South Carolina jumped out to an early lead in the rubber game against the Crimson Tide, going up 1-0 in the second inning. TJ Hopkins took a leadoff walk, Riley Hogan singled with one out, and LT Tolbert walked to load the bases. Danny Blair also walked, forcing in the first run of the game, but unfortunately the Gamecocks left the bases loaded after that.
Alabama Tide - er, tied- things up in the sixth inning, courtesy of a solo homer by Gene Wood. South Carolina regained the lead in the bottom of the inning, though. With two outs, Hunter Taylor walked, then came home on an RBI double by Hogan.
The Tide again tied the game in the next inning, this time on a home run from Cody Henry.
That tie was also short-lived, as the Gamecocks took back the lead in the bottom of the inning again. Blair got things started with a double, then made the score 3-2 when he came home on an error that allowed Madison Stokes to safely make it to first. With one out, a sac fly from Jonah Bride gave South Carolina its final run of the day.
Starter Clarke Schmidt did a nice job in his return from injury. He worked six innings, allowing just three hits and one run. He didn’t walk any batters and struck out five. Colby Lee, John Parke, and Colie Bowers combined to pitch the rest of the game.
Despite winning the series, the Gamecocks had several issues over the three games, primarily leaving more than 20 runners stranded, as well as loading the bases eight times and getting just three runs out of those situations. After lots of clutch offensive performances against Tennessee last weekend, this was a stark contrast, and hopefully something that will be corrected quickly.
With the win, South Carolina improves to 17-6 overall and 5-1 in the SEC, while Alabama drops to 12-12 overall and 1-5 in conference play. The Gamecocks will be back in action on Tuesday when they take on The Citadel. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Charleston.