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Gamecocks Beat Tar Heels in Super Battle of Carolinas 5-4
Kevin Melillo (27) celebrates with teammate Nick Gardiner(38) as he scored the go-ahead run in the fourth inning.
 
Kevin Melillo (27) celebrates with teammate Nick Gardiner(38) as he scored the go-ahead run in the fourth inning.

June 6, 2003

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COLUMBIA, S.C. - Michael Campbell's two-run single in the fourth inning gave South Carolina the lead for good and David Marchbanks survived a shaky start and pitched six strong innings leading the Gamecocks to a 5-4 win over North Carolina in their NCAA Super Regional opener before 6,066 rain-soaked fans at Sarge Frye Field on Friday.

With the win the Gamecocks improved to 43-20 on the season and moved to within one victory of the school's second consecutive appearance at the College World Series. North Carolina dropped to 42-22.

"That was one heck of a college baseball game today", said South Carolina coach Ray Tanner, whose team is participating in its fourth straight Super Regional. "I'm really proud of the way our team responded today. North Carolina can really swing the bats. Marchbanks got banged up early but like any experienced veteran he battled really hard."

North Carolina grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first on Sammy Hewitt's two-out single to center that scored Jeremy Cleveland. Steven Tolleson reached on an error to open the bottom of the inning and eventually scored when Landon Powell connected on a 3-2 pitch for his eighth homer of the season, a two-run blast to right center, that gave the Gamecocks a 2-1 lead.

UNC answered with three runs in the top of the second. Wes Moyer's two-run homer to center gave the Tar Heels a 3-2 lead, and Cleveland's two-out single to left drove in Blair Waggett for a 4-2 UNC advantage.

Powell, who has reached base in 11 of his last 13 plate appearances, had two hits and drove in three runs including an RBI single in the third that scored Justin Harris cutting UNC's lead to 4-3.

In the bottom of fourth inning, South Carolina's Kevin Melillo and Nick Gardiner opened the inning with hits and, after advancing on Jon Coutlangus' sacrifice bunt, both scored when Campbell lined an 0-2 pitch to center for the game-winner.

 

 

Chris Hernandez (28) pitches during the ninth inning against North Carolina.


Campbell's ninth outfield assists of the season helped preserve the Gamecocks' one-run lead in the top of the fifth inning. With UNC catcher Chris Iannetta on first base and two outs, Wes Moyer lined a Marchbanks offering into the left field corner where Campbell came to a sliding stop to field the ball near the foul pole, fired a strike to shortstop Justin Harris, whose relay throw to Powell at the plate nailed Iannetta for the final out of the inning. Campbell, a freshman, is just one assist shy of USC's single-season record of 10 set by Paul Hollins in 1981.

Marchbanks (15-2) earned the win allowing four runs, two earned, on seven hits, while walking four and striking out five. Marchbanks, the SEC's Pitcher of the Year, settled down and blanked the Tar Heels on just three hits over the final 4 1/3 innings.

USC's Chris Hernandez, who blanked East Carolina, 4-0, in last week's Atlanta Regional opener, pitched the final three innings allowing a hit with a walk and three strikeouts for his second save of the season.

Daniel Moore (7-3) suffered the loss surrendering five runs, three earned, on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings of work.

"Obviously it was disappointing not to win the game, but we have to congratulate South Carolina on their victory," said UNC coach Mike Fox. "It was a strange game and one that had the look of a 12-10 type game early on. Credit David Marchbanks for settling down and throwing strikes. South Carolina got timely hits and made the plays they needed to make." Game two of the series is scheduled for 12:35 on Saturday. North Carolina is projected to send freshman lefty Adam Kalkof (7-1, 3.92 ERA) to the mound, while the Gamecocks are slated to pitch Steven Bondurant (lhp, 6-3, 3.90).

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