South Carolina baseball might be back, y’all. Despite falling behind early, the Gamecocks didn’t give up, rallied, and held onto the lead, locking up another key conference victory.
No. 17 Vanderbilt took an early lead, going up 3-0 in the first inning thanks to back-to-back homers. The Commodores added another run in the second inning on a wild pitch, then tacked on four more in the third courtesy of an RBI groundout, and RBI triple, and an RBI single. By the time that was all said and done, it was 7-0 Vandy and things looked grim.
USC ended the shutout in the fifth inning, making the score 7-2. Matt Williams and Jacob Olson singled to start things off, then TJ Hopkins and Carlos Cortes came through with one-out RBI singles to bring them both home. Then things really got fun.
In the sixth inning, Jonah Bride led off and got hit by a pitch, Justin Row doubled, and Williams got to first thanks to an error, loading the bases with no outs. Jacob Olson walked to force in a run, Hunter Taylor hit an RBI sac fly to bring in another, and TJ Hopkins followed with an RBI single to make the score 7-6. Cortes got hit by a pitch, and then with two outs, LT Tolbert came through with a two-run single to give the Gamecocks their first lead of the night and the final runs of the game.
Starter Logan Chapman struggled tonight, working just 2.2 innings. He allowed eight hits and seven runs, walked two batters, and didn’t strike any out. The bullpen bailed him out though, as TJ Shook, Eddy Demurias, and Sawyer Bridges all did a great job keeping the Commodores off the scoreboard. Shook earned the win and is now 2-0 on the season, and Bridges got the save, his third of the year. In addition to the bullpen, the defense was also spectacular tonight, making several plays that helped ensure the win.
South Carolina improves to 25-17 overall and 10-9 in the SEC, while Vanderbilt is now 24-17 overall and also 10-9 in conference play. They’ll meet again on Saturday afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m.