May 16, 2006
Greenville, S.C. - 17th ranked South Carolina collected a season-high nine extra base hits including a grand slam homer from Robbie Grinestaff and three doubles from Justin Smoak on its way to a 15-12 victory over Furman on Tuesday evening at West End Field in Greenville, S.C. Smoak's three doubles tied a Carolina single-game record and Grinestaff finished with five RBI for the third time this season as the Gamecocks belted out 15 hits on the evening. Carolina improves to 35-18 on the year while the loss drops Furman to 30-20 this season.
Grinestaff and Smoak each finished with three hits on the evening. Michael Campbell was 2-for-2 but reached base all five times at the plate and scored an individual high five runs for the Gamecocks one short of the USC single-game record. Neil Giesler was 2-for-4 with three RBI and James Darnell 2-for-4 with two RBI. Reese Havens also added two hits for Carolina.
Carolina used a predetermined split and reliever Forrest Beverly earned the win to improve to 6-2 on the year. Beverly went 3.2 innings and allowed just four runs, three earned, on seven hits and had three strikeouts. Furman reliever Patrick Arnett suffered the loss and is 3-6 on the year. Arnett allowed four runs on four hits in 1.2 innings of work.
Furman would jump out to an early lead and took advantage of a Gamecock miscue to score three unearned runs in the first inning. Will Stembridge hit a one-out single and advanced to second base as A.J. Davidiuk reached base on a fielding error by Carolina third baseman Neil Giesler, just his third error of the year. USC starter Harris Honeycutt was able to get Case Cassedy to fly out to center field for the second out but was unable to get out of the jam as Joe Daysh knocked a two-out homer to left field over the mini-Green Monster in left field giving the Furman a 3-0 lead.
That lead would be short-lived for the Paladins though, as Carolina stormed back to take a 4-3 lead on the back of a grand slam homer from Robbie Grinestaff, his 14th round tripper on the season. The inning opened with Michael Campbell hitting a double off the left field wall and advancing to third base on a balk. Consecutive walks to Justin Smoak and Neil Giesler brought Grinestaff to the plate with the bags full. On a 1-1 pitch from Jay Jackson, the Gamecock designated hitter launched a deep homer into right field to give the Gamecocks a one-run lead. Grinestaff's grand slam was the first by a Carolina player since Cheyne Hurst on March 26 this season vs. Florida at Sarge Frye Field.
After Furman tied the game with another unearned run, the Gamecocks came back in the third inning with four more runs to go ahead 8-4 against the Paladins. Giesler collected an RBI single with Darnell also driving in two runs with a bases loaded double. Cheyne Hurst knocked in the fourth run of the frame with a sacrifice fly. Furman would cut the Gamecock lead to three runs in the bottom half on a solo homer by A. J. Davidiuk. The Carolina offense continued its damage in the fourth inning as Giesler drove in two more runs with a RBI double scoring Campbell and Smoak.
Furman struck with single runs in both the fourth and fifth innings as Stembridge and Marcus Rose each collected RBI hits.
Both teams traded runs in the sixth inning with Justin Smoak driving in a run with a RBI double and Stembridge hitting a solo homer for the Paladins.
The Gamecocks would add runs in the seventh and eighth inning with an RBI triple from Hurst, RBI double by Smoak and a RBI triple from Grinestaff. Furman struck late with four runs in the ninth inning including a three-run double from Steven Hildreth.
Daysh was 4-for-5 with three runs and three RBI for the Paladins with Stembridge also 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Both teams finished the game with a combined 27 runs and 30 hits as well as six errors.
Carolina heads up north to Nashville, Tenn. now for the final SEC series of the year. Carolina and Vanderbilt meet in a three-game series beginning on Thursday evening (May 18) at 6 pm CT. Friday's game is also at 6 pm CT and will be televised on CSS-TV. The Saturday finale is set for a first pitch of 1 pm CT. All three games are available on the Gamecock Radio Network with Mike Morgan and Tom Price calling the action.
Pregame Note*** - South Carolina sophomore pitcher Wynn Pelzer is one of 20 players in the nation to be invited to the 2006 USA Baseball National Team Trials to be held June 22-July 1 in exhibition games played against teams in the New England Collegiate League. The USA Baseball National Team will be selected from a pool of 36 players, of which an additional 16 have yet to be determined. The official 22-man team roster will be announced on July 2. Pelzer is 4-3 this season with a 2.98 ERA for the Gamecocks.
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