May 27, 2005
Hoover, Ala. - Tennessee bunched four hits with two hit batters and a sacrifice fly to score four runs in the seventh inning Friday for a 4-1 victory that eliminated South Carolina from the 2005 Southeastern Conference baseball tournament.
The Volunteers, 41-18, advanced to meet Mississippi State Saturday. Mississippi State is one of two teams, along with Florida to be undefeated through two rounds of the tournament. South Carolina, 1-2 in three tournament games and 38-21 on the season, returns to Columbia to await word on a bid to the NCAA championship tournament.
South Carolina which collected 18 hits to defeat Tennessee 12-2 Wednesday, the opening day of the tournament, managed only three hits Friday against left-hander James Adkins who struck out 12 in eight innings to improve his season record to 8-4. Brent Marsh, 3-3, who allowed all four Tennessee runs was charged with the loss. Sean Watson pitched the ninth inning for Tennessee to earn his sixth save.
The four run uprising overshadowed an outstanding five inning effort by sophomore left-handed Gamecock starter Arik Hempy who held Tennessee scoreless despite allowing one hit in each inning that he worked.
Two of South Carolina's three hits came in the second inning when the Gamecocks took a 1-0 lead.
Back to back one out singles by Michael Campbell and Tommy King put runners at the corners and Campbell scored on a sacrifice fly by Neil Giesler. The only other Gamecock hit was a seventh inning single by Giesler.
Marsh relieved Hempy after five innings and retired the Vols in the sixth but Joey Andrews singled to lead of the Tennessee seventh.
Josh Alley hit an apparent double play ball to second baseman Tommy King who forced Alley at second but King's wild throw allowed Alley to reach second. Eric King singled and J. P Arencibia was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Chase Headley drove in two runs with a single and Kelly Edmundson was hit by another pitch to again load the bases. A sacrifice fly drove in the third run and Julio Borbon singled to drive the fourth.
Tennessee collected 10 hits, five off Hempy, four off Marsh and one off John Gregory, with four hits in four at bats by shortstop Eric King leading the way. King's first inning double was the only extra base hit of the game.
South Carolina, hopeful of its sixth consecutive bit to the NCAA tournament and 21st overall, will await announcement of the 64 team field on Monday.
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