Gamecocks Eliminated 5-1 By Auburn

Ray Tanner began the press conference by saying, "This wasn't a very hard game to understand. It was the Arnold Hughey show all day long. Their pitcher was outstanding. They were on the board in the first, and that's all they needed. Arnold Hughey was just better than us today." ...

We were here for three games. We're disappointed about that. We got 15 hits in the first game, but our pitchers couldn't stop Alabama, but Alabama's a great team. We didn't swing the bat the last two days but pitched well enough to win the last two days. It's hard to explain our offense, it's been that way all year.

(WILL USC HOST A REGIONAL?) I really don't know. If I had to say one way or the other, I'd say we're hosting. But like many times in my life, I could be wrong.

I gotta believe the SEC will get four host sites. For a number of seasons, we've had three or four. The sites and venues are good enough to have four, but we'll wait and see.

That's baseball, we win 9 of our last 10 and are solid in all facets of the games. But the three games here, we were inconsistent. It's frustrating from a coaching standpoint, but that's what this game does to you. Hopefully you get another chance with it and go on another run.

Brian Buscher: I didn't see but two fastballs today. (Arnold Hughey) threw changeups when he got ahead. I didn't get any good swings.

I don't know how to explain it (the offensive struggles). We try to take it one day at a time. The guy today was just unbelievable though.

Auburn's Hughey Eliminates Gamecocks 5-1 From SEC Tournament

From USC Sports Information

HOOVER, Ala. - Auburn sophomore left-hander Arnold Hughey pitched a five hit complete game Saturday to eliminate South Carolina 5-1 from the Southeastern Conference baseball tournament.

Hughey, 6-5, lost his shutout in the ninth inning when Bryan Triplett walked, stole second base and scored on a doubled by Kevin Melillo, the only extra base hit of the game. Matt Campbell, 5-4, the South Carolina starter, was charged with the loss. He allowed six hits and three runs, two of them unearned, in six innings.

South Carolina, which had committed only one error in its last nine games against Southeastern Conference opponents, was charged with three errors Saturday.

Auburn advanced to a Saturday evening game against Alabama while South Carolina went home to await word on a possible host site for an NCAA regional tournament. The Gamecocks, 39-20, are a cinch for a post season bid but won't know until Sunday afternoon if they will host for the fourth consecutive year or travel to another regional site.

Auburn, 40-18, is also assured of a regional bid and the SEC could send as many as seven teams to the playoffs.

South Carolina, which lost to Alabama 9-7 Thursday and defeated Vanderbilt 3-2 Friday, went 1-2 in the conference tournament at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. The Gamecocks swept their final three conference series over Kentucky, Alabama and Georgia to win the SEC Eastern Division championship for the fourth time in five years and finished second to Western Division champion Louisiana State in the overall conference race.

Auburn took a 2-0 first inning lead. Javon Moran singled with one out and moved to second base as Tug Hulett grounded to second base. Moran scored on a base hit by Bobby Huddleston. He scored when Clete Thomas dribbled a grounder in front of the plate and Gamecock catcher Landon Powell's throw struck Thomas in the back for an error.

Karl Amonite, who reached base five times on three walks and two singles, walked with one out in the third inning. He raced to third on an error by Gamecock shortstop Justin Harris and scored on a fielder's choice by Thomas.

The score remained 3-0 until the top of the ninth inning when Moran and Hulett singled off South Carolina relief pitcher Chris Hernandez. Moran raced to third and scored on an errant throw to third by left fielder Michael Campbell. Hulett scored on a sacrifice fly by Scott Schade.

In his post game comments South Carolina coach Ray Tanner said, "This game wasn't hard to understand. It was Hughey all day. He pitched outstanding. Our guys tried hard. Hughey was just better than us today. We won nine out of ten before the tournament (one non-conference loss) and the three we played here were inconsistent."

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