If you thought the first game today was exciting, it turns out that it was just an appetizer for the second one.
What. A. Day. #GamecockBaseball— Curt Britt (@TCBrittIII_35) March 30, 2014
In their second meeting of the day, UT jumped out to an early lead. Nick Senzel led off the second inning with a walk, then came home on a one-out RBI double from Taylor Smart. Nathaniel Maggio followed that with an RBI single, David House knocked a double, Johnny Youngblood came through with an RBI single of his own, and Scott Price contributed an RBI sac fly to give the Vols a 4-0 lead.
Things got a bit worse, as the Volunteers added some insurance in the fourth inning, Price and A.J. Simcox notched RBIs and bumped the score up to 6-0 in favor of the visitors.
The Gamecocks ended the shutout in the bottom of the inning, though. Joey Pankake and Kyle Martin kncoked back-to-back base hits to start things off, then Grayson Greiner plated Pankake with a two-out RBI single. Carolina put up two more runs in the next inning, as Marcus Mooney and Game 1 hero Jordan Gore both singled, and then both made it home thanks to an RBI sac fly from Pankake and an RBI single from Martin, which made it 6-3.
South Carolina looked pretty much done for with two outs and the bases empty in the ninth inning. This is Gamecock baseball, though, so it was time for some late-game insanity. Pinch-hitter Brison Celek singled, and Max Schrock followed that with a two-run homer, because of course he did. Suddenly, USC was trailing by just one. Then it was time for some baseball March Madness. Joey Pankake made it to second thanks to an error, Martin walked to pack the bases, and Greiner belted a WALK-OFF GRAND SLAM to give USC the victory.
That's right: back-to-back walk-off wins that came just about four hours apart. That's a thing that really happened. The victory means the Gamecocks clinch the series, too, so that's cool.
140 characters can't describe what I'm feeling right now. All I know is I love my teammates, coaches, family, friends, and these fans!— Grayson Greiner (@ggreiner21) March 30, 2014
Jack Wynkoop, who pitched earlier today in the resumption of game 1, started this game, but lasted just 1.1 innings. He gave up four hits, four runs, walked one batter, and struck one out. Reed Scott pitched six innings of relief and allowed four hits, no runs, issued two walks and tallied two K's. He earned the win and is now 1-0. Vince Fiori also took the mound for the Gamecocks. Today's game was another reminder that we have a really, really good bullpen, and without them, this season might not be going as well as it is.
Tennessee starter Hunter Martin worked 5.1 innings and surrendered seven hits, three runs, walked one batter, and struck out two. Drake Owenby took the loss and falls to 2-1.
Greiner led Carolina at the dish with three hits, while Youngblood also had three to pace the Vols. Pankake extended his hitting streak to 14 games.
South Carolina improves to 22-3 (5-3 in the SEC), while Tennessee drops to 19-6 (3-5 in conference play). The Gamecocks will go for the sweep when they meet again tomorrow, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:30 p.m.