No. 2 South Carolina’s offense was largely unimpressive for the majority of the game against No. 3 Ohio State to open the Greenville Regional on Friday, but the bats came alive late to give the Gamecocks a big victory and put them in the winner’s bracket at the regional.
The Buckeyes took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a solo home run, and despite OSU threatening with the bases loaded in the fifth, that score held until the top of the seventh, when they made it 2-0 on an RBI double.
USC woke up after that, score five runs in the bottom of the inning. Hunter Taylor and Jacob Olson started things off with back-to-back base hits, and they advanced on a sac bunt by Matt Williams. Defensive replacement Danny Blair then came through with a three-run homer to get the Gamecocks on the board and give them a 3-2 lead. It was the first homer given up by the Buckeyes’ closer all year, which is pretty special. Carlos Cortes folowed with a single, Madison Stokes reached first on a fielder’s choice, and after they advanced on a groundout by Jonah Bride, Justin Row brought them home with a two-run single to make the score 5-2.
South Carolina tacked on a few more insurance runs in the eighth. Olson walked to begin the bottom of the inning, Williams singled, and Blair grounded out to advance them both. Cortes followed with an RBI single, Williams came home on a throwing error, and Jonah Bride came through with a one-out RBI single to make it 8-2.
Ohio State scored the final run of the game in the top of the ninth on an RBI sac fly.
Starter Adam Hill didn’t have his best performance but did a decent job, working four innings and allowing four hits and one run. He walked four batters and struck out six. Eddy Demurias and Graham Lawson combined to go the rest of the way, and Demurias earned the win.
The Gamecocks will play in the second game on Saturday and will take on the winner of tonight’s game between No. 1 East Carolina and No. 4 UNC-Wilmington.