Winthrop took a 1-0 lead in the first, thanks to back-to-back one-out walks and an RBI double from Roger Gonzalez.
Both teams were very quiet on offense for the next few innings, but the Gamecocks finally got on the board in the fourth, when Elliott Caldwell pretty much manufactured a run all by himself. He singled with one out, advanced to second on an Alex Destino groundout, stole third, and came home on a throwing error, tying the game.
The Eagles took the lead right back in the next inning, though. A South Carolina error helped Chad Smith get to second to start things off, then he advanced on a sac bunt and a one-out single by Babe Thomas brought him home, putting Winthrop up 2-1.
Another Eagles run came in the sixth inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Kyle Edwards laid down an RBI sac bunt to give Winthrop a little bit of insurance.
The Gamecocks answered in the bottom of the inning, tying the game at 3-3. Jordan Gore made it to first base thanks to an Eagles error, then another error by Winthrop allowed Kyle Martin to make it to second base. An RBI single from Caldwell brought Gore home, and then Connor Bright, who's had a rough start to the season, tallied an RBI sac fly.
That score held, which forced extra innings, and things got ugly for South Carolina in the 11th, when lots of relievers appeared in the inning, but none of them were very successful. The Eagles got the bases loaded with one out, then Thomas knocked a two-run single into right field, putting his team up 5-3. Winthrop loaded the bases again and got two more runs courtesy of a single by Gonzalez.
The Gamecocks rallied in the bottom of the inning, but it wasn't quite enough. Martin and Caldwell singled to start things off, then came home on RBI singles from Destino and pinch-hitter Collin Steagall.
South Carolina gave a bunch of pitchers the opportunity to play in this game. Reed Scott started, and Brandon Murray, Josh Reagan, Matthew Vogel, Vince Fiori, Cody Mincey, John Parke, Canaan Cropper, and Preston Johnson also took the mound for the Gamecocks.
The loss ends South Carolina's winning streak at 10 games. The Gamecocks are now 17-4, while Winthrop improves to 14-5. The Gamecocks will be back in action this weekend, when they travel to the other Columbia to take on Missouri.