In what was a largely frustrating game, South Carolina finally got an SEC victory by rally in the late and extra innings to beat Mississippi State and avoid being swept for a second weekend in a row.
The Gamecocks took their first lead of the series in the second inning of the game, going up 2-0 after Josiah Sightler got hit by a pitch and David Mendham homered with two outs. The Bulldogs got on the board in the next inning, making the score 2-1 courtesy of a sac fly from Kamren James. MSU tied things up in the fifth on a solo shot by Tanner Allen, then took the lead in the next inning on a home run from Rowdey Jordan that made it a 3-2 game.
After leaving the bases loaded and squandering opportuntiies to tie the game or take back the lead several times, USC finally scored again in the bottom of the ninth inning. Colin Burgess and Wes Clarke both singled, then Jeff Heinrich came through with a one-out, pinch-hit double to tie the game at 3-3. Neither team did much in the 10th, and then it was walkoff time at Founders Park, as Heinrich knocked a base hit with one out in the 11th and Mendham followed with a double to bring him home.
Carolina starter Thomas Farr worked four innings and gave up five hits and two runs, walked two batters and struck two out. Brett Kerry and Julian Bosnic combined to go the rest of the way, and both did a terrific job of keeping the Gamecocks in the game. Bosnic got the win and improves to 3-2. Bulldogs reliever Brandon Smith took the loss and drops to 4-2. Clarke, Heinrich, and Mendham each tallied two hits, while Mendham also had three RBI. USC also got help from Mississippi State’s pitching staff, collecting eight walks and and three hit by pitches.
South Carolina is now 28-17 overall and 12-12 in conference play, while MSU is 35-11 overall and 16-8 in the SEC. The Cocks will be back in action on Tuesday, when they travel to take on Clemson for the third game in the season series. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.