South Carolina kept things close for about half of Saturday’s game against Texas, but one rough inning was too much for them to overcome, ending with a 9-5 loss in the series opener.
The Longhorns took an early lead, going up 2-0 in the first on a home run by Ivan Melendez. The Gamecocks answered in the bottom of the inning though. Brandt Belk started things off with a double, then scored on a one-out single by Braylen Wimmer, making it 2-1. Andrew Eyster followed with a base hit of his own, then a wild pitch helped him advance and got Wimmer home to tie the game. With two outs, Eyster scored on a double from Josiah Sightler to make the score 3-2 USC.
UT regained the lead in the next inning, making it a 4-3 game courtesy of a two-run triple by Douglas Hodo III. The Cocks tied the game again in the fourth, when Kevin Madden led off with a single and Talmadge LeCroy came through with a one-out pinch hit sac fly to make the score 4-4.
Unfortunately, the Longhorns took back the lead in the fifth, thanks to a two-out single from Skyler Messinger that put them up 5-4. Texas added two more runs on a home run by Trey Faltine, making it 7-4. Carolina scored once in the bottom of the inning, when a solo shot by Belk made the score 7-5. The final two runs of the game came in the eighth inning, when Melendez homered again.
Gamecocks starter Noah Hall worked 4.2 innings and allowed 10 hits and seven runs. He walked four batters, struck out six, and took the loss, making him 0-2. Aidan Hunter and Cade Austin also pitched in this game. Longhorns starter Pete Hansen earned the win and is now 3-0. Belk led South Carolina at the plate with four hits, while he, Wimmer, Sightler, and LeCroy each tallied an RBI. Hodo III and Murphy Stehly led UT at the plate with three hits each, while Melendez recorded four RBI.
The Cocks are now 7-6 while the Longhorns are 13-2. They’ll meet again twice on Sunday, with the first game of the doubleheader set for 1:30 p.m.