It took almost the entire season, but South Carolina finally won a conference series, blowing out Kentucky on Saturday, which was also Senior Day at Founders Park.
The Wildcats scored first, taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Coltyn Kessler. The Gamecocks ended the shutout and took the lead in the third, when Noah Campbell singled with one out and TJ Hopkins went yard to make the score 2-1.
Kentucky regained the lead in the fifth, adding two runs on a base hit by Elliott Curtis to make it a 3-2 game. In the next inning, Brady Allen hit a solo shot with two outs to tie the game, Chris Cullen singled, and Wes Clarke homered for the first time of his career to put USC on top 5-3.
The Gamecocks broke things wide open in the seventh inning. Campbell started things off with a single, Andrew Eyster walked with one out, and Luke Berryhill reached on a fielder’s choice. Jacob Olson followed with an RBI single to make it 6-3, then Allen doubled to bring in two more runs, making it an 8-3 game. Cullen came through with an RBI single to make the score 9-3, then Clarke doubled to bring in another run and put South Carolina in double digits. The final run of the game came in the eighth inning, when Hopkins walked with one out, Eyster knocked a base hit, Berryhill walked too to load the bases, and a wild pitch got Hopkins home.
Gamecocks starter Reid Morgan worked six innings and allowed five hits and three runs. He didn’t walk any batters and struck eight out. Morgan earned the win and is now 4-5. Brett Kerry went the rest of the way for USC and got the save, his seventh. Wildcats reliever Jimmy Ramsey took the loss and is now 3-6.
The Gamecocks improve to 26-24 overall and 7-19 in conference play, while Kentucky drops to 24-26 overall and 6-20 in the SEC. South Carolina will go for the sweep on Sunday, with the first pitch scheduled for 11 a.m. at Founders Park.