Gamecocks Fall 12-9 To Kentucky
April 23, 2006
Lexington, Ky. - For the second consecutive day, 21st ranked Kentucky rallied from a six-run deficit and behind 12 runs in the middle innings defeated seventh ranked South Carolina 12-9 to sweep a three-game SEC series. Kentucky is 31-10 and 11-7 in the SEC while the loss drops Carolina to 30-11 and 11-7 in conference play.
Kentucky starting pitcher Greg Dombrowski went five innings and earned the win despite allowing six runs on nine hits. He is 7-1 on the season. USC reliever Kyle Brown suffered the loss after allowing five runs on three hits with two walks in one inning of work. He is 0-1 on the year.
South Carolina got off to a fast start and opened up a 6-0 lead in the first four innings. Neil Giesler was hit by a pitch to lead off the game and advanced to second base on Andrew Crisp's single up the middle. After a sacrifice bunt from Michael Campbell, the Gamecocks would score their first run on Drew Martin's RBI groundout. A two-out RBI single from Robbie Grinestaff scored Crisp and gave Carolina a two-run cushion. Carolina increased that lead to 3-0 with another run in the third inning. Crisp opened the frame with a single, his second hit of the game, stole second base and scored on a RBI base hit from Campbell.
South Carolina scored three more times in the fourth inning to go ahead 6-0 pounding out four hits and taking advantage of one Kentucky error. Reese Havens began the frame with a single and advanced to second base on a one-out sacrifice bunt by Trent Kline. On the play, Kline reached base on a fielding error by catcher Sean Coughlin. Carolina loaded the bases on a single for Neil Gielser that set the stage again for Crisp, who knocked a RBI base hit to left field scoring Havens. Michael Campbell added a sacrifice RBI fly and Drew Martin had a RBI single to give the Gamecocks a six-run lead.
Kentucky stormed back in the fourth and fifth innings though with eight unanswered runs to take an 8-6 lead. The Wildcats first cut USC's six-run cushion in half in the bottom half of the fourth on a pair of home runs by Ryan Strieby and John Shelby. Strieby led the inning off with a homer and Shelby followed a walk to Michael Bertram with a two-run blast to right center.
South Carolina starting pitcher Harris Honeycutt had to be removed after the fourth due to a blister on his finger. He allowed three runs on four hits with five strikeouts and three walks.
The Wildcats scored five more times in the fifth inning off of Brown to take a two-run lead. Strieby drew a one-out walk and scored from first base on a RBI double by Michael Bertram. Bertram then scored on a RBI single from Ryan Wilkes that was followed up by a three-run homer by Shaun Lehman.
South Carolina put one run across the plate in the sixth inning scoring an unearned run off Kentucky reliever Zach Dials. Justin Smoak reached base on a fielding error and muffed throw by Dials that advanced him to second base. Smoak would score with one out on Neil Giesler's RBI single.
Kentucky built it back to five runs though in the bottom half of the sixth as Strieby, Shelby and Wilkes all collected RBI hits off of Carolina reliever Brandon Todd. USC was able to come back with two more runs in the eighth inning on a two-run homer by Andrew Crisp. Crisp had a career-high four hits in the loss for Carolina. Campbell, Giesler, and Kline also had two hits as USC outhit the Wildcats for the second time in three games, this time 14-10. Strieby, Shelby, Wilkes and Lehman all had two hits apiece for Kentucky.
South Carolina returns to action next weekend at home hosting Mississippi State in a three-game series beginning on Friday evening (April 28) at 7 pm at Sarge Frye Field.