While anything would have been better than Friday night’s debacle, the Gamecocks’ offense looked relatively decent on Saturday, which is a significant improvement.
South Carolina was on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Riley Hogan singled, Ross Grosvenor got to first on an error, and Madison Stokes singled to get Hogan home.
The Gamecocks tacked on three more runs in the third inning. Two of them came thanks to a Carlos Cortes homer, and the third came on an RBI single by Grosvenor that made it 4-0.
Kentucky ended the shutout in the fourth inning with a homer, but South Carolina added one more insurance run in the sixth with an RBI double from Cortes.
In the wake of Friday night’s beatdown (and due to some injuries), Chad Holbrook changed up the lineup significantly, inserting guys like Hogan (seriously, why has he not gotten more playing time?) and Grosvenor and sitting guys like Alex Destino and Matt Williams. Whether it was the lineup changes, anger/shame from Friday night, or the Wildcats’ pitcher not having his best stuff (probably a combination of all three), South Carolina’s offense looked fairly capable in this game. They missed some scoring chances and had some questionable choices (*cough* BUNTING *cough*), but overall it was an improvement all the same.
Starting pitcher Adam Hill had a solid outing, working five innings and allowing just one hit and one run. He also struck out five batters. Josh Reagan and Tyler Johnson combined to go the rest of the way for the Gamecocks. The pitchers were assisted by some great defensive plays too, which was nice to see.
With the win, South Carolina improves to 25-16 overall and 10-10 in the SEC, while Kentucky is now 30-14 overall and 13-7 in conference play. They’ll meet for the rubber game on Sunday, with first pitch set for 1:30 p.m. at Founders Park.