South Carolina had been rolling along nicely for the past few games...and then they went to Charlotte. I’m starting a petition to never have the Gamecocks play North Carolina in baseball again. Someone second this motion.
The Tar Heels took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single, but USC tied things up in the bottom of the inning, after Jacob Olson singled, LT Tolbert got hit, and Jonah Bride knocked a base hit to get Olson home.
The Gamecocks took a 2-1 lead in the next inning thanks to a Chris Cullen leadoff homer, then tacked on their only other run of the game in the third inning, after Tolbert walked, Bride singled, and Matt Williams brought Tolbert in.
Things went downhill after that. UNC loaded the bases with three straight walks in the sixth, then a fourth consecutive walk forced in a run. That was followed by a wild pitch that tied the game at 3-3.
South Carolina got the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a hit batter and a pair of walks, but they didn’t capitalize, and then things got even worse. The Heels took three more walks in the eighth to load the bases again, and four runs ended up coming in on a sacrifice and two base hits, putting North Carolina up 7-4.
The Tar Heels scored four more runs in the ninth, one of which came on a balk and two of which came on a homer immediately following that balk. UNC made a couple errors and tried to help USC score at least one pity run in the ninth, but yet again, the Gamecocks couldn’t get it done.
There was plenty of blame to put on both the offense and the pitching tonight, as neither of them looked good. The offense was, as it has been many times this season, lackluster at best, and the pitchers were giving out walks like it was going out of style. To be fair, starter Logan Chapman did a solid job, pitching into the sixth inning, but the bullpen had a very off night. Parker Coyne, John Gilreath, Carmen Mlodzinski, Eddy Demurias, Hunter Lomas, TJ Shook, and Graham Lawson all pitched in this game, and unfortunately, none of them did a particularly great job.
With the loss, South Carolina drops to 17-12, while North Carolina is now 19-10. The Gamecocks will be back in action on Friday, when they travel to Lexington for a series against Kentucky. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.