The final SEC series of the regular season got off to a rocky start, as South Carolina got behind midway through the game and was unable to respond with a big enough rally against Tennessee.
The Volunteers took a 1-0 lead in the third, thanks to a sac fly from Max Ferguson. Things took a turn for the worse from there, as UT broke the game open in the next inning. Luc Lipcius homered, Pete Derkay knocked a run-scoring double, Connor Pavolony singled for another run, and Ferguson went yard to make the score 7-0 by the time it was all said and done. They were also helped by a pair of walks. The Gamecocks answered a little in the bottom of the inning, getting two runs back when Andrew Eyster singled and Wes Clarke came through with a home run to make the score 7-2.
That held until the eighth, when USC pulled closer. George Callil got hit by a pitch to start things off, then Eyster homered to make it a 7-4 game. UT responded by tacking on three insurance runs in the ninth, courtesy of a triple by Drew Gilbert, an Evan Russell double, and a base hit from Lipcius.
Carolina starter Brannon Jordan got off to a good start before things fell apart in the fourth. He pitched 3.2 innings and allowed six hits and seven runs, walked four batters, and struck three out. He took the loss and is now 5-5. John Gilreath and Andrew Peters combined to go the rest of the way, and Gilreath did a terrific job of keeping the Cocks in the game while the offense struggled. Vols starter Chad Dallas earned the win and improves to 9-1, while Sean Hunley got the save, his sixth. Eyster and David Mendham led USC at the plate with two hits each, while Eyster and Clarke each tallied two RBI.
The Gamecocks are now 32-18 overall and 15-13 in conference play, while Tennessee is 41-13 overall and 19-9 in the SEC. South Carolina will try to even up the series on Friday, with first pitch set for 7 p.m. at Founders Park. Brett Kerry will start on the mound for the home team.