Three Homers Power Gamecocks To 4-2 Win

<b>Columbia, S.C.</b> - Third ranked South Carolina rocked Delaware State starter Shawn Phillips with three home runs in a four run third inning Friday night and hung on for a 4-2 win in the first of a three game series to improve the Gamecock baseball record to 15-0 ...

The second game is scheduled for 4 p.m., Saturday at Sarge Frye Field.

Junior right-hander Billy Buckner worked six innings and allowed all six Delaware State hits and both runs to notch his fourth win of the season. He struck out seven and walked one.

Chad Blackwell, the fourth South Carolina pitcher of the night, struck out two of three batters that he faced to earn his sixth save. Buckner, Zac McCamie, Arik Hempy and Blackwell combined to strike out 11 Delaware State batters while walking one.

The Gamecock pitchers retired the final 16 Hornet batters in the game. Phillips pitched seven innings and was charged with the loss. He allowed nine hits, six of them in the four run Gamecock third inning as his record dropped to 3-2. Delaware State fell below .500 at 8-9.

Delaware State scored first with a first inning run on hits by Garrett Weir and Brandon Gravely sandwiched around a walk to C. J. Acker.

Michael Campbell hit his third home run of the season to lead off the bottom of the third inning. Nick Gardiner singled with one out. With two outs Bryan Triplett hit a two run homer, his fourth, and Steve Pearce followed with ninth, the fourth time this season that South Carolina batters have homered back to back. Pearce in 15 games has 28 runs batted in.

With two outs in the top of the fourth inning Justin Rust doubled, the only extra base hit by Delaware State, and Kevin Hill drove him home with a base hit to cut the Gamecock lead to 4-2. Brandon Tanner followed with a single but was the final Delaware State base runner as the next 16 Hornets went down in order.

Davy Gregg had three of South Carolina's nine hits, including a double. Landon Powell stretched his personal hitting streak to 11 games with a third inning hit that did not figure in the scoring.

The 11 strikeouts increased the season total by the South Carolina pitching staff to 182 in 134 innings. Gamecock pitchers have walked 17. The staff earned run average is 1.75. Offensively the Gamecocks have a team batting average of .367.

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