June 4, 2010
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Lumber slumbers early,
thunders late for Gamecocks
By Phil Stanton
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The bats were quiet early, but
Jackie Bradley Jr. had a two-run homer in the
bottom of the eighth to give the Gamecocks their first lead as
top-seeded South Carolina rallied past fourth-seeded Bucknell
9-5 Friday evening in the second game of the Columbia Regional
in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in front of 6,712 fans
at Carolina Stadium.
The Gamecocks (44-15) will meet third-seeded The
Citadel at 7 p.m. Saturday evening. The Bison (25-34) will
battle second-seeded Virginia Tech at 2 p.m. in an elimination
South Carolina was listless through the first
five innings, stranding eight and trailing 5-1 in the sixth.
“They did a nice job on the mound early,” said
South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner. “We got some hits but no
runs. We kept playing and kept fighting and found a way to get a
win. We are happy to be able to survive and advance.”
Evan Marzilli awoke the stadium with a two-run
homer, his third, with two outs to pull USC to within two.
The Gamecocks loaded the bases with no outs in
the seventh on a bunt, a walk and a bunt. Robert Berry’s
sacrifice fly made it a one-run contest at 5-4.
Doug Shribman looked like he was going to have a
leadoff double to start the eighth for Bucknell, but a fine
running catch by Berry into the right field corner helped keep
the Bison off the board.
Whit Merrifield drew a leadoff walk in the bottom
of the eighth and Bradley’s blast gave USC its first lead at
“When I first hit it, I did not think it was out
of here,” Bradley said. “But when I saw it start to carry and
the ball got to its peak, I know I got pretty much all of it.”
A walk and a hit batsman set the table for Adrian
Morales, whose three-run bomb gave the Gamecocks some insurance.
Michael Roth (1-1) got two strikeouts and a
groundout in the ninth to secure the victory. Roth was
outstanding in relief, pitching 3.1 hitless innings with no
walks and five strikeouts.
Bucknell started the scoring in the top of the
fourth as Ben Yoder yanked one out to left for his 11th dinger
of the season. Andrew Brouse was hit by a pitch and, with a 1-2
count on Doug Shribman, the game was halted for one hour and
nine minutes for rain and lightning. When play resumed, Brouse
stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and came in on an
error to give the Bison a 2-0 advantage.
Bob Donato had a RBI double and Drew Constable
added a run-scoring single in a three-run sixth as Bucknell
built its 5-1 lead. The Bison knocked out USC starter Sam Dyson
(5.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 87 P).
“I’m proud of the way our team competed tonight,”
said Bucknell head coach Gene Depew. “I think we came out and
played very well, at least through the first eight innings in
the game. We had timely hits early that produced some runs.”
Morales finished with three hits, two runs and
three RBI. Adam Matthews had two hits and two runs for USC.
Brouse finished with two
hits and two runs for the Bison. Dylan Seeley got the start and
went 5.2 innings for Bucknell with nine hits, three runs, all
earned, two walks and two strikeouts. He left with a 5-3 lead.