After less-than-great offensive performances in the first two games of this series, South Carolina's bats woke up on Sunday and the Gamecocks managed to avoid getting swept by Texas A&M.
South Carolina took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a lead-off homer from Dom Thompson-Williams, but the Aggies answered with three runs in the next inning, thanks to a homer by Hunter Melton. Fortunately, the Gamecocks didn't trail for long, because they regained the lead in the bottom of the inning. Gene Cone walked with one out, Marcus Mooney got plunked in the back, an Alex Destino came through with an RBI single. Two Texas A&M errors got Mooney home to tie the game at 3-3. DTW followed with his second homer of the day, bringing in two more runs.
The Aggies pulled within one run in the fourth inning, but South Carolina responded again in the bottom of the inning. DTW, John Jones, and Jonah Bride took back-to-back-to-back walks to start things off and load the bases, then a sac bunt from Clark Scolamiero, a wild pitch, and an RBI single by LT Tolbert put the Gamecocks up 8-4.
Texas A&M scored another run on a Ronnie Gideon homer in the fifth inning, but South Carolina added more insurance in the seventh, when DC Arendas led off by taking a walk and eventually came home on a two-out RBI single by Mooney. The Gamecocks' final run of the game came in the eighth inning. DTW singled to start things off and came home on a one-out RBI sac bunt by Arendas.
The Aggies scored the final runs of the game on a two-run homer by Ryne Birk in the ninth inning.
Considering how dormant South Carolina's offense has been as of late, it was encouraging to see them score in the double digits against a very good team (even if Texas A&M's pitching wasn't stellar today). That being said, they're not going to be able to rely on just one guy to get them through games, so hopefully DTW's bat isn't the only one warming up.
Gamecocks starter Adam Hill had his shortest outing of the season today, lasting only 2.2 innings. He gave up four hits, three runs, walked two batters and struck out two. Josh Reagan took over and did a really nice job helping South Carolina keep momentum during the middle innings, and Taylor Widener and Tyler Johnson also pitched in the late innings.
The Gamecocks did suffer one loss in this game, though, because outfielder TJ Hopkins had to leave the game early after sustaining some kind of leg injury. Hopefully it's not too serious and he'll be able to get back soon.
With the win, South Carolina improves to 38-13 overall and 17-9 in the SEC, while Texas A&M drops to 39-11 overall and 18-10 in conference play. The Gamecocks will be back in action on Tuesday against The Citadel. First pitch for the final midweek game of the regular season is set for 7 p.m. ET at Founder's Park.