\WOFFORD RALLIES TO DEFEAT USC 9-8 IN 13 INNINGS|
May 3, 2006
Spartanburg, S.C. - Stephen Johnson scored on a wild pitch with two outs in the 13th inning as Wofford rallied to defeat 10th ranked South Carolina 9-8 on Wednesday evening at Russell C. King Field. The win improves Wofford to 19-30 on the year while the loss drops Carolina to 32-13 this season.
Johnson hit a two-out triple in the 13th inning off Carolina reliever Andrew Cruse to set the stage for an improbable finish for the Terriers. With Shane Kirkley up to the plate, Carolina called for an intentional walk against the Terrier's No. 3 hitter, who had two homers on the evening. The third intentional ball from Cruse sailed over the head of catcher Ian Paxton allowing Johnson to score the game-winning run.
Cruse suffered the loss despite a solid outing out of the bullpen. He is 4-3 on the year. He allowed just one run on two hits with 5.1 innings of work and tied a career-high with seven strikeouts. Wofford reliever J.D. Melton was equally effective out of the pen for the Terriers as he pitched five scoreless innings of relief and allowed just one hit to pick up the win. He is 5-3 on the year. The win for Wofford was their first over the Gamecocks since 1947.
Wofford would break out to an early lead in the game with four runs in the third inning off Carolina starter Forrest Beverly. Zach Pittman opened the frame with a single and then scored with one out on a two-run homer by Shane Kirkley. Bradford Eaves would continue the Terrier offensive display with a double and then scored from second to home as he stole third base and advanced to home on a throwing error by catcher Trent Kline. The Terriers scored their fourth run with two outs as Steven Fusaro and scored on John Brandt's RBI single.
For the second straight game, Carolina would ride the bat of Jon Willard to begin a rally. Singles from Michael Campbell and Drew Martin opened the fourth inning and set the stage for Willard, who connected on the first pitch from Austin Redwine with a three-run homer to right field, his fifth home run of the season. The junior outfielder also hit a three-run homer in the 11th inning of Sunday's 9-7 win over Mississippi State.
The Gamecocks would go ahead 6-4 in the fifth inning with three more runs off of Redwine. Neil Giesler led off with a single that was followed up by Campbell's second hit of the night. On the play, center fielder Bradford Eaves misplayed Campbell's single allowing both runners to advance to second and third base. Giesler would then score on a RBI groundout by Martin. Campbell and Trent Kline would score the go ahead runs on Reese Havens' two-out RBI double.
Carolina crossed the plate two more times in the sixth inning to extend its lead to 8-4. Andrew Crisp extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a leadoff single, advanced to second base on a wild pitch and scored on Neil Giesler's RBI single. Giesler would then score on an RBI double from Michael Campbell, his third hit of the night.
The Terriers wouldn't go away though as they scored four times in the seventh and eighth innings to tie the game at eight apiece. After scoring once in the seventh inning to cut the Gamecock lead to three runs, Wofford would send eight batters to the plate in the eighth inning on its way to tying the game 8-8. A RBI double from John Brandt, a RBI single from Zach Pittman and Stephen Johnson's sacrifice fly to right field, plated home three Terrier runs.
Campbell was 4-for-7 on the evening to lead USC at the plate. Havens and Crisp also had two hits apiece for the Gamecocks. Five different Terrier players had two hits apiece (Pittman, Kirkley, Eaves, Fusaro and Brandt).
South Carolina returns to SEC action on Friday evening (May 5) as the Gamecocks begin a three-game series at Georgia. First pitch for Friday is set for 7 pm. Saturday's game will be televised live on FSN South/SEC-TV starting at 4 pm. The Sunday finale is scheduled for 1 pm. All three games will be available on the Gamecock Radio Network and on uscsports.com. Mike Morgan and Tom Price will call the action. Live gametracker stats area also available.