May 29, 2009

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B's and E's lead to W for USC

By Phil Stanton Co-Founder

GREENVILLE, N.C. – Parker Bangs and Jackie Bradley, Jr., (right, photo by Rob Goldberg) both had three hits, including a home run, and South Carolina took advantage of four George Mason errors in winning the first game of the Greenville Regional 11-3.


The Gamecocks (39-21) will play Saturday evening at 6 p.m. against the winner of the East Carolina-Binghamton game. The Patriots (42-13) will face the loser at 2 p.m.


Bangs, who tied a career-high with his three hits, belted a two-run homer in a four-run fourth that put the Gamecocks ahead to stay. Two Patriot errors aided the rally.


Bradley (3 for 5, 3 R) followed a miscue in the sixth with a two-run homer to put USC ahead 8-1.


Nick Ebert had a solo shot in the seventh for South Carolina before a rain delay halted action for 1:18. Andrew Crisp belted a two-run double on the first pitch back from the delay to complete the scoring.


Whit Merrifield had an RBI single in the fourth and a two-run base hit in the fifth for the Gamecocks.


Chris Henderson was the offensive star for Mason. He walked and scored in the first, and added a two-run double in the seventh. Mark Hill had two hits for the Patriots.


Mason had a chance for a huge first, but with one in, one out and the bases loaded, a double play ended the threat.


“I thought the first inning was huge,” said USC head coach Ray Tanner. “We got a room service double play to get out of the inning. We get out of the inning with only a run and that was really key for us. I really felt that the first inning was the turning point.”


Bobby Haney also matched his career high with three hits for the Gamecocks.


Sam Dyson (9-4) pitched seven innings for USC with seven hits, three runs, four walks and five strikeouts in earning the victory.


“The first inning was a little shaky,” Tanner said about Dyson, but then he settled down and gave us some quality innings. He battled for us. He hasn’t really pitched well on the road, but he battled for us today.”


Mike Modica (11-2) allowed 10 hits and six runs (four earned) in five innings for Mason with three walks and two strikeouts. The four errors by the Patriots matched the total from the season opener against USC Upstate.


“Disappointed is the understatement of the day,” said Mason head coach Bill Brown. “I felt like we were going to come in and be competitive and we weren’t today. We really didn’t play like a team that’s competing to win this regional. Ideally we’ll make that adjustment this evening and get on track a little bit.”


Notes: The dinger by Bangs gave South Carolina three straight seasons with at least 100 home runs and seven times in the past 10 years.


The Gamecocks are 11-0 in opening round NCAA Regional games under Tanner.


(photo by Rob Goldberg, courtesy of ECU Media Relations Office)