After a quiet first inning for both teams tonight, they traded runs in the second and third innings, with each team scoring two. In the top of the second, the Spartans got some help from defensive mistakes by the Gamecocks and took a 2-0 lead. South Carolina answered in the third, though. Marcus Mooney led off with a single, then with one out, LT Tolbert homered to tie the game. It was his first homer as a Gamecock.
USC Upstate regained the lead in the fourth inning, but again, South Carolina responded right after. In the fifth inning, Mooney went yard with one out, tying the game again. Gene Cone followed with a double, then with two outs, John Jones, who continues to be good at baseball, knocked an RBI single to make it 4-3 Gamecocks.
South Carolina increased its lead in the sixth inning, tacking on two more runs. Dom Thompson-Williams led off with a walk, Jonah Bride singled, and DC Arendas smacked a one-out double put the Gamecocks up 6-3.
Three more South Carolina runs came in the next inning. Jones knocked a one-out single, Alex Destino followed with a double, and DTW walked to fill the bases with Gamecocks. Bride contributed a sac fly to get Jones home, then Chris Cullen came through with a two-run double to South Carolina a 9-3 lead.
The Gamecocks' final three runs came in the eighth inning. Mooney, Cone and Tolbert all tallied base hits to load the bases, then an RBI groundout by Jones got South Carolina into the double digits. Destino walked to pack the bases again, then DTW walked as well to bring another run home. The final run scored on a fly ball off the bat of Bride.
The Spartans made things interesting in the bottom of the eight, adding three more runs and threatening to tack on even more, but the Gamecocks escaped without any further damage.
Starter Taylor Widener wasn't super sharp tonight and was pulled in the fourth inning. Brandon Murray, Reed Scott, and Tyler Johnson combined to go the rest of the way for South Carolina. Murray got the win, his first of the season.
The Gamecocks improve to 16-2, while USC Upstate drops to 8-11. South Carolina will be back in action against Davidson on Wednesday. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. at Founder's Park.