USC Clinches 4th SEC East Title In 5 Years

Columbia, S.C. - South Carolina scored two unearned runs in the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie and added insurance runs in the seventh and eighth to clinch the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division championship for the fourth time in five years with a 5-2 win over Georgia ...

Louisiana State clinched the Western Division title and the overall championship with an 11-3 win over Arkansas. The Gamecocks will play the seventh seed at 1 p.m., Central time, possibly Alabama, Arkansas or Tennessee, in the opening round of the SEC tournament at Hoover, Ala. On Wednesday. LSU will play the eighth seed.

The second game of the three game series with Georgia is scheduled for 4 p.m., Saturday with the regular season scheduled to end with a 1:30 p.m., game on Sunday. South Carolina improved its overall record to 36-18, 17-11 in the SEC, while Georgia dropped to 29-24, 10-18.

Steven Bondurant, 5-3, pitched 6 1/3 innings to claim the win. He was charged with six hits and both Georgia runs. Aaron Rawl allowed one hit over the final 2 2/3 innings to earn his fifth save. Georgia red shirt freshman Michael Hyde, 6-1, suffered his first collegiate loss. Only one of the runs he allowed was earned but Hyde's throwing error led to the two sixth inning Gamecock runs.

Singles by Jon Coutlangus and Kevin Melillo, a fielder's choice and Brian Buscher's sacrifice fly staked South Carolina to a 1-0 third inning lead. Georgia tied it on a solo home run by Justin McClain in the top of the sixth inning. It was McClain's fifth homer of the season.

In the bottom of the inning with one out Matt Riddle singled and Bryan Triplett laid down a sacrifice bunt. Hyle fielded the bunt but threw wildly to first and the Gamecock runners wound up at second and third base. Riddle scored when Michael Campbell's hard ground ball eluded Georgia third baseman Lee Mitchell for an error with Triplett advancing to third. He scored on a Tim Seaton sacrifice fly to make it 3-1.

Georgia cut the margin to 3-2 in the top of the seventh. Clint Sammons doubled with one out and Jascha Balcom singled with Sammons stopping at third base. Rawl relieved Bondurant. Sammons scored on a fielder's choice.

Buscher hit his 12th home run of the season to lead off the bottom of the seventh to make it 4-2 and South Carolina added a fifth run in the eighth. Campbell singled, moved to third on a double by Coutlangus and scored on a base hit by Melillo.

Sammons hit his second double of the game with two out in the Georgia ninth inning and Balcom walked to bring the tying run to the plate. Rawl struck out pinch hitter Ned Yost to end the game.

Melillo and Coutlangus had perfect nights at the plate for the Gamecocks. Melillo had a double, two singles, two walks and one run batted in. Coutlangus had a double, two singles, a walk and scored one run. Bryan Triplett had two hits, including a double, in the 11 hit Gamecock attack.

McClain, Sammons and Balcom had two hits apiece to account for six of the seven hits by Georgia.

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