Remember last weekend, when South Carolina took the series from Vandy and we thought, "hey, maybe this is a turning point."? It looks now like it may have been more of a fluke.
The Gamecocks were again the first team on the board, taking a 3-0 lead in the first inning. DC Arendas singled with one out, Kyle Martin walked, and Elliott Caldwell brought Arendas and Martin home with his school-record seventh triple. Alex Destino followed with an RBI double to Caldwell Martin across home plate.
Tenneessee got two runs in the bottom of the first, then tied the game in the bottom of the sixth. South Carolina had multiple chances to add some insurance runs before the Volunteers managed to tie it, but - somewhat unsurprising, to be honest - they couldn't cash in.
Unfortunately, Tennessee didn't only tie the game in the bottom of the sixth, the Vols broke it wide open. They more than batted around and the half-inning took more than half an hour. By the time all was said and done, Tennessee was on top 8-3.
The Gamecocks got one run back in the next inning. Martin doubled with one out, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and came home on a sac fly from Caldwell. That was the end of South Carolina's scoring for the day, but the Volunteers still had a couple of runs left in them, reaching double digits in the bottom of the inning.
Starter Josh Reagan got off to somewhat of a shaky start, but he settled in fairly well and worked into the sixth inning. Brandon Murray, Cody Mincey, Reed Scott, and Matthew Vogel also took the mound for the Gamecocks in this game.
With every loss, South Carolina's chances at making the postseason get slimmer and slimmer. This is especially true with losses like this one, which came to a sub-.500 team (that hadn't won a series against the Gamecocks since 2006...).
South Carolina drops to 26-19 overall and 9-12 in SEC play, while Tennessee improves to 18-21 overall and 7-14 in conference play. The Gamecocks do not have a midweek game this week, and will be back in action next weekend when they host Auburn. First pitch in Friday's game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Carolina Stadium.