March 26, 2006
Columbia, S.C. - South Carolina scored 17 runs in the second and third innings Sunday, batting around twice, and routed Florida 21-4 to sweep a three game Southeastern Conference baseball series.
The seventh ranked Gamecocks improved to 22-3 on the season, 5-1 in the SEC, while ninth ranked Florida fell to 17-11, 2-4. Junior left-hander Forrest Beverly pitched five plus innings to improve his record to 5-1. He allowed five hits and three of Florida's four runs. Freshman left-hander J. J. LaCoste, 2-2, was charged with the loss.
South Carolina sent 14 batters to the plate in the second inning and scored 10 runs on seven hits, three walks and one Florida error. Ten Gamecocks went to the plate in the third inning and seven scored on four hits, a walk, and two hit batters to increase the lead to 17-0. South Carolina added three runs in the fifth and one in the seventh inning.
Robbie Grinestaff drove in four runs in the 10-run second, opening the inning with a solo home run and driving in three with a bases loaded double. He had a fifth RBI with a solo homer in the fifth inning when South Carolina scored three times. Grinestaff increased his season home run total to eight and his runs batted in to 32. With four hits he raised his batting average 30 points to .295.
Cheyne Hurst also drove in five runs. He had three hits including a double and his second home run of the season. Michael Campbell had four hits, including his 11th career triple, and drove in four runs. He raised his batting average from .289 to .315.
Neil Giesler stretched his current hitting streak to 17 games with three hits, including a double. It was his 14th multi-hit game. Geisler leads the Southeastern Conference in hitting with a .504 average with 44 hits in 87 at bats.
Freshman shortstop Reese Havens had two hits, walked twice and scored four runs. He also had two RBI. Freshman infielder James Darnell, filling in for ailing senior second baseman Chris Brown, had two hits as did catcher Ian Paxton who had three runs batted in and hit his third home run.
Florida third baseman David Cash, who played his freshman season at South Carolina in 2004 before transferring to Chipola Junior College, drove in three of Florida's four runs with a two RBI single in the fourth inning and a solo home run in the ninth.
South Carolina totaled 20 hits to seven for Florida. The 21-4 defeat was the third worst in Florida's 92 year baseball history and the second worst in Southeastern Conference games. The 21 runs scored by Carolina were the most against an SEC team in 10 seasons under head coach Ray Tanner. It was the most runs for Carolina since they defeated Charleston Southern, 38-0, on February 14, 2004.
South Carolina played its 13th errorless game, ending it with its 26th double play. The Gamecocks have committed only 16 errors in 25 games and lead the SEC in defense with a .983 fielding average.
South Carolina meets Wofford at 7 p.m., Tuesday in a non-conference game to end a six game home stand at Sarge Frye Field before the Gamecocks travel to Baton Rouge to begin a three game conference series Friday night at LSU.
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