In what seems like it could become an unfortunate trend, South Carolina came close to getting an important win against a conference opponent on Sunday afternoon but couldn’t actually get it done, falling to No. 15 Auburn and losing their third-straight SEC series.
The Gamecocks got on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, TJ Hopkins walked, then Luke Berryhill and Jacob Olson singled to load the bases. Chris Cullen walked to force in a run, but unfortunately, USC wasn’t able to get any more runs out of the situation. SURELY THAT WOULDN’T BE AN ISSUE...
...OH WAIT YES IT WOULD. The Tigers took the lead in the next inning, going up 2-1 on a home run by Will Holland. Then they tacked on four more runs courtesy of an RBI single from Kason Howell and an Edouard Julien three-run shot that made the score 6-1. The Gamecocks did get a couple of those runs back in the bottom of the inning, though. George Callil doubled to start things off, then came home on an RBI double from Nick Neville, who later scored on a groundout by Hopkins, making it a 6-3 game.
Auburn added a run in the third inning on a play that involved stealing home, putting them up 7-3. That score held until the eighth inning, when South Carolina rallied a little, as Ian Jenkins went yard with one out and Callil homered with two outs to make the score 7-5. The Gamecocks looked like they might make things even more interesting when they got two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth, but they weren’t able to capitalize.
USC starter TJ Shook lasted just 1.1 innings and gave up two hits and four runs. He walked two batters and struck one out. Shook took the loss and is now 2-1. Cam Tringali and Brett Kerry combined to go the rest of the way for the Gamecocks. Tigers reliever Richard Fitts earned the win and is now 2-0, while Cody Greenhill got the save, his sixth.
South Carolina is now 17-11 overall and 2-7 in the SEC, while Auburn improves to 22-6 overall and 6-3 in conference play. The Gamecocks will be back in action on Tuesday, when they travel to Charlotte to play North Carolina State. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.