(Notes and Quotes included.). ..."> (Notes and Quotes included.). ...">

Gamecocks Eliminated From The CWS 13-6

"We hit 12 or 14 balls right on the screws, but they came up with the plays to keep us off the board," Ray Tanner said. "I wish we could have pushed a few across early. We had our opportunities. They pushed them across, we didn't." The Gamecocks left nine runners on base through the first five innings, Stanford played great defense. The Yardbirds finish the season with a 45-22 record. <b>(Notes and Quotes included.).</b> ...

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Notes and Quotes from the College World Series

USC's season comes to an end.

Omaha, Neb. - Tuesday morning the team awoke around 8 a.m. and started coming down to the restaurant for breakfast. There was a buzz in the air around the hotel lobby. The team knew that Stanford was going to be a tough opponent, as the Cardinal was certainly one of the best teams in the country.

* The Carolina fans were ready once they got to Rosenblatt Stadium. Most of the fans were seated up behind the home team dugout, along the third base line. Several of the players' girlfriends and/or sisters, were dressed alike in white shorts and imitation jerseys with the players' names on the back, including jerseys with the names of Kevin Melillo, Brian Buscher, David Marchbanks, Jon Coutlangus, Justin Harris, Steven Bondurant, and Landon Powell. The girls were filmed by ESPN's cameras both before and during the game.

* As mentioned in Monday's diary, the team had visited Children's Methodist Hospital in Omaha. One of the young patients, a five-year-old boy by the name of Charlie Peters, had befriended the Gamecock baseball team and played pitch and catch with the team in the hospital lobby. The team invited Charlie and his family to be their guests at the game. Charlie wore a Gamecock hat and sat right beside the dugout for a couple of innings. ESPN did an interview with Charlie's mother, Jenny. She said that the team had made such an impact on Charlie. His wish now was to travel to the beaches of South Carolina (he had never seen the ocean) and come back through Columbia and visit some of the ball players. Let's hope that Charlie's wish can come true. He is such a special little boy.

* The game didn't turn out like Carolina wanted it to. The Gamecocks squandered some scoring opportunities early in the contest and found itself playing catch up the entire game. The team did gather itself and make a rally in the late innings, thanks to home runs by Brian Buscher, Bryan Triplett and Steven Tolleson. It was just too much Stanford, however, and the Gamecocks' stay in Omaha has come to an end.

* Following the game, head coach Ray Tanner said he was extremely proud of his team. "I couldn't be prouder of this group. They battled all year long. They fought through some adversity and they showed they belong among the elite in college baseball. Stanford was the better team today, but I am proud of the season this team had."

* Tuesday's game marked the final collegiate outing for USC third baseman Brian Buscher. The All-SEC selection had a big day Tuesday, with two doubles and a home run. Said Buscher after the game: "I've really enjoyed my time at USC. Coach Tanner is the best. He has this program going where it needs to go. It's been great being a Gamecock. I will miss the fans and I will miss the experience of playing at Sarge Frye."

* Coach Tanner will depart for Tucson, Ariz., Wednesday so he can begin preparations for the Team USA he will be serving as head coach this summer. The team begins tryouts later this week and will play more than 30 games this summer, before concluding with the Pan American Games in the Dominican Republic.

* Despite the loss to Stanford, the team made a strong statement in 2003. The positive exposure they generated for the University cannot be measured. Congratulations to the players and coaches for an outstanding season.

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