Carolina Defeats UNC 14-4!
By winning another Super Regional and once again eliminating the UNC Tarheels, The USC Gamecocks are headed back to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska (complete story, notes and quotes included) ..."> Carolina Defeats UNC 14-4!
By winning another Super Regional and once again eliminating the UNC Tarheels, The USC Gamecocks are headed back to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska (complete story, notes and quotes included) ...">

Carolina Is Going To Omaha - AGAIN!

<font size="+3" color="#c80000"><b>Carolina Defeats UNC 14-4!</b></font><br> By winning another Super Regional and once again eliminating the UNC Tarheels, The USC Gamecocks are headed back to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska (complete story, notes and quotes included) ...

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Brian Buscher and Landon Powell hit two homers each and Justin Harris added four hits as South Carolina broke open a close game by scoring 10 runs in their final three at bats en route to a 14-4 win over North Carolina and a sweep of their best-of-three NCAA Super Regional before 5,782 at Sarge Frye Field on Saturday.

With the win the Gamecocks improved to 44-20 overall and advance to the College World Series for the second consecutive season and for the seventh time in school history overall. The Tar Heels end the season with a 42-23 record.

South Carolina's six previous trips to the Omaha occurred in 1975 (2nd place), 1977 (2nd), 1981 (4th), 1982 (7th), 1985 (7th) and 2002 (2nd).

"After getting to Omaha last year with a very talented group of players and losing a large majority of them and having some veterans back, this was a tremendous challenge for us," said South Carolina coach Ray Tanner, whose team has won 206 games over the past four seasons. "We had trouble finding combinations early in the year to make us go, but these guys got it together on the field and deserve a tremendous amount of credit."

"South Carolina certainly deserved to win this regional, they out played us," said North Carolina coach Mike Fox. "They've been playing extremely well and with a lot of confidence and it really showed. I congratulate them and wish them luck in Omaha."

The Tar Heels opened the scoring in the second inning. Ryan Blake's two-out single to center scored Sean Farrell and Wes Moyer's RBI double to right scored Blake from second for a 2-0 UNC lead.

The Gamecocks, who pounded out 21 hits on the day, answered with four runs in the top of the third inning. Brian Buscher's RBI single to right scored Michael Campbell cutting UNC's lead to 2-1, and Powell followed with his ninth homer of the season, a towering three-run shot to left, that gave USC a 4-2 advantage.

After UNC cut the margin to 4-3 with an unearned run in the fourth, USC scored three times in the top of the seventh to take a 7-3 lead.

Justin Harris led off the inning with a hit and scored when Buscher followed with his 13th homer and 100th hit of the season, a two-run shot down the right field line that extended the Gamecock's lead to 6-3. Powell followed with a double to right, moved to third on Bryan Triplett's bunt single, and scored on Kevin Melillo's sacrifice fly to center field.

Blake had an RBI single in the seventh for North Carolina, and USC reserve Tim Seaton added a run-scoring single in the top of the eighth giving USC an 8-4 lead. The Gamecocks exploded for six runs on five hits in the top of the ninth including back-to-back homers by Buscher and Powell for the final margin.

Buscher finished with a season-high six RBI and enjoyed his third four-hit game of the season. Harris scored three times and had four hits for the fifth time this spring, while Powell collected three hits and drove in four. UNC got two hits each from Farrell, Blake, Moyer, Jeremey Cleveland and Blair Waggett.

Steven Bondurant (7-3) scattered 11 hits over 6 1/3 innings of work to earn the win. He allowed four runs, three earned, while walking one and striking out seven.

Adam Kalkhof (7-2) suffered the loss surrendering four runs on five hits in 2 1/3 innings of work. South Carolina Notes

Has 10 or more hits in all five NCAA Tournament games this year. The Gamecocks have 72 hits in their five tournament games and allowed 44 hits in those five games. USC has outscored their opponents 39-13.

The 21 hits is the 2003 post season high for the Gamecocks. The previous high was 16 against Stetson on May 31st. It is the second highest hit total for South Carolina in 2003. The season high is 26 against Wofford on April 30, 2003.

The 14 runs is the most runs scored by USC since scoring 14 against Georgia on May 17th.

Bondurant pitched two innings last year against North Carolina and allowed five runs, on seven hits. Today Bondurant allowed four runs on 11 hits, and one walk in six and two-third innings pitched. Bondurant struck out seven.

Justin Harris extended his hitting streak to five games. Harris is 11 for 21 in the NCAA Tournament. (.524) Harris totaled four hits in the game and it is the fifth time this season he did that.

Buscher's throwing error in the second inning was his third of the NCAA Tournament and second of the Super Regional's. Buscher has 16 on the season.

Brian Buscher extended his hitting streak to five with his RBI single in the third inning.

Buscher's homer in the seventh inning was his 13th of the season. The multi-RBI game is his 16th on the season. Buscher's second home run of the game was the third time this season that he hit two in the same game. It is also the first time that a USC hit two in a game since Landon Powell hit two on May 17th against Georgia. Buscher drove in six runs on the day which tied his season high against Wofford on March 19.

Powell's second homerun was his tenth of the season. Powell has a four game hitting streak and has hit a home run in three of his last four games and has 10 RBI's in that span. Powell has seven RBI's in the North Carolina series and three homers. In his last 15 at bats, Powell has 11 hits. He has reached base safely in 15 of his last 19 plate appearances.

Powell and Buscher's back to back homers is the first back to back home runs for South Carolina since June 2, 2002 when Steve Thomas and Yaron Peters hit consecutive home runs in the eighth inning of an 8-4 USC loss to North Carolina in the NCAA Regional Tournament in Columbia.

The Gamecocks are making their seventh trip to the College World Series and it is their second consecutive NCAA appearance. The last time the Gamecocks went to back-to-back CWS was in 1981 and 1982.

The Gamecocks are 3-5 when committing three or more errors. The last time USC committed three errors in a game was against Auburn in the SEC Tournament on May 24, 2003. The Gamecocks lost that game 5-1. The season high for South Carolina is five against James Madison on February 14th..

Last time Gardiner had two hits in a game was Feb. 19 against the Citadel.

USC is 33-3 when hitting a home run.

Tim Seaton recorded two RBI's which is a season high. Seaton has seven on the season.

North Carolina Notes

Cleveland's hit in the fifth inning tied Brian Roberts for hits in a season with 102 and his single in the seventh inning broke the record. Kalkhof's recorded his first decision since April 19th, 2003 against Duke. He has combined to pitch only four inning in his last two starts.

Farrell tied for all-time runs batted in at UNC with 214. The Tarheels have had 10 or more hits in 12 of their last 13 games. The only game they have not recorded 10 hits in is Game 1 of the NCAA Super Regional against South Carolina.

USC Attendance Notes

5,782 - Game Two Attendance

For 34 home dates, USC has totaled 105,220 fans to give USC an average of 3,006.

Quotes From Both Teams

North Carolina Head Coach Mike Fox

On today's game: "I would like to congratulate Ray Tanner, his staff and his ballclub for getting to Omaha in back to back seasons. That is an outstanding achievement, especially after losing a lot of players from last year's team. They outplayed us today and deserved to win. Their team is playing well and with great confidence."

On two-out hits: "Two-out hits are what it takes to win at this time of year. We were able to get them and win at Mississippi State, but we did not get it done here. That is just the way the game is. Sometimes you hit the ball right at people and sometimes it finds a hole. South Carolina stepped up and got it done with people on base. That is what you have to do in these games."

On his offense: "We had trouble getting the lead-off man on base today. It seemed like every time we were in a position to score and had runners on base, we also had two outs. Steven Bondurant threw well for them. We knew what was coming, with breaking balls about 75 percent of the time, but he put them where they needed to be."

On the location of the NCAA draw: "I just hope we are in a position to be in the draw next season. You have no control over who you play and where you play. We want to be in this position. If I had the opportunity to play in the Super Regional the next five years and they all were in Columbia, I would take it. It means you are among the final 16 teams left with a chance to reach Omaha."

On the experience difference between pitchers: "Bondurant pitched like a fifth-year senior. He has worked his way up through the years. He fought and worked himself into the rotation and realized all that the hard way. Adam Kalkhof has pitched in big games for us this year, but he did that as a freshman. The experience in starting pitchers was to their advantage."

North Carolina RF Jeremy Cleveland

On not getting timely hitting: "It was disappointing, today we needed more timely hitting. We did not play any parts of the game well today, our pitching and defense was not there. Hits come and go we just did not get the right ones today."

North Carolina C Ryan Blake

On the home field advantage at Sarge Frye Field: "I don't think it necessarily hurt us. We have played in all kinds of parks. Last week we played at Mississippi State and that was unbelievable. Fans don't bother us. They have a great following and hats off to them, but I am so proud of our guys. This was unbelievable. I promise UNC will be back in this position again."

On a budding rivalry between UNC and USC: "I think there is a rivalry between the teams after yesterday. This definitely starts a rivalry between us and them."

South Carolina Head Coach Ray Tanner

"When won the regional in Atlanta last weekend and North Carolina won that regional in Starkville, MS the first thing I saw in the press release was that the last time that the Tarheels went to the College World Series they went via Starkville to get there. I really didn't like the omen-like tone of that. I knew coming in that they had really great club and I knew it was going to be a real challenge. I just can't say enough about our team. We had trouble finding combinations and struggled earlier this year. I just can't say enough about how resilient that this team is."

On making it back to the College World Series through a tough season: "I've always been told that there are very few steps between the outhouse and the penthouse. When you have guys like David Marchbanks and Steven Boundurant and a staff that has been solid and we just always waited for our offense came around."

On USC fans: "I was thinking today that this has to be a difficult place to come in and play. Our home record has been amazing. Coach Fox and I were talking about how great our fans are and you just can't thank them enough"

South Carolina 3B Brian Buscher

On Omaha: "The biggest thing is to not be overwhelmed by the crowds."

On one of his two HR's: "It helps when you have 7000 people yelling for you. It gives you a feeling that you can not explain."

South Carolina C Landon Powell

On mid-season sacrificing ritual: "We are college baseball players, and we do weird things. We just got together and each put one thing in a barrel and then set it on fire."

On Coach Tanner: "Coach Tanner has always been a stern guy, but he always means well.

South Carolina P Steven Bondurant

On his outing today: "I felt good out there, I knew North Carolina had a good offense. I was just trying to play damage control early."

"It feels good to go out and have a good outing for your team."

On going back to Omaha: "Last year was a great experience, It is going to be great to get to go back to Omaha."

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