May 31, 2003
ATLANTA – Catcher Landon Powell went 4-for-5 with two doubles and a home run, as No. 2 seed South Carolina (41-20) pounded out 16 hits en route to a 7-2 win over fourth-seeded Stetson (40-23) Saturday in NCAA Atlanta Regional action at Russ Chandler Stadium.
With the victory, the Gamecocks move within one win of a trip to next weekend’s Super Regional. Following the loss, Stetson faces East Carolina at 7 p.m. Saturday for the right to face South Carolina Sunday. Having opened the tournament 2-0, the Gamecocks will have two chances to win the Regional.
Following a third inning single and doubles in both the fifth and sixth innings, Powell connected in the eighth for a solo home run, his seventh of the season. The blast to right center increased the Gamecock lead to the final margin of 7-2. Powell drove in a pair of runs, increasing his season RBI total to 51, which ranks second on the team.
After allowing a pair of Stetson runs in the first inning, South Carolina starter David Marchbanks (14-2) cruised the rest of the way for the complete game victory. The Southeastern Conference Pitcher of Year scattered 11 hits and walked none, while striking out four.
The Hatters struck first, as right fielder John Destefano led off the game with a double to left center, took third on a sacrifice bunt and beat a throw at the plate to score as third baseman Brian Snyder reached on a fielder’s choice. Snyder later scored on a double down the left field line by catcher Chris Westervelt to increase the lead to Stetson lead to 2-0 after one.
South Carolina trimmed the lead to 2-1 in its half of the second. Left fielder Michael Campbell started the rally with a two-out single up the middle, and right fielder Steven Tolleson drove him in on a double down the left field line.
The Gamecocks took a 3-2 lead in the fourth, as Tolleson again plated Campbell, this time on a triple to left center, which tied the game at two. Tolleson then gave South Carolina the lead when he came home on a run-scoring groundout by center fielder Jon Coutlangus.
First baseman Bryan Triplett pushed the lead to 4-2 with a RBI single in the fifth. The hit scored Powell, who doubled to lead off the frame. In addition to Powell’s sixth inning run-scoring double and the eighth inning homer, third baseman Brian Buscher drove in a run with a single in the sixth.
Stetson starter Cy McCuen (9-5) took the loss after allowing four runs on nine hits and a walk in four innings. Reliever Mike Wiley worked the final five innings and allowed three runs on seven hits.