The good news about this weekend’s Katie Dzwierzynski Showdown Series is that either way, one of my alma maters is winning. The not-so-good news is that either way, one of my alma maters is also losing. South Carolina was on the wrong end of things Friday night, falling to Northwestern in 10 innings.
The Gamecocks were first on the board, taking a 1-0 lead in the second inning when George Callil got hit by a pitch with one out, then came home on an RBI double by Dallas Beaver. That score held all the way until the seventh inning, when the Wildcats tied things up on an RBI single from Charlie Maxwell.
Nine innings weren’t enough to decide a winner, but NU took care of things quickly in the tenth. After Maxwell and Anthony Calarco walked to start things off, Evan Minarovic singled with one out to make it 2-1. Two more walks came with two outs, the second of which forced in a third run for the Wildcats. Their final two runs came on a base hit from Casey O’Laughlin. USC managed just one run in the bottom of the inning, when Anthony Amicangelo came through with an RBI single after Noah Myers got hit by a pitch with one out.
Starter Carmen Mlodzinski had another strong outing, working seven innings and giving up just three hits and one run. He walked one batter and struck out six. Graham Lawson, Daniel Lloyd, and Parker Coyne also pitched for the Gamecocks, and Lloyd took the loss, dropping him to 0-1. Northwestern reliever Sam Lawrence earned the win and is now 1-0.
After a strong offensive showing in all the other games this season, South Carolina squandered a number of chances in this one. Hopefully that’ll just be a blip and not a return to last year’s struggles at the plate. The Gamecocks are now 4-1 overall, while the Wildcats are 2-2. They’ll face off again on Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. at Founders Park. Brett Kerry will start on the mound for USC.