May 16, 2004
Columbia, S.C. - Landon Powell and Michael Campbell each slugged three-run home runs as the South Carolina Gamecocks powered their way past the Tennessee Volunteers, 12-8, before a crowd of 4,250 at Sarge Frye Field for the series sweep.
The seventh-ranked Gamecocks scored five in the fourth, fourth in the fifth and three in the sixth as they won for the seventh straight time to improve to 39-13 and 16-11 in Southeastern Conference play. Tennessee, ranked No. 23, dropped its sixth straight game to fall to 34-19 and 12-15 in league action.
Eli Iorg went 4-for-5 with a grand slam, while Brian Cleveland had three hits with a two-run home run to lead Tennessee which pounded out 14 hits. Alex Suarez added a pair of hits with two RBI and Michael Rivera got two singles.
Powell, Campbell and Steve Pearce each drove in three runs as the Gamecocks posted a 13-hit attack led by Kevin Melillo's three hits.
After facing the minimum number of batters through the first three innings, the Gamecocks broke the game open with five in the fourth, capped by Campbell's three-run home run. Steven Tolleson led off with a walk and was erased on a fielders choice. A single by Landon Powell and another walk loaded the bases for Steve Pearce who worked deep into the count for the third walk scoring Melillo who reached on the fielders choice. Powell then scored on a sacrifice fly before Campbell unloaded with his 14th home run of the season to right.
Not to be outdone, Tennessee plated four in its half of the fifth on a two-run home run by Cleveland and a two-run single by Suarez. Cleveland's team-leading sixth home run snapped an 0-for-25 slump, while breaking a 22-inning scoreless streak for the Vols. Suarez's safety capped a string of three straight hits by the Vols, marking the end of the day for Gamecocks starter Arik Hempy who gave up eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.
South Carolina got back the four runs in the bottom of the inning. After retiring the first batter of the frame, Tolleson singled and took second on a balk before scoring on Melillo's hit. A walk to Powell would be the end of loser Sean Watson's (4-5) day. He would be roughed up for eight runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Brendan Winn and Pearce greeted reliever Patrick Hicklen with back-to-back doubles. Winn's hit scored Melillo, while Pearce's two bagger plated Powell and Winn for a 9-4 advantage. Pearce would be thrown out at the plate by center fielder Josh Alley following the fifth Gamecock hit of the inning by Bryan Triplett.
Powell put the game out of reach in the sixth with his 15th home run, a three-run blast to right, giving South Carolina a 12-4 lead. After giving up a one-out double to Davy Gregg who was thrown out trying to steal third, Tolleson drew a walk and Melillo singled setting the table for Powell's shot.
Iorg capped a two-out rally in the eighth with a grand slam home run to left center to pull Tennessee to within 12-8. Rivera, Cleveland and Eric King reeled off three straight singles, including two infield hits, to set the table for Iorg's third home run.
Zac McCamie (5-0), who yielded the grand slam, struck out six in 3 2/3 innings of relief for the win.
Chad Blackwell struck out the Vols in order in the ninth to snuff out any threat of a comeback.
Tennessee plays host to the Florida Gators May 21-23 in the final conference series of the season. Game times are 7 p.m., 7 p.m. and 1 p.m. ET.