April 10, 2005
Baton Rouge, La. - Michael Campbell homered twice and Steve Pearce added three hits and two RBI as fourth ranked South Carolina extended its winning streak to nine games with a 7-5 victory over sixth ranked LSU on Sunday afternoon at Alex Box Stadium to sweep a three-game series. Carolina improves to 28-5 on the season and 8-4 in the SEC while the loss drops LSU to 23-11 and 5-7 in the conference. The win also was a milestone for head coach Ray Tanner, who recorded his 400th victory as head coach at South Carolina.
USC senior right-hander Aaron Rawl earned the win to improve to 6-2 on the year. Rawl worked six 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and one walk allowed. Brent Marsh worked the final two innings of relief to pick up his seventh save of the year and second of the series.
LSU starter Greg Smith took the loss after hurling three 2/3 innings and allowing four runs on five hits. Smith is now 4-2 this season.
Carolina wasted no time getting on the scoreboard with an unearned run in the first inning. Chris Brown drew a lead-off walk and advanced to second base on a throwing error by third baseman Blake Gill, who threw wide of second base on a force play. Steve Pearce knocked a RBI single to left field to score Brown and give the Gamecocks a one-run cushion. Pearce's base hit extended his hitting streak to a season-high seven games.
USC increased the lead to 2-0 in the second inning as Ian Paxton hit a two-out solo home run off of Smith. Paxton turned on a 2-2 fastball and launched a deep blast over the left center field wall for his second homer of the year. Paxton's previous home run came on opening day in a win vs. Longwood University.
The Gamecocks went ahead three runs in the third inning on a solo home run to left field by Michael Campbell. The homer for Campbell was his fifth of the year. Carolina would chase LSU starter Greg Smith in the fourth inning as a two-out RBI single to left field by Davy Gregg scored Mark Stanley and put USC on top 4-0.
LSU trimmed the Carolina lead to 4-2 in the fifth inning as Dustin Weaver led off with a solo homer to left center and Blake Gill doubled and scored on Chris Jackson's two-out RBI single.
Both teams would plate two runs across in the eighth inning. A lead-off walk to Carolina's Steven Tolleson set the table for Pearce again, who belted a double to left center to score Tolleson from first base. Pearce would score on a two-out fielding error by second baseman Chris Jackson. Jackson misjudged a pop up from Tommy King in short right center to allow Pearce to score the sixth Gamecock run of the afternoon. LSU would open their bottom half of the frame with a double from Ryan Patterson, who hit a high pop up that second baseman Chris Brown lost in the sun. Patterson and Nick Stavinoha would score on RBI base hits from Clay Harris and Derek Hebert.
The two teams again would trade runs in the ninth inning on a pair of solo homers from Michael Campbell of Carolina and Blake Gill of LSU. Campbell's two-homer game is the fourth time this season that a USC player has achieved the feat. Gill, Jackson and Clay Harris all had two hits with Derek Hebert adding three for the Tigers.
South Carolina returns to action on Wednesday night as the Gamecocks renew their in-state rivalry vs. Clemson at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. First pitch at Clemson is set for 7:15 p.m. with the game televised on CSS-TV. Live audio and live gametracker stats will also be available at www.uscsports.com. Carolina defeated the Tigers in both previous games this season with a 6-3 win at Clemson and a 6-5 victory in Columbia.
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