Honeycutt Pitches Gamecocks To 6-3 Win Over Vanderbilt
May 20, 2006
Nashville, Tenn. - Sophomore right-hander Harris Honeycutt worked a career-high eight innings and Andrew Cruse finished the ninth inning to earn his second save as 17th ranked South Carolina earned a 6-3 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday in the final game of a three-game SEC baseball series. Carolina ends the regular season 36-20 and 15-15 in the SEC while the loss drops Vanderbilt to 33-23 and 16-14 in the conference. Carolina is the No. 7 seed at the SEC Tournament and will face No. 2 seed Kentucky on Wednesday, May 24 at 10 am CT at Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Ala. Kentucky claimed the No. 2 seed by virtue of Alabama's win over Tennessee Saturday.
"Today was a character win for our team," said USC head coach Ray Tanner. "We did what we had to do to beat a very good Vanderbilt team. We certainly would have liked to have had a better finish to the end of the season. There are so many great teams in the SEC and it has been difficult with the injuries and our pitching situation. I'm proud of our players and the way they have battled back the last two weekends when we lost our first two games of a series and were able to win on Sunday. As great as our league is, it is not easy being 15-15 in the conference. Mississippi State was the seventh seed last year (at the SEC Tournament) and good things happened for them."
Honeycutt allowed just three runs on six hits in his eight innings of work. He struck out six batters and walked four. The sophomore right-hander is not 5-0 on the year. Cruse retired all three batters he faced in the ninth and struck out two batters to earn his second save of the year. Vanderbilt starter Ty Davis suffered the loss and is 5-5 on the year. Davis allowed four runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and two walks allowed.
For the third consecutive day, Carolina grabbed the early lead in the first inning with two runs. Trent Kline hit a one-out triple to the gap in right center and scored on a RBI groundout from Justin Smoak. Neil Giesler would score the second run on a passed ball that got by catcher Brian Hernandez.
The Commodores would cut into the Gamecock lead with a run in the second inning. Dominic de la Osa reached on a fielder's choice with one out, stole second base and scored on a two-out RBI single by Shea Robin. Carolina however would extend its lead to 4-1 scoring a pair on the fourth inning. Reese Havens would contribute with a RBI single that was followed up by a sacrifice fly from Cheyne Hurst. Vanderbilt again came within one run as they scored a pair in the fifth inning on a two-run two-out homer by Pedro Alvarez.
The Gamecocks would gain some insurance runs in the eighth and ninth innings. Phil Disher hit his first homer of the year in the eighth inning as he crushed a one-out solo homer to left center off of reliever Stephen Shao. The last run in the ninth inning would come on a RBI double by Andrew Crisp, his second double and third hit of the game. Trent Kline also tied a career-high with three hits as the Gamecocks finished with 12 on the afternoon. Reese Havens also had two hits. Pedro Alvarez and Brian Hernandez each had two hits for Vanderbilt.
The Gamecock Radio Network will carry each of the games at the SEC Tournament with Mike Morgan and Tom Price calling the action. Live stats and live audio will also be available at uscsports.com and secsports.com.