Riddle Is Clutch Going 2 For 2 - SC Over Bama 9-6

Tuscaloosa, Ala. - South Carolina scored all of its runs in two innings Saturday, five in the fifth and four in the seventh, to come from behind twice to defeat Alabama 9-6 and take a 2-0 lead in a Southeastern Conference baseball series ...

The third and final game is scheduled for 2 p.m., CDT Sunday. A South Carolina win would give the Gamecocks their first ever sweep at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Saturday win evened the overall series between the Gamecocks and the Crimson Tide at 15-15.

Chris Hernandez, 4-4, was the winning pitcher in relief of starter David Marchbanks but Aaron Rawl, who got the win Friday night, was called upon to get the final out and pick up his fourth save. Alabama loaded the bases on a hit and a walk surrendered by Hernandez and a walk by Rawl to load the bases before Allen Rice ended the game with a fly to left field.

Brian Reed, 2-2, in relief of Alabama starter Taylor Tankersley, was charged with the loss. South Carolina improved its overall record to 34-17 and strengthened its hold on first place in the SEC Eastern Division with a 15-11 Conference record. Florida lost 8-3 to Mississippi Saturday to fall 3 ½ games behind the Gamecocks with four conference games remaining.

Alabama fell to 32-18, 13-13 in the SEC West.

Alabama jumped out to a 3-0 lead with a run in the second inning on three hits and a two run third inning home run by Beau Hearod before the Gamecocks batted around in the top of the fifth and scored five times on five hits and two walks. Michael Campbell tripled to drive in one run. Matt Riddle pinch hit for designated hitter Demetric Smith and drove in two runs with a bases loaded single as the first batter to face Reed.

Alabama scored once in the bottom of the fifth and took a 6-5 lead with two runs in the sixth. Travis Garner singled, stole second, moved to third on a fly to the outfield and scored when Adam Pavkovich grounded out. Hearod then hit his second home run of the game to give the Tide a 6-5 lead. The homers raised Hearod's season total to 18.

South Carolina regained the lead with its four run seventh inning. Brian Buscher and Landon Powell singled and with one out Kevin Melillo walked to load the bases. Riddle drove in his third run of the game with a single to tie the score. With two out Michael Campbell drove in two runs with a base hit and Riddle scored on a wild pitch to end the day's scoring.

Campbell had two hits and matched the three runs batted in by Riddle. Riddle, Powell, Buscher and Justin Harris had two hits in a 12 hit South Carolina attack. Alabama out hit the Gamecocks 14-12, with Hearod having three hits. Travis Garner, Adam Pavkovich, Zac Welch and Al Hecklinski each had two hits.

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