March 22, 2003
Knoxville, Tenn. - Derek Tharpe turned in a yeoman's effort on the mound as he scattered 11 hits over 8 1/3 innings in helping Tennessee to a 4-2 victory over the No. 10 South Carolina Gamecocks at Lindsey Nelson Stadium as the Volunteers clinched the series win. Tennessee goes for the series sweep on Sunday at 2 p.m.
With the win, Tennessee gained a one-game lead in the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division with a 3-2 mark and 13-8 record overall. South Carolina fell to 16-7 and 1-4 in league play.
Tharpe (3-1), who gave up two runs (one earned) with seven strikeouts and no walks, worked his way around the infield as South Carolina scratched out five infield hits.
Luke Hochevar notched his second consecutive save as he retired two of the final three Gamecock hitters on strikeouts.
South Carolina struck for a run in the first on back-to-back two-out doubles by Brian Buscher and Landon Powell.
That two-run rally marked the end of Gamecock starter David Marchbanks (4-2) who took the loss in 3 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits. Chris Hernandez went the rest of the way, surrendering just one run on three hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Bryan Triplett plated on a balk to pull the Gamecocks to within one at 3-2 in the sixth. He reached on a bunt hit and took third on a throwing error by Tharpe as he and catcher Javi Herrera collided down the first base line.
Tennessee, however, got the run back in the bottom of the frame as Kyle Norrid scored on Nick Crowe's sacrifice bunt, after singling, taking second on pinch hitter Josh Alley's hit and third on a fielders choice.