March 23, 2003
Knoxville, Tenn. - Javi Herrera's grand slam in the eighth inning snapped a 6-6 tie and propelled the Tennessee Volunteers to a 10-6 victory and series sweep over the No. 10 South Carolina Gamecocks at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
The sweep was the first by Tennessee over South Carolina since 1994. The Volunteers improved to 14-8 overall and 4-2 in the Southeastern Conference, 2 1/2 games ahead of second place Florida. The Gamecocks dropped their fifth straight league game to fall to 16-8 and 1-5 in conference play.
Tennessee jumped out a 6-2 lead after four, but South Carolina chipped away with a single run in the seventh before tying the game in the eighth. The Vols were able to load the bases in the bottom half of the inning when Josh Alley reached on an error and took second on a sacrifice. An intentional walk to Jordan Czarniecki and a base hit by Michael Rivera, who went 4-for-5, set the table for Herrera's first career grand slam and first home run at home.
Joey Andrews (1-1) picked up the win as he got Demetric Smith to ground into a double play to end the eighth as South Carolina left the bases loaded. He retired the Gamecocks in order in the ninth with two strikeouts and great diving catch by shortstop Brian Cleveland in foul ground behind third base.
Aaron Rawl (4-2) suffered his second loss in the series as he also gave up the game-winning home run to Czarniecki in the series opener Friday night. Starter Matt Campbell was lifted in the second and Cliff Donald worked 1 2/3 innings before Rawl took over in the third.
Tennessee plated four in the second thanks to five straight walks to lead off inning. Rivera's two-run single up the middle capped the scoring.
South Carolina struck for two in the third on a double by Landon Powell and one in the seventh when Demetric Smith drew a bases loaded walk to close the gap to 6-3.
Tennessee closes out its five-game home stand against Tennessee Tech on Wednesday at 7 p.m.