Kentucky Loses Heartbreaker, 5-4, at South Carolina
May 2, 2003
Columbia, S.C. -
With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, Kentucky's Caleb Brock blasted a line drive to left center field that was tracked down by left fielder Michael Campbell, who made a spectacular leaping catch against the wall to kill UK's chances of a comeback and secure a 5-4 win for South Carolina.
South Carolina (30-17, 11-11 SEC) broke a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the seventh when pinch hitter Steve Tolleson worked a bases loaded walk to score Kevin Melillo from third base. Kalen Gibson, working in relief, got a popup on the infield and a strikeout to strand the bases loaded and stop the Carolina rally. The Cats missed a golden opportunity in their half of the eighth as they loaded the bases with two outs, but a groundout to third ended the frame.
Kentucky (19-26, 6-15 SEC) erased a 4-1 deficit in the top of the fourth as Caleb Stewart and Aaron Edwards both played long ball to help tie the game at 4-4. Stewart's blast to left center to lead off the inning was the third for him this season and, after Brad Pickrell reached with a solid single, Edwards launched his first career home run to the same spot in left center to tie the game.
When Kentucky starting pitcher Scott Wade struck Jon Coutlangus, he set the career record for innings pitched with 344 2/3, passing Scott Smith, who pitched from 1990-93. Wade was strong on the evening, throwing six plus innings, allowing four earned runs on 10 hits and striking out four.
South Carolina wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard as Kevin Melillo led off the bottom of the first inning with an opposite-field double off the wall in left. He moved to third on an infield single from Justin Harris and came in to score on a groundout from Brian Buscher, giving the Gamecocks an early 1-0 lead. Kentucky answered with a run of its own in the top of the second when Caleb Stewart doubled with one out, moved to third on a Caleb Brock single and crossed the plate on Brad Pickrell's double down the left field line. Brock and Pickrell were stranded, though, on a line out and strike out, leaving the score knotted at 1-1.
South Carolina scored three runs in the bottom of the second inning. Bryan Triplett doubled and Michael Campbell and Jon Coutlagus followed with consecutive singles. All three eventually scored to put the Gamecocks up, 4-1.
The same two teams will be in action tomorrow, Sat. May 3, at 4 p.m. EST from Sarge Frye Field in Columbia, S.C.