Gamecocks Hold On For 7-5 Win Over Tennessee
May 16, 2008
Columbia, S.C. - Parker Bangs' solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning jumpstarted a five-run inning and behind a solid 7.1 innings of work by senior right-hander Nick Godwin, the South Carolina Gamecocks defeated Tennessee 7-5 on Friday evening in game two of a SEC baseball series. Carolina improves to 36-19 and 14-15 in the SEC while the loss drops Tennessee to 27-28 and 12-17 in the conference. Carolina and Tennessee meet in the final regular season game at Sarge Frye Field on Saturday afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 4 pm.
Godwin was effective in his start for the Gamecocks as he limited Tennessee to four runs, two earned, on seven hits with six strikeouts and three walks. He improved to 6-3 on the year. Carolina left-hander Alex Farotto came on in relief to get the final batter of the game with a strikeout to earn his first save of the year. Tennessee starting pitcher Bryan Morgado suffered the loss and is 5-5 on the year. He went 4.2 innings and allowed seven runs on four hits with four strikeouts and five walks.
Carolina jumped on Morgado in the first inning with two runs against the freshman right-hander. Reese Havens led off with a walk and after a Whit Merrifield sacrifice scored on Justin Smoak's RBI single. The Gamecocks would increase the lead to 2-0 then as Phil Disher ripped a double down the right field line to score Smoak. Tennessee got a run back in the second inning as a two-out RBI single from Josh Liles scored Danny Lima.
With a 2-1 lead, the Gamecocks got some breathing room in the fifth inning with a five spot against Morgado. Bangs got things started with a solo homer, his second of the year. He drilled a 2-1 pitch from Morgado with a round tripper over the left centerfield wall. With two outs and Scott Wingo on first base, Merrifield lined a double down the left field line that allowed Wingo to round the bases and score from first to put Carolina back on top by two runs. An intentional walk to Justin Smoak and a walk to James Darnell loaded the bases for South Carolina. The Gamecocks then caught a break as Morgado let one slip to allow Merrifield to score on a wild pitch. Tennessee again went to the intentional walk to load the bases again with Phil Disher with Andrew Crisp coming up with a key two-run single that gave the Gamecocks a 7-1 advantage.
Tennessee chipped at the Carolina cushion though as Lima launched a solo homer in the seventh inning followed by a three-run homer from Liles that brought Tennessee to within two runs.
With Carolina leading 7-5, Tennessee would bring the potential winning run to the plate as Shawn Griffin drew a one-out walk followed by a two-out walk to Cody Brown. The Gamecocks went to the bullpen and brought in Farotto with Tennessee countering with a pinch hitter in Jarred Frazier. The count went full with Farotto delivering with a called third strike to end the game and preserve the Gamecock win.
Tennessee finished with an 8-7 advantage in hits including 3-for-4 performance from Liles with four RBI. Lima also had two hits along with Brown. Phil Disher led Carolina as he went 2-for-3, the only multi-hit game for the Gamecocks.