After the first two games in the series against Mississippi State ended in blowouts, it was hard to foresee game three going very well for South Carolina, but the Gamecocks came through in the end, beating the Bulldogs to salvage the series and lock up a trip to Hoover for the SEC Tournament.
USC got on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a two-out home run from Andrew Eyster. MSU tied things up in the third on a leadoff homer by Justin Foscue. The tie didn’t last very long though, as the Gamecocks regained the lead in the next inning. Brady Allen tripled to start things off, then he scored on an RBI single by George Callil, making the score 2-1. Callil advanced to third on a sac bunt from Chris Cullen and a groundout by Jonah Beamon, then TJ Hopkins brought him home with an RBI single to make it a 3-1 game. Eyster followed with a base hit, and Luke Berryhill came through with an RBI single to bring Hopkins home and put South Carolina up 4-1.
The Gamecocks broke things wide open in the top of the seventh inning. Cullen reached on a fielding error, then with two outs, Eyster walked and Berryhill went yard to make it 7-1. Jacob Olson followed with a double, and he came home on an RBI double from Wes Clarke, giving USC an 8-1 lead. The Bulldogs got a couple of the runs back in the bottom of the inning, thanks to an RBI single and an RBI double that made the score 8-3.
Things got wild in the eighth inning. The Gamecocks scored their final two runs when Hopkins walked with two outs and Eyster homered again to give them a 10-3 lead. Mississippi State then scored four runs in the bottom of the inning on three RBI singles from Marshall Gilbert, Jordan Westburg, and Tanner Allen, making it a 10-7 game. The Bulldogs scored the game’s final run in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single by Luke Hancock.
South Carolina starter Brett Kerry worked 6.1 innings and allowed five hits and two runs. He walked three batters and struck four out. Kerry earned the win and is now 4-1. Wesley Sweatt, Dylan Harley, and Parker Coyne also pitched in this game, and Coyne got the save, his first of the season. MSU starter Peyton Plumlee took the loss and is now 5-4.
The Gamecocks finish the regular season with a record of 28-27 overall and 8-22 in the SEC, while the Bulldogs finish at 45-11 overall and 21-9 in conference play. They’ll both play in the SEC Tournament in Hoover, which starts on Tuesday.