After a rough game on Thursday, South Carolina bounced back with a shutout victory on Friday, evening the series with Vanderbilt at one game apiece.
After a relatively quiet first and second inning for both teams, the Gamecocks scored their first two runs of the night in the third. Marcus Mooney and Gene Cone knocked back-to-back base hits, then LT Tolbert got hit to load the bases with no outs. John Jones came through with a sac fly to get South Carolina on the board, then Alex Destino singled to get the second run in.
The Gamecocks had a couple more chances to add some insurance runs during the game, but they weren't able to get it done until the ninth inning. DC Arendas led off with a single and advanced on a sac bunt by Mooney, then Cone reached first on an error. Tolbert then came through with a triple to bring in South Carolina's third and fourth runs of the night.
Starter Braden Webb shut Vandy down all night, taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning. He did a terrific job, pitching eight innings and allowing just two hits, walking three batters, and striking out 11. He earned the win and is now 6-1 this season. Josh Reagan pitched the ninth inning for the Gamecocks and did a nice job as well.
South Carolina also had a nice game defensively. The Gamecocks made a couple of nice plays to prevent the Commodores from having score chances, though one of them did result in a scary situation. In the fifth inning, Destino made a great catch, but in doing so he ran full speed into the outfield wall. He laid on the warning track for a few minutes, and was eventually semi-helped off the field. It looked like he might have sustained a head injury, but USC said he had a potentially separated shoulder and bruised left knee. Hopefully he'll be okay soon.
With the win, South Carolina improves to 24-4 overall and 7-1 in the SEC, while Vanderbilt is now 22-5 overall and 5-3 in conference play. They'll meet again Saturday afternoon for the rubber game, with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m. EDT. Adam Hill will be the Gamecocks' starting pitcher.