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No. 7 South Carolina vs. Kentucky, game 3 recap: Martin blasts walk-off homer in 6-4 win, Gamecocks sweep Wildcats

They needed extra innings to do it, but South Carolina swept their first SEC series of the season thanks to Kyle Martin's 10th inning home run.


South Carolina took an early lead in Sunday's game, going up 1-0 in the first inning. With two outs, Kyle Martin singled, stole second, and came home on an RBI single from Elliott Caldwell.

The Gamecocks added another run in the fourth inning, after Caldwell tripled to lead off, and Alex Destino followed with an RBI sac fly, putting the home team up 2-0.

Kentucky tied things up in the sixth inning, though. Kyle Barrett started things off with a single, JaVon Shelby walked with two outs, and Storm Wilson belted a two-out double that brought Barrett and Shelby across the plate to make it 2-2.

South Carolina answered in the bottom of the inning, as Max Schrock led off with a double and Martin brought him home with a sac fly.

Down to their final out in the ninth, the Wildcats produced two runs, putting them back on top. Pinch-hitter Riley Mahan doubled, then scored on a single from Barrett, tying the game. Evan White followed with an RBI infield single, making the score 4-3.

The Gamecocks answered again in the bottom of the inning, when Caldwell blasted a leadoff homer to tie the game at 4-4.

With the bases loaded for Kentucky in the top of the tenth and only one out, things looked like they might get dicey for South Carolina, but the Gamecocks managed to escape the jam unscathed. Then it was time for Martin to play hero. After Gene Cone got hit with one out, he stole second and made it to third when the ball got away. With two outs, Martin belted a two-run walk-off homer to seal the win  - and the sweep - for the home team.

Thanks to the extra innings, Cone extended his streak of reaching base safely, which he has now done in every game this season. South Carolina's offense as a whole was fairly quiet on Sunday, much like it was in Saturday's game, and the Gamecocks also benefited from a few Wildcats errors, something that hadn't happened so far in this series. While South Carolina also had one error, that's far fewer than they had been having, and they also made some really nice defensive plays today, including back to back plays from Jordan Gore and Marcus Mooney in the third inning.

In his first SEC start, Clarke Schmidt did a great job, and took a no-hitter into the fifth inning. He worked into the seventh inning and gave up just four hits, two runs, walked two batters and struck out seven, a career high. Vince Fiori, Cody Mincey, and Taylor Widener also pitched for the Gamecocks on Sunday.

South Carolina improves to 17-3 overall and 3-0 in SEC play, while the Wildcats fall to 13-6 overall and 0-3 in conference play. The Gamecocks will be back in action on Tuesday night, when they host Winthrop. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Carolina Stadium.