Rawl Earns Seventh Win As Gamecocks Defeat Kentucky 5-3
April 18, 2004
Lexington, Ky. - South Carolina managed only four hits off five Kentucky pitchers Sunday but capitalized on three Wildcat errors to win 5-3 and take the final game of a Southeastern Conference baseball series.
After the first five Kentucky batters reached base in the first inning and the Wildcats led 3-0, Aaron Rawl and reliever Chad Blackwell combined to shut Kentucky out over the final eight innings. Rawl earned the win, improving his record to 7-2. He allowed seven hits in 6 2/3 innings, two earned runs, walked one and struck out five. Blackwell earned his eighth save. In 2 1/3 innings he allowed just one base runner, on a walk. He struck out three.
Craig Snipp, 1-6, the second of five Kentucky pitchers, was charged with the loss. South Carolina improved to 26-10 overall, 7-8 in the Southeastern Conference. Kentucky dropped to 19-16, 5-10. Kentucky won the Friday and Saturday games, 6-3, 11-6.
Trailing 3-2 after four innings, South Carolina scored two unearned runs in the top of the fifth to take a 4-3 lead. Two errors, a balk and a two base hit by Steve Pearce accounted for the rally. The Gamecocks added an insurance run in the eighth inning without a hit. Two walks, an error and a sacrifice fly by pinch hitter Nick Gardiner drove in the run.
Michael Bertram led off the Kentucky first with a hit, Spencer Graeter was hit by a pitch and Rawl made a bad throw on Casey Gilvin's sacrifice bunt to load the bases with no outs. Caleb Stewart drove in one run with a hit and a double by Mike Breyman plated two more. The Wildcats managed only three hits and no runs after that.
South Carolina got on the board with a run in the second inning. Brendan Winn was hit by a pitch, stole second base, and scored on a base hit by Ryan Mahoney. Michael Campbell hit his 12th home run of the season in the fourth to cut the Kentucky lead to 3-2.
Bertram and Breyman had two hits apiece for Kentucky. Breyman was ejected by plate umpire Jeff Head in the eighth inning for arguing a called third strike. South Carolina's hits were by Mahoney, Pearce, Campbell and Davy Gregg. Gregg stretched his hitting streak to 14 games with a two out double in the third inning.