After they jumped out to early leads in both of the other games in the series, South Carolina trailed early in this game. A walk and an error put Missouri runners on first and second in the first inning, and a one-out walk loaded the bases. Brett Bond and Zach Lavy got the Tigers on the board, making it 3-0.
The Gamecocks ended the shutout in the third inning, cutting the score to 3-2. Jordan Gore worked a leadoff walk, then Gene Cone tripled to bring him home and get South Carolina on the board. With one out, Max Schrock grounded out, which was enough to get Cone across home plate.
There was a chance for the Gamecocks to do some more damage in the fourth, but they couldn't cash in with multiple players on base.
South Carolina tied things up in the sixth inning, after DC Arendas singled with two outs, and Cone got him home with a base hit. The Gamecocks then took the lead in the next inning, getting an insurance run off the bat of Elliott Caldwell after Kyle Martin doubled with one out.
In the eighth inning, South Carolina tacked on two more runs. Gore walked to start things off, then with two outs, Schrock came through with an RBI single. Martin followed with another base hit, and a wild pitch brought Schrock across home plate, making it 6-3.
After being quiet offensively for virtually the whole game, Missouri woke up a bit in the eighth inning. After back-to-back walks, Trey Harris belted a two-out, two-run double that pulled the Tigers within one run.
The Gamecocks scored once more, thanks to a wild pitch in the ninth inning that brought pinch-hitter Clark Scolamiero home.
South Carolina starter Clarke Schmidt had a rough outing, getting pulled in the second inning. Brandon Murray took over on the mound and did a great job. He worked 5.1 innings and allowed one hit, no runs, walked two batters, and struck out two. Vince Fiori went the rest of the way for the Gamecocks.
The defense was solid again today, and the offense finally showed up, albeit a bit late in the series. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it's going to be a long season if this offense can't produce on a consistent basis, so they need to build on this performance and not regress to the way they played in the first two games against Missouri.
If I had to pick an MVP at this point in the season, I'd go with Caldwell. Other guys like Martin, Schrock, Jack Wynkoop, and Wil Crowe have all been really important pieces so far as well, but Caldwell is having a better year offensively and defensively than I'd guess any - or at least most - of us expected. If he can keep it going, Caldwell could have a really special senior season.
South Carolina improves to 18-6 overall and 4-2 in the SEC. The Tigers are now 18-6 overall and 5-1 in conference play. The Gamecocks will be back in action on Tuesday night, when they travel to take on Coastal Carolina. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.