Despite a rocky top (see what I did there) of the seventh inning, the Gamecocks did just enough tonight to come away with a victory.
South Carolina was on the board first in this game, taking a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Marcus Mooney was hit by a pitch to start things off, Gene Cone hit into a fielder's choice, and then Jonah Bride made it to first on an error and Cone made it home on another Vols error.
Tennessee tied the game in the next inning on a Gamecocks error, but South Carolina regained the lead in the bottom of the inning, after Madison Stokes led off with a single and LT Tolbert belted a two-run homer, putting the home team up 3-1.
The Volunteers pulled within one run in the top of the fifth inning, but again the Gamecocks responded. Bride and John Jones knocked base hits to get things going, Chris Cullen walked with one out to load the bases with one out, and Tolbert took a walk to force in a run with two outs. TJ Hopkins followed with a two-run double to make the score 6-2.
South Carolina's final run of the night came in the next inning. Cone led off with a single, Bride was plunked, and with one out, Dom Thompson-Williams came through with an RBI single.
Things got ugly in the seventh inning, though, as Tennessee put up four runs to pull back within one. They threatened to tie the game or take the lead in the final innings, but the Gamecocks managed to hold them off and secure the win.
The Volunteers probably should have won this game. They actually outhit the Gamecocks 14-8, and had it not been for their defensive miscues, they might've handed USC another SEC loss. In other hitting-related news, Cone extended his hitting streak to 17 games, which seems pretty good
On the pitching side of things, starter Clarke Schmidt wasn't quite as sharp as he has been previously this season, though he still had a fairly solid outing. Schmidt worked six innings and allowed nine hits, two runs (only one earned), walked three batters, and struck out 10. Brandon Murray, Tyler Johnson, and Josh Reagan also pitched tonight. Schmidt earned the win and is now 7-1, while Reagan got the save, his ninth.
With the win, South Carolina improves to 26-5 overall and 8-2 in the SEC, while Tennessee drops to 18-12 overall and 3-7 in conference play. They'll meet again Saturday at Founder's Park, with first pitch set for 4 p.m. Braden Webb will start on the mound for the Gamecocks.