March 23, 2007
Columbia, S.C. - South Carolina belted out a season-high 25 hits and behind a season high runs defeated Mississippi State 20-3 on Friday evening in the first of a three-game college baseball series. Reese Havens tallied a career-high five hits including three doubles and James Darnell, Trent Kline and Phil Disher homered as the Gamecocks improved to 20-3 and 3-1 in SEC play while the loss drops Mississippi State to 13-5 and 2-2 in conference play.
Havens' three doubles tied the total that Harley Lail had vs. Brown in a game earlier this season and ties a USC single-game record. Havens also had four RBI on the evening. Disher was 3-for-6 with three RBI as well with Darnell 3-for-7 with four RBI and Justin Smoak and Trent Kline each recording two hits and two RBI on the evening. The 25 hits on the evening marked the fifth highest total by Ray Tanner-coached team at South Carolina. It was the most since a record-setting 35 back in 2004 vs. Charleston Southern.
Harris Honeycutt worked into the seventh inning to record a win and he is now 6-0 on the year and 14-0 in his career with the Gamecocks. His final line was 6.2 innings and just three runs on seven hits while striking out eight batters and walking just one. Sophomore reliever Alex Farotto was superb in relief for Carolina in 2.1 innings as he recorded all seven of his outs on strikeouts. His total of seven, was also a career-high in strikeouts for the left-hander.
Mississippi State broke out early with two runs in the first inning. Jeffrey Rea started things off with a leadoff walk and scored on a RBI triple by Brandon Turner to right centerfield. Turner would then score on Edward Easley's RBI groundout.
The Gamecocks tied the game at two apiece in the second inning scoring a pair of runs off of Weatherford. A two-out RBI single by Reese Havens would score Robbie Grinestaff. Travis Jones also scored on the play from first as center fielder Mark Goforth misplayed the ball allowing Jones to score all the way from first base.
Carolina went ahead 3-2 in the third inning as walks to Trent Kline and Justin Smoak set the stage for Phil Disher, who knocked a two-out RBI single to left center scoring Kline and giving the Gamecocks a one-run edge. That lead increased to three runs in the fifth inning as Smoak tallied an RBI double and Grinestaff added an RBI single to give Carolina a 5-2 lead.
South Carolina brought out the long ball in a five-run sixth inning and knocked out Mississippi State starting pitcher Aaron Weatherford in the process. Weatherford lasted only 5.1 innings and gave up eight runs on 10 hits to take the loss. He is 3-2 on the year. Carolina went ahead 10-2 as James Darnell and Phil Disher each tallied a pair of two-run homers with Smoak adding his second RBI hit of the game. Darnell's homer was his seventh of the year with Disher connecting for his fifth home run of the season.
The final three innings of play saw Carolina score 10 more runs against MSU reliever Greg Houston. The seventh inning featured an RBI single from Lail followed up by a two-run homer from Trent Kline. Kline also had a triple as he extended his hitting streak to eight games. The eighth inning saw Andrew Crisp and Havens each driving in runs. South Carolina kept it going in the ninth inning scoring five runs on seven hits. Leading the way with RBI's were three starters, Havens, Darnell and Travis Jones. Houston went 3.2 innings and allowed 12 runs on 15 hits against the Gamecocks.
South Carolina and Mississippi State return to action in game two of the series with first pitch set for 4 pm ET. The game will be televised on SportSouth with Dave Neal and Larry Conley calling the action. The game can also be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network and uscsports.com with Mike Morgan and Tom Price calling the action.
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