June 3, 2006
Charlottesville, Va. - Freshman right-hander Mike Cisco hurled his first career complete game and Justin Smoak and Trent Kline each doubled twice to help lift South Carolina to a 4-2 win over Evansville in the NCAA Charlottesville Regional. Carolina improves to 38-22 with the win while the loss drops Evansville to 40-21 this year. South Carolina will face Virginia at 7 pm ET tonight in the winner's bracket game. Evansville meets Lehigh in an elimination game before the USC-UVA game.
Cisco did not allow a hit until the fifth inning and allowed just six in the game while yielding two runs, one earned and striking out four batters. His previous high of innings pitched is eight, which he accomplished last week vs. Kentucky at the SEC Tournament (5/24) and vs. Ole Miss (4/14) last month. His record improves to 7-4 on the year.
"Being a freshman and pitching in my first-ever regional was pretty exciting," said Cisco. "I just tried to go out and put my team in a good situation to win the game. My stuff was working, I had a good curve and I was spotting up using both sides of the plate."
Evansville senior right-hander Adam Rogers was almost equally effective has he limited the Gamecocks to four runs, two earned on eight hits with two strikeouts and just one walk. He suffered the loss and is 7-5 this season.
South Carolina broke ahead 1-0 in the first inning with a run off Rogers. Trent Kline hit a one-out double, advanced to third as Neil Giesler reached base on a fielding error by Rogers, and would score on Justin Smoak's sacrifice fly to center field. Smoak would drive in Kline again to increase the lead to 2-0 in fifth inning as he lined a two-out double to right field for his second two base hit of the game.
Evansville broke the shutout in the seventh inning with a two-out rally against Cisco. Pat Tumulty collected a two-out single and advanced to second base as Robbie Minor reached base on a fielding error by Cisco. Tumulty would score on Jeff Zelenovich's RBI single to left field.
With Carolina up 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Kline came through for the Gamecocks again as his RBI double scored Andrew Crisp and gave the Gamecocks a three-run advantage again.
The Purple Aces weren't done though as they mounted a late rally in the ninth inning that was capped by Zelenovich's second RBI single of the game. With runners on first and second base and one out, Cisco stopped Evansville in their tracks as he coaxed Kyle Smith into a fielder's choice and got pinch hitter Jeff Fontaine to fly out to right field to preserve the Gamecock victory.
"My arm felt good, I might have been a little tired at the end, but I was ready to finish," said Cisco. "Being competitive, you never want to come out."
Kline and Smoak each finished with two hits to lead the Gamecocks. Smoak had two RBI on the afternoon. Zelenovich was the only Evansville player with two hits and collected both RBI for the Purple Aces.
The Carolina-Virginia baseball game can be heard live on the Gamecock Radio Network including 103.1 FM and 1320 AM in Columbia. Live audio broadcast link is also available at uscsports.com. South Carolina will start sophomore RHP Harris Honeycutt (5-0, 3.21 ERA) while Virginia sophomore LHP Sean Doolittle (11-1, 1.87 ERA) will take the mound for the Cavaliers.
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