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No. 2 Seed South Carolina Tops East Carolina, 4-0, To Open Atlanta Regional

May 30, 2003

ATLANTA – Second baseman Kevin Melillo went 3-for-4 with a home run and two runs batted in, and Chris Hernandez fired a five-hit shutout to lead No. 2 seed South Carolina (40-20) to a 4-0 victory over third-seeded East Carolina (33-26-1) Friday in NCAA Atlanta Regional action at Russ Chandler Stadium.

With the victory, the Gamecocks move on the face to winner of Friday’s Georgia Tech-Stetson meeting at 3 p.m. Saturday, while the Pirates will take on the loser of the nightcap in an elimination game at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Melillo’s run-scoring single down the left field line, highlighted a five-hit first inning for the Gamecocks, who also scored a pair of runs on East Carolina errors to take a 3-0 advantage after one. Melillo struck again in the third with a solo home run to right center, his 11th round-tripper of the season, increasing the Gamecock lead to 4-0.

The four-run cushion would be more than adequate for Hernandez, who improved to 5-4 with the shutout victory. He allowed just five hits and two walks over nine innings for his third complete game of the season. Hernandez also fanned six Pirate batters.

In addition to Melillo’s three hits, South Carolina third baseman Brian Busher and first baseman Bryan Triplett each went 2-for-4.

ECU starter Will Brinson took the loss to fall to 3-4 this season. He tossed 7.1 innings and allowed 11 hits and four runs, three of which were earned. He stuck out nine batters while walking none. Scott Andrews worked the final 0.2 innings for ECU.

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