Hempy's Complete Game Masterpiece Blanks Ole Miss

Freshman Arik Hempy struckout 11 and allowed only four hits as South Carolina shutout Ole Miss, 3-0, Sunday in final game of a three-game series at Sarge Frye Field. It was the second consecutive complete game shutout by a USC pitcher on Sunday. Brendan Winn had a RBI double in the first and Landon Powell a two-run homer in the eighth to account for all of the scoring. USC is 11-10 in the SEC and travels to Auburn next weekend.

Watching Arik Hempy pitch, it is difficult to believe the lefthander from Raleigh, NC is only a freshman.

Hempy turned in a performance for the ages, shutting out Ole Miss on four hits and 11 strikeouts Sunday as South Carolina defeated the Rebels, 3-0, in the third and deciding game of a critical SEC series before 2,885 fans at Sarge Frye Field.

What made the complete game performance all the more remarkable is that Hempy pitched three shutout innings Friday night in USC's 7-3 victory. Overall, Hempy allowed only four hits in 12 innings against the Rebels during the weekend. He threw 142 pitches Sunday.

USC improved to 32-12 overall, 11-10 in the SEC. Ole Miss fell to 33-14, 12-9 in the SEC.

Hempy got all of the offense he would need Sunday in the first inning with a RBI double by Brendan Winn. Neither team scored again until the eighth, when Landon Powell (2-for-4, 2 RBI) drilled a two-run homer to add a couple of important insurance runs. It was his 13th home run of the season.

Hempy was impressive from the opening pitch, sailing through the 1st without the ball leaving the infield (6-3, P-6, K).

Michael Campbell (2-for-4, 2 runs scored), batting leadoff for the first time this season, singled to open the bottom of the 1st for USC. After a sacrifice and strikeout, Winn doubled down the left field line to score Campbell with the first run of the ballgame.

Steven Tolleson walked to put two runners on with two outs, but Steve Pearce's problems at the plate continued when he popped to short.

Hempy surrendered a leadoff single to Ole Miss' "Mr Everything," Stephen Head, in the 2nd. After a sacrifice, Hempy struckout the next two hitters to get out of the inning.

The bottom third of the USC batting order went down quietly in the 2nd, although Davy Gregg did hit the ball well but right at the Ole Miss centerfielder.

Hempy set down the Rebels in order in the top of the 3rd, meaning he faced only one batter over the minimum through the first three at-bats for the Rebels.

The top of the USC batting order struggled against Ole Miss starter Matt Maloney in the bottom of the 3rd, with two strikeouts and a groundout (great scoop and stretch by Head at first).

The Rebels got a leadoff single in the 4th but Hempy retired the 3-4-5 hitters, including Head, without much difficulty.

USC continued to struggle against Maloney in the 4th, a two-out single by Pearce the exception.

Hempy issued his first walk of the game with two outs in the 5th. A stolen base gave the Rebels their first runner in scoring position. A strikeout (Hempy's sixth in five innings) ended the inning.

In the 5th, USC was retired in order for the third time in the first five innings.

Hempy walked the leadoff hitter in the Ole Miss 6th, the third time the Rebel leadoff hitter had reached base. Ole Miss got two baserunners on for the first time when Hempy hit Head with a pitch with two outs.

Davy Gregg made a nice running catch to snare a sinking liner to center for the third out, denying Ole Miss a potential game-tying hit.

Powell lined a one-double off the leftfield wall in the bottom of the 6th, only the second hit for USC since the 1st. Winn struckout swinging for the second out. Tolleson bounced to third to end the inning.

Hempy gave up a one-out double to left in the top of the 7th but a 5-3 groundout failed to advance the runner. Hempy got two quick strikes on the Rebels' No. 9 hitter before three balls forced the count full. The payoff pitch was swung on and missed for strike three.

The bottom of the 7th was quiet for USC, with a pair of groundouts and a strikeout (pinch-hitter Steven Reinhold).

Hempy remained in the game for the 8th to face the top of the Rebels order. He flawlessly passed the test, retiring Ole Miss in order on two routine grounders and an inning-ending strikeout.

USC picked up a pair of key insurance runs with two outs in the bottom of the 8th when Powell smacked a towering homer to left-center, scoring Campbell (infield single) ahead of him.

Hempy, mostly running on adrenaline at this point, struckout Head to open the 9th. He gave up a single to left to the next batter. A routine fly to left became the second out.

Ole Miss sent up a pinchhitter with a .091 batting average. Hempy quickly overpowered him with two fastballs before three pitches up and away moved the count full. Hempy reared back for one more fastball and got the strikeout to complete the masterpiece.

NOTES: USC now leads the all-time series against Ole Miss, 18-10. . .USC is 26-6 at home this season. . .The shutout Sunday was USC's ninth of the season. The school record is 14 shutouts by the 1975 staff that featured Earl Bass. . . Hempy's longest stint of the season prior to Sunday was 6.1 IP against Alabama last weekend. . .Hempy has allowed only 19 hits and 8 runs in 39.2 IP this season. . .Powell's 2-run HR in the 8th gives him 51 RBI for the season. . . Powell is now tied with Brendan Winn for the team lead in HR with 13. . .Powell had his 23rd multiple hit game of the season. . . There is no midweek game this week due to final exams. USC travels to Auburn next weekend. . .Chad Blackwell did not pitch this weekend and should be well rested for Auburn. . .USC has won 7of 9 games. . .Sunday's game was played in a crisp 2:15, meaning the 3:20 p.m. curfew was never a factor. First pitch came at 12:04 p.m.

MIS – 000 000 000 = 0-4-0

USC – 100 000 02x = 3-6-0

WP-Arik Hempy (3-1)

LP-Matt Maloney (1-2)


HR-USC, Powell (8th, one on).



Next Game: Fri. 5/7 at Auburn, 7:30 p.m. Next Home Game: Fri. 5/14 v. Tennessee, 7:00 p.m.

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