COLUMBIA -- South Carolina's baseball team has a flair for the dramatic, but its trademark suspense was saved for another day in Saturday's 9-1 victory over Tennessee.
The No. 1 Gamecocks didn't produce any magic only because they didn't need any. They carved out a workmanlike performance, racing to a 5-0 third-inning lead and coasting thereafter in front of 4,871 at Sarge Frye Field.
South Carolina tied the record for SEC victories with 24, a mark set by the Volunteers in 1994. The Gamecocks (49-6 overall, 24-5 SEC) will have a chance to stake sole claim to the record today in both teams' regular-season finale.
Another day, another game, another record. Ho-hum.
"I'm not much of a guy that keeps up with statistics or records," said South Carolina coach Ray Tanner. "But I know in this league, if you're breaking any records or tying any, you're having a pretty good year because this is a great conference."
Every Gamecock had at least one hit and the team amassed 15. The Vols had 12 hits but little to show for them on the scoreboard, thanks largely to 12 stranded runners and a solid effort by South Carolina starter Peter Bauer, who gave up one run in eight innings and recorded five strikeouts. He's now 11-1.
"Once again, we get a quality start from our pitcher," Tanner said. "He scattered some hits, but he was up in the zone a little bit and we played some solid defense."
Said Bauer: "It doesn't matter if I give up 10 home runs and we win 12-10. It doesn't matter to me, as long as I go out there and pitch well enough for us to win."
By virtue of Kentucky's 7-3 victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday, Tennessee (40-22, 10-17) was eliminated from this week's SEC Tournament, which begins Wednesday in Birmingham, Ala. South Carolina will play either the Wildcats or Ole Miss on Wednesday at 9 p.m.
The Gamecocks, the top-ranked team for the past four weeks, have already set a school attendance record this season by drawing 95,895 fans to their 34 home games. If more than 4,105 attend today's 1:30 p.m. game, South Carolina will nudge past the 100,000 mark.
Tennessee's most promising threat came in the fourth, when three straight singles loaded the bases with one out and left the Vols primed to cut into a 5-0 deficit.
But Bauer coaxed the next two batters, Ryan Moffett and Kris Bennett, into weak fly-outs to snuff it out.
"I worked out of a lot of jams today because I had great players behind me," Bauer said.
NOTES: Nate Janowicz and Marcus McBeth paced the Gamecocks by combining for six hits and three RBI. Janowicz's fifth triple of the year tied a school record..Brennan Dees' two-run homer in the first inning was the ninth of the season for the South Carolina right fielder.
Georgia Tech 20
Wake Forest 10
Jason Basil, Bryan Prince and Brad Stockton each had four hits and combined for 10 RBI as Georgia Tech blitzed Wake Forest pitching for 22 hits in a victory in Winston-Salem, N.C.
The victory clinched the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season title for Georgia Tech (42-13, 18-5 ACC) and the top seed in next week's ACC tournament in Fort Mill, S.C.
Georgia Tech scored 12 runs in the middle three innings to blow open the game, taking a 17-4 lead. Georgia Tech got home runs from Stockton, Prince and Mark Teixeira, who went 3-for-5 with four RBI.
Wake Forest (37-16-1, 13-10) used seven pitchers while recording its first double-digit defeat of the season. Don Conway went 1-for-3 with two RBI to pace the Demon Deacon offense.
Rhett Parrott (7-2) threw five innings, striking out seven batters, to earn the win for Georgia Tech. Wake Forest starter Ryan Braun (3-3) couldn't get out of the second inning while giving up five runs in the loss.
The teams play again Sunday in the regular season finale for both teams.
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