After a mediocre offensive performance on Friday night, South Carolina rebounded with a double-digit output, winning 12-3 and setting up a rubber game against Northwestern on Sunday in the Katie Dzwierzynski Showdown Series (trademark pending).
The Wildcats were first on the board on Saturday, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on an RBI single from Michael Trautwein. That lead was short-lived though, as the Gamecocks scored several runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. Anthony Amicangelo walked to start things off, Andrew Eyster walked too with one out, and Wes Clarke knocked a base hit to load the bases. Jeff Heinrich then came through with a two-out, two-run single, making the score 2-1. Braylen Wimmer followed with a single that loaded the bases again, and George Callil got hit to force in another run and put USC up 3-1.
The Gamecocks broke things open more in the next inning. With one out, Noah Campbell singled, Eyster doubled, and Clarke belted a three-run homer to make it 6-1. Carolina got the bases loaded again courtesy of Brady Allen getting hit, Heinrich walking and Wimmer singling. Callil then knocked a two-run double to put his team up 8-1.
Northwestern got one run back in the fifth inning on Shawn Goosenberg solo shot that made it an 8-2 game, and they added another in the top of the sixth, scoring their final run of the game on a Charlie Maxwell homer that made the score 8-3. The Gamecocks added their final runs of the game in the sixth inning as well. Amicangelo led off with a double, Campbell singled, and Eyster got plunked to yet again fill the bases. Clarke then smacked his second home run of the game, this time a grand slam.
USC starter Brett Kerry got off to a slightly rocky start, but settled down and worked six innings, allowing seven hits and three runs. He walked one batter and tallied three strikeouts. Kerry got the win and is now 2-0. TJ Shook, John Gilreath, and Brett Thomas combined to go the rest of the way for the Gamecocks, pitching one inning each of shutout ball. Wildcats starter Quinn Lavelle took the loss and drops to 0-2.
The Gamecocks are now 4-1 overall, while Northwestern is 2-3. The final game of the series is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. at Founders Park on Sunday, with Brannon Jordan set to start on the mound.