After Wednesday night's 15-1 win over Wofford, I was worried tonight's contest might be a low scoring affair. And it was...for Missouri.
The Gamecocks took a 1-0 lead in the third inning, thanks to an RBI single from Max Schrock. Before I continue, let me just say that he is never allowed to miss a game again. This is non-negotiable, baseball gods.
The Tigers tied the game in the next inning, as Dylan Kelly knocked an RBI base hit.
USC, however, was just getting started with their scoring for the night. In the bottom half of the fourth, Grayson Greiner and Joey Pankake hit back-to-back singles, then an error got Tanner English to first and packed the bases with Gamecocks. DC Arendas came through with an RBI single, Patrick Harrington walked, and a fancy double steal made it 4-1 in favor of the home team.
Carolina's final four runs came in the next inning. Schrock singled to start things off, then came home courtesy of an RBI double from Greiner. Pankake knocked a base hit, then Gene Cone belted a bases clearing three-run triple to bump the score up to 8-1 and break things wide open.
The Tigers scored their only other run of the game in the ninth inning, when Kendall Keeton knocked an RBI base hit with two outs.
Gamecocks starter Jordan Montgomery had another strong outing, working 8.1 innings. He allowed five hits, two runs, walked one batter, and struck out eight. Montgomery earned the win and is now 7-4. Josh Reagan went the rest of the way for South Carolina.
Brett Graves, Mizzou's starter, lasted 4.2 innings and gave up 11 hits, eight runs, issued three walks, and tallied six K's. He took the loss and falls to 3-5.
Pankake and Schrock each had three hits to lead the Gamecocks at the plate. Josh Lester had two to pace the Tigers. Also, Greiner increased his hitting streak to eight games.
South Carolina improves to 37-13 overall (14-11 in the SEC), while Missouri drops to 20-28 overall (6-19 in conference play). The second game of the series is set to begin Saturday at 3:15 p.m.