Gamecocks Drop Game 2 In Athens

Athens, Ga. - After giving up two first inning home runs Georgia right-hander Michael Hyle held South Carolina scoreless until the ninth inning Saturday to pitch the Bulldogs to a 6-4 win over the Gamecocks before 3,152 fans at Foley Field ...

The complete game effort by the redshirt sophomore clinched the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division championship for Georgia and put the Bulldogs in position to perhaps win the overall league crown when regular season play ends with Sunday's round of conference games.

South Carolina needs a Sunday win to avoid being swept by an SEC opponent for the first time this year. The Gamecocks fell to 40-15 after Saturday's loss and are 16-13 in the SEC, three games behind Georgia, 19-10. The Bulldogs are 37-13 overall.

Hyle needed only 98 pitches, 73 of them strikes, to improve his record to 7-1. Aaron Rawl, 10-4, started for South Carolina and took the loss. He allowed six hits and five earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. Arik Hempy pitched 3 1/3 relief innings for the Gamecocks and gave up- one hit and one unearned run.

South Carolina jumped out to a 2-0 lead when Landon Powell and Brendan Winn hit back to back two out home runs in the first inning. It was the 16th of the season for Powell and a team leading 18th for Winn. Eleven of Powell's 16 home runs have come vs. SEC opponents with 11 of Winn's 18 homers also coming against conference foes.

Georgia got one run back in the second inning when Clint Sammons doubled with two outs and scored on a single by Derek Smith. The Bulldogs took a 3-2 lead with two third inning runs. Kyle Keen was hit by a pitch and Josh Smith beat out a bunt. Both runners moved up on a sacrifice and scored when Marshall Szabo singled.

Justin Holmes hit his eighth home run with Keen on base to stretch the Georgia lead to 5-2 in the fifth inning. Keen had reached on an infield hit.

Szabo walked to lead off the Georgia eighth inning, moved around to third when Josh Morris reached on a Gamecock error, and scored on a single by Sammons, the only hit allowed by Hempy.

Hyle retired the first two Gamecocks in the top of the ninth inning but Michael Campbell singled and Triplett hit his sixth home run, hit third hit of the game, to cut the Georgia lead to 6-4. Hyle struck o9ut Hank Parks to end the game.

South Carolina out hit Georgia 8-7 and out homered the Bulldogs 3-1, but Georgia made its seven hits count for six runs and the win. Sammons was the only Bulldog with two hits. Triplett had a double, single and a home run for South Carolina and Michael Campbell had two hits. The homers by Powell and Winn and an infield single by Kevin Melillo accounted for the other South Carolina hits.

Hyle was aided by two double plays turned by the Georgia infield. Georgia leads the SEC in double plays turned this season with 63.

Both South Carolina and Georgia advance to the Southeastern Conference tournament which begins Wednesday in Hoover, Ala. Georgia is assured of the first or second seed. South Carolina could be seeded from fifth to sixth depending upon Sunday results of other conference games.

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