailing 4-3, Carolina tied the game in the bottom half of the inning as Merrifield tripled off the center field wall and later scored on Nick Ebert's RBI sacrifice fly.
With the game knotted up at 4-4, South Carolina scored single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings off of Mack's two homers and Merrifield's homer. Long Beach State would score one run in the seventh inning but that would be it as Farotto kept the tying run off base through the eighth and ninth innings.
South Carolina out-hit LBSU 10-7 with Mack's three hits leading the way. Merrifield and Bangs tallied two apiece. Long Beach State was led by Mittelstaedt, who went 2-for-4 at the plate.
Mack's two-homer game was the first multi-homer game for the Gamecocks since June 1, 2008 when Justin Smoak hit a pair of round trippers in a 7-5 win over James Madison in the NCAA Regional.