April 15, 2006
Columbia, S.C. - Back to back home runs by Justin Smoak and Andrew Crisp, and Michael Campbell's fourth hit, a two run double, sparked a five run eighth inning rally Saturday and South Carolina defeated Ole Miss 6-3 to take a 2-0 lead in a Southeastern Conference baseball series.
The final game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., Easter Sunday at Sarge Frye Field. South Carolina improved its record to 29-7 overall and its conference leading mark to 11-3. Ole Miss dropped to 20-15, 6-8.
Andrew Cruse, 4-1, the third of four South Carolina pitchers, picked up the win. Wynn Pelzer pitched a hitless ninth to earn his fourth save of the season and second of the series. Cory Satterwhite, 4-2, the third Ole Miss pitcher, was charged with the loss.
Mississippi starter Brett Bukvich frustrated the Gamecock batters for six innings. He allowed six hits, three of them of the infield variety, and walked two but South Carolina stranded eight base runners over six innings and 12 altogether, finally breaking the game open in the eight inning.
Mississippi led 3-1 on a third inning run that scored on a wild pitch and two runs batted in hit by Logan Power in the top of the eighth before South Carolina rallied in the bottom of the inning.
Freshman first baseman Justin Smoak hit his seventh homer of the season against relief pitcher Garrett White and Crisp, a redshirt freshman, followed with his third, and second of the series, to tie the score at 3-3.
Freshman James Darnell followed with his third consecutive hit and was sacrificed to second by Cheyne Hurst, the third sacrifice of the game by Hurst. Neil Giesler walked and Campbell delivered a double off the left field wall to drive in Darnell and Giesler to break the tie. One more run scored as the result of two Mississippi errors.
Mississippi took a 1-0 third inning lead on a hit by Brett Basham, a sacrifice, infield out and a wild pitch. South Carolina tied it in the seventh, greeting White with three hits, but after Campbell had doubled home the tying run the Gamecocks left the bases loaded.
The Rebels quickly regained the lead at 3-1, in the top of the eighth. Chris Coghlan doubled and moved to third on a sacrifice, Alex Presley was hit by a pitch and pinch hitter Evan Button walked to load the bases. Coghlan and Presley scored on a hit by Logan Power.
South Carolina finished with 13 hits, four by Campbell including two doubles and three runs batted in. Darnell, filling in for injured senior second baseman Chris Brown, had three hits and Smoak and Giesler contributed two hits apiece. Giesler broke a zero for 19 slump with a fist inning infield single and got another infield hit in the seventh when his hot line drive went off the glove of diving Old Miss shortstop Zack Cozart.
Power had two of Mississippi's six hits and drove in two of the three Rebel runs. Coghlan and Jon Jon Hancock had doubles.
South Carolina played its 13th consecutive errorless game and 24th of 36 games without an error. The Gamecocks have handled 497 consecutive fielding chances since being charged with a third inning error March 14 in the first game of the Florida series. The errorless span covers 120 2/3 innings. With 16 errors in 36 games the Gamecock team fielding percentage is .988.
Campbell's perfect throw to catcher Ian Paxton cut down Hancock attempting to score from second base on a second inning hit by Brett Basham. It was the 22nd career outfield assist for the South Carolina center fielder, extending his school record.
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