This team just has to make things difficult.
That game took about 15 years off my life..... #gamecocks— Reed Scott (@Reed_Scott42) May 16, 2014
After both teams got off to slow starts, South Carolina had a golden scoring opportunity with the bases loaded in the fourth inning. Unfortunately, they left them loaded, because I guess that's something they're into this season.
Vandy then scored in the bottom of the inning (because of course they did), when Vince Conde knocked an RBI single to make it 1-0 in favor of the home team.
However, the Gamecocks answered right after. Marcus Mooney was hit to start the sixth, Max Schrock singled, and Kyle Martin contributed a sac bunt to advance the runners. Grayson Greiner was walked intentionally to fill the bases again, and this time, USC capitalized (at least a little). Joey Pankake knocked an RBI single to tie the game, then DC Arendas grounded out to make it 2-1 Gamecocks.
The Commodores regained the lead in the next inning, though, as Zander Wiel came through with an RBI double for Vanderbilt and Conde brought in a run with a sac fly, putting them on top 3-2.
Things looked grim heading to the ninth, but then Carolina did its late-game-excitement thing. Gene Cone walked to lead off the inning, advanced on sac bunt from pinch-hitter Jordan Gore, and came home on a two-out RBI single from an ailing Schrock to tie the game.
A wacky bottom of the ninth went in the Gamecocks' favor, and it was time for free baseball. Pankake went yard with one out, putting South Carolina on top 4-3 and waking Mike Patrick from slumber.
Jordan Montgomery had a pretty solid performance tonight. He worked seven innings and allowed eight hits, three runs, walked one batter and struck out eight. Cody Mincey and Joel Seddon also pitched for the Gamecocks. Seddon earned the win and is now 3-1.
'Dores starter Tyler Beede also had a strong outing. He tossed 8.1 innings and gave up six hits, three runs, walked four batters, and struck out six. Brian Miller took the loss and falls to 1-1.
Schrock and Pankake each had two hits to lead USC at the plate. Wiel and Xavier Turner also paced Vandy with two hits each. Greiner went hitless, ending his streak at 11 games.
The Commodores were pretty rude and stole a lot of bases tonight, which is sort of uncommon against the Gamecocks, given Greiner's cannon of an arm. But it happened, and it was not so good, and I would like for it to not happen again. We did get to see Tanner English's cannon of an arm - he's faster than you are at everything - when he threw out a runner at home, all the way from center field.
In other news, Schrock's back (or, god forbid, something else) bothered him during the game, and he looked to be in a rather large amount of pain. He tried to warrior his way through it, and for that, as well as his general warrior-ness all season, he is baseball Connor Shaw. Kaci has bestowed upon him an honorary #2Sprainz award.
South Carolina improves to 41-13 overall (17-11 in the SEC) while Vandy drops to 39-14 overall (16-11 in conference play). The second game of the series is scheduled for Friday at 7:30 p.m.