We all knew that the undefeated season couldn't last forever, and it came to an end tonight as South Carolina suffered their first loss of a season, a 6-4 defeat by Ole Miss.
The Rebels wasted no time scoring, taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning thanks to an RBI single from Will Allen. That was short-lived, though, as USC tied things up in their half of the inning. The run came off the bat of Max Schrock, who went yard for the third time this season. He missed the past four games with an ankle injury and was really hobbling tonight, but still found a way to make a big impact. The run was also the first one Rebels pitcher Chris Ellis had allowed all season.
The Gamecocks had a chance to do some real damage, but left the bases loaded to close both the first and second innings. They did add some insurance in the fourth, though. Tanner English doubled, Marcus Mooney singled, and Schrock got English across the plate with an RBI single. Kyle Martin recorded an RBI single of his own immediately after, and Connor Bright contributed a sac fly to make it 4-1.
A home run from Allen made it 4-2 in the fifth, then Auston Bousfield belted a grand slam in the sixth to put the visitors on top 6-4, and that score held for the rest of the game.
Leaving the bases loaded in the first inning was bad enough, but doing it again in the second was really a problem. Those missed opportunities in the first two innings seemed destined to come back and haunt South Carolina, and the offense was stagnant for the better part of the game after that.
Gamecocks starter Jordan Montgomery also had a less impressive performance than we've been used to. He worked six innings and allowed six hits, six runs, walked three batters, hit one, and struck out five. He took the loss and drops to 3-1. Vince Fiori and Taylor Widener also took the mound for Carolina.
Ellis lasted 5.1 innings and gave up three hits, four runs, issued one walk, hit a batter, and tallied one K.
South Carolina falls to 16-1 while Ole Miss improves to 17-2. The teams will meet again for a doubleheader tomorrow, with the first game set to start at 3 p.m. and the second to begin 45 minutes after the first one ends. Both will be shown on ESPN3.