After being pretty strong defensively all season, the Gamecocks fell apart in the fifth inning today, making a couple of mistakes in the fifth inning to help Vanderbilt rally and win the series.
South Carolina took an early lead, going up 2-0 in the first inning on a two-out home run from Jonah Bride. The Commodores cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning, though.
Both teams were quiet in the second through four innings, but they both scored multiple runs in the fifth. In the top of the inning, DC Arendas led off with a single, Gene Cone walked with one out, and Dom Thompson-Williams came through with a two-out, two-run single to put the Gamecocks up 4-1. Unfortunately, Vandy took the lead in the bottom of the inning, thanks to multiple doubles and two unfortunate fielding errors by South Carolina. Both TJ Hopkins and DTW misplayed balls in the outfield, and while the wind was making things difficult, both plays really should have been made. When all was said and done, the Dores were up 6-4.
The Gamecocks managed to tie things up the sixth, though, thanks to a two-run bomb from Arendas. Vandy regained the lead in the bottom of the inning with a homer of their own, then they tacked on three more runs in the next inning, including two on a squeeze bunt.
While it wasn't particularly powerful, South Carolina's offense also wasn't really the problem today. The defense really dropped the ball - literally - in the fifth inning, though Hopkins did make a great play in the sixth to redeem himself.
The pitching struggled a bit as well. Starter Adam Hill didn't have a bad outing, but he did give up a number of walks and was fortunate that the Commodores weren't able to capitalize on getting free baserunners. Brandon Murray, Tyler Johnson, and Josh Reagan also pitched for the Gamecocks today.
With the loss, South Carolina is now 24-5 overall and 7-2 in the SEC, while Vanderbilt is now 23-5 overall and 6-3 in conference play. The Gamecocks will be back in action on Tuesday when they host Coastal Carolina. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. at Founder's Park.