April 19, 2006
Columbia, S.C. - South Carolina hit four bases empty home runs Wednesday night, three of them back to back to back in the fourth inning, and collected 17 total hits in an 11-2 non-conference baseball win over The Citadel.
Freshman left-hander Will Atwood allowed four hits and one run in a career-high 6.2 innings to win his third decision against no losses. Zach Brown, The Citadel starter, took the loss to drop his record to 1-4. Seventh ranked South Carolina improved its record to 30-8 while The Citadel slipped a game below .500 at 18-19.
South Carolina travels to Lexington, Ky., to open a three game Southeastern Conference series Friday night with the Kentucky Wildcats. South Carolina leads the Eastern Division and the overall SEC standings with an 11-4 conference record. Kentucky is third in the Eastern Division with an 8-7 SEC record.
All games of the Kentucky series will be broadcast by the Gamecock Radio Network with Mike Morgan and Tom Price handling the call.
The Citadel took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning on a single by Matt Matulia and a RBI double by Brady Mashack but the Gamecocks tied it in the bottom of the inning when freshman shortstop Reese Havens homered, his second home run of the season.
The first three South Carolina batters in the bottom of the fourth inning homered to give South Carolina a 4-1 lead. Catcher Ian Paxton hit his fourth, designated hitter Robbie Grinestaff his 12th, and left fielder Jon Willard his second. The three homer outburst was one short of the school record. South Carolina hit four consecutive home runs against East Carolina in 1980.
South Carolina broke the game open with six runs in the seventh inning on five hits, three walks and a sacrifice fly. Trent Kline tripled and scored on a ground out by Cheyne Hurst for the final Gamecock run in the eighth inning. Hurst, who entered the game in the seventh inning, had a bases clearing double in the six run outburst for a four RBI night.
Havens also had a pair of singles for a three hit game and Mark Stanley singled three times. Paxton, Michael Campbell and James Darnell had two hits apiece. Paxton had two RBI.
The Citadel scored its second run in the top of the ninth inning and the game ended with the bases loaded. The Bulldogs had two hits, a walk and a hit batter in the inning. Sonny Meade doubled to lead off the inning and scored on a single by pinch hitter Matt Covington.
Mashack had two of the seven hits by the Bulldogs.
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