The Gamecocks should have had a lot of pep and momentum coming off their walkoff win over top-ranked North Carolina State earlier this week. The key words there are “should have,” as they followed up that exciting victory by going ice cold in both games against Alabama on Friday, getting shut out in the first and scoring just a single run in the second.
In game one, the Crimson Tide jumped out to an early lead, going up 1-0 in the first inning on an RBI single by Morgan McCullough, then they added two more runs on double from Brett Auerbach, making the score 3-0. Alabama tacked on a whole bunch of insurance runs in the next inning, when McCullough tallied another single and Tyler Gentry belted a grand slam to put the Tide on top 8-0. Their final run of the game came in the third inning on a solo shot by T.J. Reeves. South Carolina was never really in the game, as the Gamecocks barely even made it on base.
USC starter Daniel Lloyd worked three innings and gave up seven hits and nine runs. He walked three batters and struck out four. Lloyd took the loss and is now 2-3. Cole Ganopulos and Parker Coyne combined to pitch the remainder of the game. Alabama starter Sam Finnerty pitched a complete game and is now 5-3.
The second game featured less offense, but again, the Crimson Tide had more than enough. Both teams were scoreless until the fourth, when Alabama got on the board with an RBI single from Drew Williamson that made the score 1-0. Auerbach later tallied an RBI single of his own, making it 2-0, and John Trousdale reached on a fielder’s choice to put the Tide up 3-0.
The Gamecocks ended the shutout in the top of the seventh thanks to a leadoff homer from Jacob Olson that made it a 3-1 game. Alabama answered in the bottom of the inning with another RBI single from Williamson. South Carolina had a chance to score again, and maybe even tie things up, when they loaded the bases in the eighth inning, but instead they left them loaded.
USC starter Reid Morgan pitched 6.1 innings and allowed 10 hits and four runs. He walked one batter and struck one out. Morgan took the loss and is now 3-1. Wesley Sweatt also pitched in the game. Crimson Tide starter Brock Love earned the win and is now 4-1.
The Gamecocks drop to 18-13 overall and 2-9 in the SEC, while Alabama improves to 22-10 overall and 4-7 in conference play. South Carolina will try to avoid being swept on Saturday, with first pitch set for 1 p.m.