The Gamecocks are good at baseball, y'all.
They trailed early tonight, as Kentucky took a 3-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a home run by Riley Mahan. South Carolina had a chance to cut into that lead in the second inning, as they got the bases loaded, but they weren't able to capitalize.
They didn't wait much longer to end the shutout, though, getting on the board in the third inning. Dom Thompson-Williams led off with a single (though he later got caught stealing), Alex Destino made it to first base thanks to an error, and with two outs, Jonah Bride knocked an RBI base hit to make it 3-1. They didn't trail for much longer.
In the fourth inning, South Carolina took a lead they wouldn't relinquish. With one out, LT Tolbert went yard to pull the Gamecocks within one run, Marcus Mooney followed that with a single, then Gene Cone walked, and with two outs, Destino belted a three-run homer to make it 5-3 South Carolina.
The Wildcats pulled within one run in the bottom of the fifth inning courtesy of a Zach Reks home run. The Gamecocks broke things wide open after that, though.
Mooney and Cone hit back to back singles to start the sixth, then a combination of a sac bunt by DTW and a Kentucky error got one run home. Destino followed with an RBI groundout to make it 7-4, John Jones walked, and then Bride tallied an RBI double to increase South Carolina's lead to 8-4. Madison Stokes followed with an RBI sac fly to make it 9-4. In the bottom of the inning, the Wildcats got their final run of the game on a one-out RBI sac fly from Tristan Pompey.
The Gamecocks got their final run of the night in the ninth inning, after Stokes walked, Chris Cullen singled, and Tolbert came through with an RBI sac fly.
Cone extended both his on-base streak (now at 34 games) and his hitting steak (now at 31 games) tonight. He's pretty good at baseball.
Speaking of guys who are pretty good at baseball, Clarke Schmidt is as well. He worked 6.2 innings and allowed eight hits, five runs, walked one batter and struck out seven. While the eight hits and five runs are more than he typically allows, Schmidt still had a solid performance. Reed Scott and Josh Reagan also took the mound in this game.
With the win, South Carolina improves to 36-9 overall and 16-5 in the SEC, while Kentucky drops to 27-19 overall and 11-11 in conference play. They'll meet again Saturday, with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m.