Gamecocks Fall 1-0 To Georgia In Game One Of Doubleheader
April 5, 2008
Athens, Ga. - Matt Olson's two-out RBI base hit in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted Georgia to a 1-0 victory over South Carolina in game one of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Foley Field. Georgia improves to 18-10 and 7-3 in the SEC while the loss drops Carolina to 20-8 and 6-4 in the conference. Game two of the doubleheader is scheduled for approximately 7:15 pm this evening.
The Bulldogs and Gamecocks went back in forth in game one of the doubleheader as both teams pitchers kept each team off the scoreboard. Georgia would eventually get the game-winner in the ninth inning. Adam Fuller led off the frame reaching base on a hit by pitch against Gamecock reliever Parker Bangs. Michael Demperio would then lay down a sacrifice bunt to put the Bulldog runner in scoring position. After a fly ball out to Ryan Peisel, the stage would be set for Olson. With a 0-2 count, the Georgia right fielder delivered with a RBI base hit into right field that just got past a diving attempt from second baseman Andrew Crisp to keep the ball in the infield.
Georgia reliever Joshua Fields picked up the win and is 1-1 on the year. He hurled one scoreless inning of relief with two strikeouts to earn the victory. Bangs suffered the loss and is 2-1 on the year.
The game saw both Gamecock starting pitcher Mike Cisco and Georgia starting pitcher Trevor Holder battle back and forth not allowing either team a score. In the first inning, Georgia loaded the bases with two outs but Cisco was able to get out of the jam inducing Lyle Allen into a fielder's choice to end the frame. The Bulldogs also had runners on first and second in the third inning with Cisco getting out of trouble against Allen again with a strikeout. With runners on the corners in the fifth inning, Cisco would get a groundout to shortstop vs. Bryce Massanari. A strikeout vs. Michael Demperio with two outs stranded another runner for Georgia on second base in the sixth inning.
Not to be outdone was Holder who kept the Gamecocks at bay as well. Carolina had runners on first and third with one out only to see a double steal with Crisp and Kyle Enders stopped by the Bulldogs at home plate. Carolina also had first and second in the fifth inning with two outs only to see Holder get Merrifield to fly out to the warning track in right field. Justin Smoak doubled in the sixth inning off the left centerfield wall, just missing a home run with Holder getting the next two outs to keep Carolina from scoring.
With Justin Earls on in relief, the Gamecocks looked to score in the eighth inning with a one-out Whit Merrifield single followed by a wild pitch, giving Carolina a runner in scoring position at second base. Earls would get James Darnell out on a groundout to second base that advanced Merrifield to third. After an intentional walk to Justin Smoak put runners on the corners, Earls got out of the inning with a pop up to himself against Phil Disher.
Cisco battled through it in the eighth inning keeping the Bulldogs off the scoreboard after a leadoff double by Rich Poythress. With designated hitter Bryce Massanari showing bunt twice, Cisco was able to deliver two strikes to keep the Bulldog hitter from laying down a sacrifice bunt. Massnari then flied out to short center, keeping Poythress locked up at second base. Lyle Allen followed with a long fly ball to right center that advanced Poythress to third base. Cisco again fought through it as he got Joey Lewis to ground out to third base to preserve the scoreless tie.
Georgia turned to All-American closer Joshua Fields in the ninth inning and the Gamecocks had the senior right-hander on the ropes after a hit by pitch against Kyle Enders to give the Gamecocks a pair of runners with no outs. Harley Lail then set down a sacrifice bunt allowing the runners to advance to give the Gamecocks a pair of runners in scoring position. Fields however struck out DeAngelo Mack for the key second out and after an intentional walk to Reese Havens also set down Whit Merrifield with a strikeout looking to end the Gamecock threat.