This game was bad. It started off well, and then it got less good, and then it got straight up bad.
The Gamecocks got on the board first, as Gene Cone led off the bottom of the first inning with a homer. Dom Thompson-Williams doubled with one out, and with two outs, Alex Destino came through with a home run of his own to make it 3-0 in favor of the home team.
South Carolina added their final run of the night in the third inning. TJ Hopkins started things off with a walk, and he came home on a one-out RBI single from Jonah Bride.
Then things took a turn for the awful.
Rhode Island smacked back-to-back one-out homers in the fourth inning to cut the lead to 4-2, and then things really fell apart in the next inning. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for the Rams with no outs, an RBI single brought in one run, and then with two outs, two more runs scored on an RBI fielder's choice and a non-catch by DTW. There were questions about whether it was a catch and whether a runner tagged, and it was pretty much a giant mess that ended with Rhode Island taking the lead.
The Gamecocks had a handful of chances to make something happen during the rest of the game, but they didn't take advantage. They also had Cone bunt in the ninth inning, which was not great. As you know, we here at GABA believe in NEVER BUNTING.
Starter Clarke Schmidt had another rocky outing, and after he pretty much cruised through the first few innings, things completely unraveled. He was replaced by Reed Scott, who didn't really have his A-game tonight either. Taylor Widener and Josh Reagan combined to go the rest of the way, and they both did a really nice job of keeping South Carolina in the game.
While it was nobody's fault but their own that the Gamecocks' offense stunk for most of the night, they didn't get any help from the home plate ump, who was consistent only in his poor job of umpiring. Chad Holbrook got so mad about it, in fact, that he got ejected. That appeared to fire up the team and fans, but it didn't help the offense score any more runs.
South Carolina now drops into the loser's bracket and will play Duke in an elimination game on Saturday at noon.