After a rain delay of more than an hour, USC and UT finally got to take the field and begin their first game of the season against each other. Unfortunately, they didn't get to finish it, but more on that later.
The Gamecocks had a chance to take an early lead, as they had runners on the corners in the second inning, but they couldn't cash in. So, the Volunteers were first on the board, taking a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning. The run came on an especially unfortunate play, too, as Elliott Caldwell dropped a fly ball, which allowed the runner to make it home.
The bottom of the inning ended with no answer from Carolina, as Tennessee made a tremendous double play. But the Gamecocks promptly turned one of their own, as DC Arendas and Kyle Martin connected, just to make things even in the top of the sixth.
No sooner had I said, "some offense would be good here," than the Gamecocks the game in the sixth inning. Joey Pankake knocked a two-out single to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, then he crossed the plate when Martin came through with an RBI double to make it 1-1.
The tie didn't last all that long, though, because the Vols regained the lead in the eighth inning. After Jordan Montgomery issued a leadoff walk, Cody Mincey came in and hit the next batter. A sac bunt and RBI sac fly followed and gave the Vols a 2-1 lead.
But then South Carolina tied it again because of course they did. Tanner English led off the bottom of the eighth with a single because his feet have wings, then advanced on a strikeout by Max Schrock and a groundout by Pankake. With two outs, a passed ball was enough to get English across the dish and knot the score at two runs apiece.
Nine innings weren't enough to break the tie, so the teams headed to extras still tied at 2-2. Things got tense in the top of the 10th, as a couple of singles and an intentional walked loaded the bases for UT. Closer Joel Seddon got out of the jam without any damage, though, and the teams played on.
At the top of the 12th inning, another rain delay stopped the game, and that lead to it being halted for the night. The contest will resume Saturday at 4 p.m. and be followed by the second game of the series.