May 6, 2007
Columbia, S.C. - South Carolina scored six runs in both the fourth and sixth innings on its way to a 13-6 win over Kentucky on Sunday afternoon to win a three-game SEC series. James Darnell, Cheyne Hurst and Travis Jones all homered to help lead the Gamecocks to the win. South Carolina improves to 35-14 and 13-11 in the SEC while Kentucky falls to 31-15-1 and 10-13-1 in the league.
Carolina pounded out 14 hits including three from Phil Disher as well as two from Darnell, Kline and Hurst. Hurst and Jones each drove in three for the Gamecocks. Junior right-handed pitcher Blake Cooper worked 5.2 innings and did not allow a run until the sixth inning. He finished allowing four runs on five hits while striking out five and walking just one. Cooper is now 6-1 on the year. Senior reliever Jeff Jeffords closed the game out pitching the final 3.1 innings to pick up his third save of the season. He struck out five while allowing just two runs in his outing.
Kentucky starting pitcher Greg Dombrowski suffered the loss and is 4-2 on the year. He lasted only 3.1 innings and gave up four runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Antone DeJesus, Sean Coughlin and Brian Spear had two hits apiece for the Wildcats at the plate.
South Carolina took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. With two outs, Darnell hit an infield single, advanced to second on walk to Smoak and scored on Disher's RBI single to left field.
With a 1-0 lead, the Gamecocks erupted for six runs in the fourth inning and sent nine batters to the plate to take a seven-run advantage. Jon Willard got things started with a double to left center and the Gamecocks put runners on the corners on a single by Hurst. Steven Reinhold would drive in the first run of the inning with an RBI single that scored Willard. With runners on first and second base and one out, Kentucky went to the bullpen with reliever Duran Ferguson. Ferguson would face Jones, who knocked his 15th home run of the year over the left centerfield wall. In his last 24 games, Jones has batted .400 (38-for-95) with 14 HR and 42 RBI. Eleven of his 15 home runs have come in SEC games this year.
The Gamecocks would go back-to-back with homers as Darnell launched one off Ferguson to left center. South Carolina would score once more in the inning as Justin Smoak walked, advanced to second on wild pitch and scored on Disher's RBI base hit.
The Wildcats mounted a rally in the sixth inning with four runs against Cooper in the sixth inning. Matt McKinney put Kentucky on the scoreboard with a solo home run to center field to lead off the frame. Mike Brown drew a one-out walk that was followed up by a base hit by Antone DeJesus and a hit by pitch to Sawyer Carroll that loaded the bases. Sean Coughlin and Brian Spear would follow with consecutive RBI singles to score a pair of runs. Kentucky crept to with 7-4 then as Ryan Wilkes reached base on a fielding error by James Darnell to score Carroll. With one out and the bases loaded, the Gamecocks stopped Kentucky in its tracks as Cooper struck out Tyler Howe followed up by a strikeout from reliever Jeff Jeffords against McKinney to keep the Gamecocks ahead by three runs.
Carolina answered in the bottom of the sixth inning though with another six spot to go ahead 13-4 against UK. Jones reached base with one out on a throwing error by shortstop Ryan Wilkes and James Darnell would walk to give Carolina a pair or runners. James Paxton was summoned from the bullpen for Kentucky and was welcomed to the game by Smoak, who knocked a RBI base hit to left field to score Jones. With runners on second and third and two outs, Carolina scored two more as Trent Kline hit a base hit up the middle. Paxton ran into more trouble then as he hit Willard with a pitch and then gave up a three-run homer to Hurst as the Gamecocks took a 13-4 lead. The home run for Hurst was his first of the year. His last home run came on May 14, 2006 against Tennessee. Kentucky would score twice more in the eighth inning.
South Carolina returns to action on Wednesday, May 9 with a non-conference home game against The Citadel. First pitch is at 8 pm ET with live audio broadcast and gametracker stats available at uscsports.com.
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