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USC's Smoak turns up the power

Justin Smoak has been on a record binge of late, and the trend continued Tuesday at Sarge Frye Field.

The junior first baseman from Goose Creek, who became the program’s all-time career home-run leader over the weekend, hit three three-run homers in the Gamecocks 14-4 victory against USC Upstate.

The three home runs and nine RBIs tied single-game school records and established career-highs in both categories for Smoak, who hit two from the left side of the plate.

“This is actually the first time I’ve ever hit one out from both sides in the same game, not in high school or even when I was growing up, so this was kind of exciting,” Smoak said.

His first homer broke a 1-1 tie in the third inning and put the Gamecocks ahead for good.

Smoak wasn’t the only Gamecock to feast on USC Upstate pitching. Havens led off the bottom of the first with a homer to left on USC Upstate starter Scott Eckard’s third pitch. Havens reached base five times, going 3-for-3 with two walks, four runs scored and two RBIs.

In the fourth, Smoak hit his second three-run blast, and Phil Disher added a two-run shot. Disher and Smoak share the team lead with 13 home runs this season, one more than Havens and James Darnell.

Sam Dyson (4-0) allowed five hits and two earned runs in five innings during his fourth weekday start.

Junior Jordan Costner, who had been sidelined since March 27, 2007 because of a torn labrum, returned to duty with one inning of work. He struck out two of the three batters he faced in a perfect sixth.

Crisp awaits MRI results. South Carolina junior baseball Andrew Crisp is sidelined indefinitely pending the results of an MRI exam.

Crisp, a junior, underwent back surgery in January and was injured in a collision with Whit Merrifield during Sunday’s game at Auburn.

Crisp underwent an MRI exam on Tuesday and will meet with Dr. Talley Parrott of Midlands Orthopedics on Thursday.

Crisp did not play Tuesday night against USC Upstate, will not play today against Clemson and was listed as doubtful for the weekend series against Mississippi.