Tolleson's 10th Inning Single Delivers Win For USC

Steven Tolleson put an exclamation point on his return from hamstring and knee injuries as he singled home the game-winning run in the bottom of the 10th Sunday to deliver the only run of the game in a 1-0 victory over Alabama. The hit made a winner of Matt Campbell, who pitched the first complete game shutout of his career. USC is 9-9 in the conference and tied for third behind Florida and Tennessee.

Steve Tolleson has this extra-inning heroics thing nailed.

Tolleson delivered a clutch, two-out single in the bottom of the 10th Sunday as South Carolina, in desperate need of a conference victory, edged Alabama, 1-0, before 3,915 fans at sunny Sarge Frye Field.

Tolleson also hit a 10th-inning homer at Clemson on March 7th to beat the Tigers, 8-7.

USC is 29-11 overall, 9-9 in the SEC. Alabama fell to 24-18 overall, 6-12 in the SEC.

After being roughed up in last Saturday's loss at Kentucky, Matt Campbell pitched one of the best games of his career at USC. He limited Alabama to three hits, struck out 10, and twice retired 10 batters in a row. The Crimson Tide never advanced a runner to third.

It was the first complete game shutout of his career and puts the junior southpaw in prime position for the fourth National Player of the Week award of his career.

USC had plenty of chances to breakthrough on the scoreboard. USC had a total of 12 hits and left nine runners stranded. The Gamecocks had two runners on in three of the first four innings and left the bases loaded in the 7th.

Campbell gave up a walk and single with one out in the 1st before striking out the next two hitters to get out of trouble.

USC also put two runners on with one out in the bottom of the 1st but Brendan Winn flied out to right and Tolleson struckout.

After Campbell set down the Tide in order in the 2nd, a baserunning blunder cost the Gamecocks in the bottom of the inning. Steven Pearce walked to lead off the inning. After a flyout by Hank Parks, Davy Gregg sacrificed. Gregg was thrown out, and Pearce wandered too far off the second base bag and was tagged out for the double play.

Campbell's streak reached eight in a row after a perfect 3rd. Michael Campbell and Landon Powell had two-out singles for USC in the bottom of the 3rd but Winn struckout swinging to end the inning.

Matt Campbell surrendered a two-out single and walk in the 4th after retiring 10 in a row. A 4-3 groundout ended the inning.

A 4-6-3 double play ended USC's 4th.

The first Alabama batter in the top of the 5th reached on an error by Triplett at third. He was erased moments later when Winn caught a fly near the foul line and gunned down the runner scrambling to get back to first.

Tankersley whiffed the first two batters in the bottom of the 5th before Triplett had a two-out single. Moments later, he was thrown out stealing.

With game still scoreless, USC let a golden opportunity to score a run slip away in the 6th. Michael Campbell started the inning with a double to right. But Powell struckout, Winn fouled out, and Tolleson flied to right.

USC had something going with two outs in the 7th when Gregg and Melillo singled off Tankersley. For Melillo, it was his first hit since returning to the lineup Wednesday.

Triplett walked on five pitches to load the bases. That brought the red-hot Michael Campbell (8 hits in last 11 at-bats) to the plate. Alabama coach Jim Wells decided to remove Tankersley in favor of Seth Johnson, a righthanded pitcher from Utah.

Campbell jumped on the first pitch and hit a hard grounder right at the Alabama second baseman. He fielded the ball cleanly and threw to first to retire Campbell for the third out.

Campbell continued his strong pitching into the 8th as he set down Alabama in order on two strikeouts and a groundout.

Winn lined a one-out infield single off the pitcher's leg in the bottom of the 8th. He was sacrificed to second by Tolleson. That brought up Pearce, 1-for-8 in the series.

Pearce lined a shot that just landed foul down the left field line. He then blooped one that landed a few feet foul down the right field line. After that, Pearce hit a weak grounder to third for the final out.

Campbell worked a perfect 9th with two strikeouts. Campbell retired 10 in a row after a two-out single in the 6th.

Davy Gregg legged out an infield single with one out in the bottom of the 9th. Melillo squared to bunt only once before striking out on a called third strike.

With Triplett at the plate, Gregg took off for second and was tagged out on a head first slide.

Campbell pitched the 10th for USC and, after an error allowed the leadoff batter to reach, set down the next three hitters.

Triplett led off the bottom of the 10th with a walk. Campbell lined a shot down the left field line that was fair by a few feet. Third base coach Jim Toman initially waved Triplett around at first but then put up the stop sign. Triplett ran through the stop sign and was thrown out by 10 feet.

Landon Powell was intentionally walked to put runners at first and second with one out. Winn grounded out to the pitcher, advancing both runners into scoring position.

Tolleson laced the first pitch he saw into right field for the game-winning hit, scoring Campbell with the first, and only, run of the game.

NOTES:
Current SEC East standings:
Florida 11-7,
Tennessee 10-8, South Carolina 9-9,
Georgia 9-9,
Vanderbilt 7-11,
Kentucky 5-13

USC now leads the all-time series with Alabama, 18-17. . .Alabama was shut out for the first time in 122 games Sunday. . .Campbell pitched USC's first complete game shutout since Chris Hernandez blanked East Carolina in last season's NCAA Regional in Atlanta. . .Take away the six runs in the 9th Saturday and Alabama scored a grand total of three runs in its other 27 at-bats. . .USC is 5-2 in one-run games. . .Michael Campbell was 9-for-13 in the series. . .Four USC players had at least two hits Sunday. . .The only inning USC didn't have a hit was the second.

ALA - 000 000 000 0 - 0-3-1
USC- 000 000 000 1 - 1-12-2

WP-Matt Campbell (6-2)
LP-Seth Johnson (2-2)
SAVE-None.
HR-None.
TIME-2:50
A-3,915.

Next Game: Wed. 4/28 v. Wofford, 7:00 p.m.

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