The Gamecocks got off to a rough start in their first SEC game of the season, with Jordan Gore committing two errors in the first inning and the Wildcats taking a 1-0 lead.
Both teams were quiet offensively for the next three innings, but South Carolina got on the board - and took the lead - in the fifth. They also scored in every inning after that.
DC Arendas led off with a walk and advanced to second on an error, With two outs, Marcus Mooney and Gene Cone were walked to load the bases, then Max Schrock belted a grand slam that put the Gamecocks up 4-1.
South Carolina tacked on two more runs in the next inning. Gore laced a one-out single, Arendas walked again, and an error brought Gore home. Mooney followed with an RBI fielder's choice to make it 6-1 in favor of the home team.
The seventh inning saw the Gamecocks add another pair of runs, this time on an RBI fielder's choice by pinch-hitter Patrick Harrington and an RBI single from Gore, making it 8-1.
The final two runs came in the eighth, when Schrock tripled to bring one in and Kyle Martin grounded out to get Schrock in and put South Carolina in double digits for the night.
Schrock's grand slam was the Gamecocks' third this season, which is kind of remarkable. He contributed five RBI tonight, and it seems he may have finally found his groove. Cone kept his streak of making it on base safely alive, and has now reached at least once in all 18 games this season.
After a bit of a tough start, Wil Crowe settled in and tossed a gem and earned the win, improving to 3-1 on the season. He worked seven innings and allowed one hit, one run, walked three batters, and struck out 10, tying his career-high. Cody Mincey went the rest of the way for South Carolina. Kentucky starter Zack Brown pitched five innings and gave up four runs, four hits, issued five walks, and tallied four strikeouts. He took the loss and drops to 1-2.
While the multiple errors made by the Gamecocks tonight didn't end up hurting them, it was somewhat distressing to see them made nonetheless. It helped that the Wildcats got sloppy too, but if the offense and pitching are both finally clicking at the same time, it would be nice if the defense could be shored up a bit, too.
South Carolina improves to 15-3 overall and 1-0 in SEC play, while Kentucky falls to 13-4 overall and 0-1 in conference play. They'll meet again tomorrow for the second game of the series, which is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Jack Wynkoop is expected to start on the mound for the Gamecocks.