Pearce Homer Lifts Gamecocks To 5-3 Win Over Wofford
May 19, 2004
Columbia, S.C. - Steve Pearce's 15th home run of the season, a two out two run shot in the eighth inning, powered fifth ranked South Carolina to a 5-3 come from behind win over Wofford Wednesday night before 3,548 fans in the final regular season home game at Sarge Frye Field.
The Gamecocks, 40-13 and 16-11 in the Southeastern Conference, close out the regular season this weekend with a three game SEC series at Georgia. The SEC tournament begins March 26 at Hoover, Ala. Wofford ended its season at 17-30.
Junior right-hander Cliff Donald, the third South Carolina pitcher, allowed one hit over the final 3 2/3 innings to earn the win and improve his record to 2-0. Freshman right-hander Charles Vartanian, 5-7, was charged with the loss.
Wofford built a 3-0 lead with single runs in the first, third and fourth innings before South Carolina broke through against Terrier starter Chris Clark with two fifth inning runs on just two hits. Davy Gregg and Steven Tolleson singled with one out with Gregg racing to third on the Tolleson hit. Kevin Melillo drove in Gregg with an infield out and Tolleson scored on a wild pitch.
South Carolina tied it at 3-3 in the seventh inning. Brian Triplett singled, moved to second as pinch hitter Steven Reinhold walked and both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt. Gregg Scored on a sacrifice fly by Tolleson.
In the tie breaking eighth inning Michael Campbell beat out an infield hit with two outs and stole second base. Pearce homered over the centerfield fence to give South Carolina its first lead of the game. Donald retired Wofford in order in the ninth inning to sew up the victory. Donald struck out five and walked none. The only hit he allowed was to the first batter he faced, David Dufour, which put two runners on base with one out. Anthony Dinardo hit into a double play to end that Wofford threat.
Billy Buckner, out for five weeks with mononucleosis, made his first start for South Carolina since an April 16 loss at Kentucky. He worked 2 1/3 innings, struck out four, allowed two hits and left trailing 2-0. Buckner gave up a first inning home run to Steve Casey, his ninth of the season, and an unearned run in the third inning that was set up by Buckner's throwing error on a sacrifice bunt by Tony Carbone. That sent Matt Davis to third and he scored on a sacrifice fly by Casey.
Wofford went up 3-0 with a fourth inning run off Gamecock reliever Harris Honeycutt who walked Stephen Johnson and Scott Holloway to open the inning. Honeycutt struck out the next two batters but Zach Pittman singled to drive in Johnson.
South Carolina had runners at second and third with one out in the bottom of the first inning but failed to score. Melillo beat out an infield hit and Landon Powell doubled but the next two Gamecocks popped up to end the threat.
South Carolina managed seven hits by seven different batters and Wofford's six hits were by six different batters.