Melillo & Coutlangus Homer As USC Defeats Bama

Tuscaloosa, Ala. - Kevin Melillo's one-out ninth inning home run broke a 1-1 tie and Aaron Rawl worked the final two and 1/3 innings to earn his sixth win as South Carolina defeated Alabama 2-1 on Friday evening in the first of a three-game Southeastern Conference baseball series. The win improves South Carolina to 33-17 on the year and 14-11 in the SEC while the loss drops Alabama to 32-17 and 13-12 in conference play ...

Rawl, making his second appearance since recovering from a broken finger, did not allow a hit and allowed just two batters to reach base walking one and hitting one batter. Rawl is now 6-2 on the year. Carolina starting pitcher Steven Bondurant worked six 2/3 innings and allowed one run on five hits while striking out three and walking two batters. Alabama starter Brent Carter worked eight and 2/3 innings and took the loss for the Crimson Tide, dropping his record to 8-5. Carter allowed just two runs on six hits and struck out five batters.

Alabama took a 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the third inning. A two-out RBI double by Beau Hearod scored Evan Bush from second base to put the Crimson Tide up one run. On the play, Carolina left fielder Michael Campbell, shortstop Justin Harris and catcher Landon Powell executed a perfect 7-6-2 to get Adam Pavkovich out at home plate for the third out of the inning.

Carolina tied the score at one in the top of the fifth inning. With one out, Jon Coutlangus knocked Carter's first pitch to right field for his third HR of the season. It remained 1-1 until the top of the ninth when Melillo came up with one out. After working Carter to a full count, Melillo knocked Carter's next pitch to left field for his eighth home run of the season. The Gamecocks are now 25-2 when hitting at least one home run in a game.

Game two of the series is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on Saturday with junior LHP David Marchbanks taking the mound for Carolina and sophomore LHP Taylor Tankersley getting the ball for the Crimson Tide. Saturday's game will be broadcast on SEC-TV and Fox Sports Net.

Heat index for Friday night's game at first pitch was 95 degrees.

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