South Carolina takes game one, 8-5

May 1, 2009

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COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina blasted three home runs and used a workhorse start from Sam Dyson to defeat Vanderbilt, 8-5, Friday night at Carolina Stadium.

The Gamecocks moved to 28-18 overall and 10-12 in Southeastern Conference play, while the Commodores fell to 27-18 and 10-11 in league action.

USC built a 5-1 lead early and scored at least a run in the first four innings to win on Friday night against VU for the first time since the 2004 campaign.

Sam Dyson (7-3) held the Commodores in check for seven innings, allowing just two runs, before tiring in the eighth and ninth. He allowed five runs on nine hits in 8.2 innings of work with seven strikeouts and two walks while throwing 139 pitches.

VU trailed 8-2 heading into the eighth before breaking through with a RBI single by Riley Reynolds in the eighth and a RBI single by Curt Casali in the ninth. The fifth and final run of the game came on a RBI groundout by Andrew Giobbi.

Alex Farotto struck out Aaron Westlake for the final out of the game to pick up his sixth save of the year.

Jonathan White led the Commodores with three hits on the night, while Jackie Bradley Jr. led the Gamecocks with three hits and two RBI.

Steven Liddle’s solo homer in the first, his eight homer of the year, gave the Commodores a 1-0 lead.

Bradley Jr.’s two-run homer with two outs in the first put the Gamecocks on top 2-1. DeAngelo Mack singled with one out and starter Mike Minor struck out Nick Ebert before giving up the homer to right-center.

The Gamecocks added three more in the second to extend the lead to 5-1. Justin Dalles led off the frame with a solo homer to left, his ninth of the year. Parker Bangs then drew a four pitch walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Bobby Haney. Scott Wingo lined a triple to right-center to score Bangs and then scored himself on a perfectly executed squeeze bunt by Whit Merrifield.

VU scored a run in the third when Steven Liddle doubled with two outs, moved to third on a wild pitch and then came home on Curt Casali’s RBI single up the middle.

South Carolina got the run back in the bottom half courtesy of Nick Ebert’s solo homer to left-center field, his 16th of the year. They put up another run in the fourth on a bases loaded walk to Nick Ebert to extend the lead to 7-2.

Minor (4-4) tied his career high with seven runs allowed on nine hits in 5.2 innings with one strikeout and a career high four walks. His streak of four consecutive double-digit strikeout outings ended in the loss.

USC plated another run in the seventh on an error on a fly ball to left by Joe Loftus.

Nick Christiani gave up one unearned run in 1.1 innings of relief on just one hit. Jack Armstrong closed out the game with a scoreless eighth. He made his first career SEC appearance and his first appearance since throwing an inning against Belmont on April 1.

The Commodores and Gamecocks will play the second game of the three game set tomorrow night at 6 p.m. CT. VU’s starter will either be right-hander Caleb Cotham (5-4, 4.84 ERA) or right-hander Drew Hayes (4-2, 4.22 ERA), while SC will counter with southpaw Nolan Belcher (2-3, 4.17 ERA).

Vanderbilt          101   000   010  -  5    9    2
South Carolina  231   100   10x  -  8   10   1

Minor, Christiani (6), Armstrong (8) and Giobbi. Dyson, Farotto (9) and Dalles. W- Dyson 7-3, L- Minor 4-4. Sv- Farotto (6). HR: VU: Liddle (8) SC: Bradley (9), Dalles (9), Ebert (16)



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