For the first time in a long time, USC got on the board first today. Marcus Mooney had a lengthy at-bat that resulted in a leadoff single, He advanced on a Gene Cone sac bunt, then came home on an RBI double from Joey Pankake. Pankake crossed the plate a minute later, courtesy of an RBI base hit from Kyle Martin, and the Gamecocks were up 2-0 early.
They tacked on another run in the fourth inning, when Jordan Gore registered an RBI double.
Bama ended the shutout in the next inning, though. Carolina starting pitcher Wil Crowe started to struggle a bit, giving up a single and a double to start the inning. Then came a walk that loaded the bases, and Chase Vincent brought in the Tide's first run with an RBI fielder's choice. Mikey White and Georgie Salem followed with consecutive RBI singles, which tied the game. That was all they could manage, though, as Cody Mincey got the home team out of the inning without any further damage.
The Gamecocks regained the lead in the sixth inning. DC Arendas led off with a walk and moved up on a sac bunt from Gore. Tanner English got plunked, and both came home on a 2RBI single from Cone. Martin contributed another RBI single soon after, and South Carolina took a 6-3 lead.
Two more runs for the Gamecocks came in the next inning, as Arendas and Gore had one-out singles, as did English, who beat out his bunt because he is a fast human. With the bases loaded, Mooney belted an RBI single and made it 7-3 in favor of the home team.
USC wasn't done scoring yet, as Greiner brought Martin home in the eighth, then Arendas got Greiner across the dish, bumping the score up to 9-3.
Crowe had a strong outing until things fell apart a bit in the fifth. He worked five innings and allowed five hits, three runs, walked four batters, and struck out three. Mincey and Joel Seddon went the rest of the way for the home team. Mincey earned the win and is now 4-0; Seddon got the save, which is his 12th of the season.
Alabama starter Tucker Hawley lasted two innings and gave up five hits, two runs, didn't issue any walks, and tallied one K. Nick Eicholtz took the loss and falls to 2-1.
Martin led USC at the plate with four hits, while Mooney and Gore each had three. Salem and Austen Smith paced the Crimson Tide with two hits each.
The Gamecocks had 17 hits today and everyone did a really nice job, but two freshmen, Cone and Gore, were really impressive. That's great to see, especially given the injury bug and subsequent lineup shuffling that's been necessary this year.
South Carolina improves to 34-11 overall (12-9 in the SEC), while Alabama drops to 29-15 overall (13-8 in conference play). The Gamecocks have no midweek game(s) and will return to action on Friday, when they travel to Athens for a series against the Bulldogs. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.