The Gamecocks got on the board in the second inning of Saturday's game, taking a 2-0 lead over the Tigers. Hunter Taylor and Gene Cone knocked back-to-back one-out singles, then with two outs, DC Arendas and Max Schrock came though with RBI singles to get both runners home.
Both teams were again pretty quiet on offense, but Missouri squandered a scoring chance in the sixth inning. The Tigers got the bases loaded with one out, but South Carolina induced a double play to escape the inning unscathed.
Missouri did break through in the next inning, though. Josh Lester led off with a single, Brett Bond hit into a fielder's choice, and an RBI single from Zach Lavy made it 2-1.
The Tigers tied the game in the eighth, chasing Gamecocks starter Jack Wynkoop in the process. After Brett Peel hit a one-out single, ending Wynkoop's day, Jake Ring knocked a base hit as well, and another single from Ryan Howard tied things up at 2-2.
Neither team could get another run across in the ninth inning, forcing extras. In the top of the tenth, Connor Bright started things off with a single, advanced on a sac bunt by Arendas, and came home on a two-out single from Elliott Caldwell, putting South Carolina up 3-2.
Mizzou again tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Ring doubled to lead off, Howard followed with a single, and a one-out sac fly from Lester knotted the score at 3-3. With two outs, Trey Harris came through with an RBI base hit for the Tigers, giving them the win.
Wynkoop had another good outing, though he ended up with no decision. He worked 7.1 innings and gave up seven hits, one run, didn't walk any batters, and struck out five. Vince Fiori made a very brief appearance on the mound, and Taylor Widener pitched the final few innings.
Missouri's pitching is also really good, but the continued lack of offense from the Gamecocks is troubling. While coasting on good pitching and generally decent defense may have worked outside of conference play, it's not going to cut it in the SEC. Considering South Carolina has lost both games of this series by one run, it's not a stretch to say they might be looking at an undefeated record in conference play if the offense would wake up.
While the offense had a less-than-stellar day again, the Gamecocks defense was very, very impressive. Caldwell had multiple great plays in left field, and Arendas and Jordan Gore contributed some nice plays as well.
The true highlight of this game, though, may have come in the fifth inning, when the players in South Carolina's dugout were shown on TV using bananaphones during coach Chad Holbrook's interview.
The Gamecocks are now 17-6 overall and 3-2 in the SEC. Missouri improves to 18-5 overall and 5-0 in conference play. South Carolina will try to avoid being swept on Sunday, with the first pitch of that game scheduled for 2 p.m.