The Gamecocks’ winning streak came to a halt against Tennessee on Friday night, opening up SEC play with an 8-3 loss to the Volunteers.
Tennessee got on the board in the first inning, taking a 1-0 lead on a single by Drew Gilbert. The Vols added two more runs in the second, going up 3-0 thanks to a homer from Cortland Lawson. South Carolina ended the shutout in the fifth inning, after Colin Burgess walked with one out, advanced on a wild pitch, and scored on a groundout by Josiah Sightler, making it 3-1.
In the sixth, Tennessee got that run back on a solo shot from Luc Lipcius, making the score 4-1. The Volunteers added another insurance run in the seventh on a homer run from Jorel Ortega, which bumped the score to 5-1. They broke things wide open in the eighth, scoring three runs and going up 8-1 when Evan Russell went yard.
The Cocks’ final runs of the game came in the ninth. Jack Mahoney reached first on a muffed throw, then Talmadge LeCroy and Evan Stone singled to load the bases. Thad Ector followed with a base hit to bring Mahoney home, making it 8-2, and LeCroy came in when Burgess hit into a fielder’s choice.
USC starter Noah Hall worked 5.2 innings and allowed eight hits and four runs. He walked two batters, struck out five, and took the loss, making him 0-3. Parker Coyne, CJ Weins, and Jalen Vasquez also pitched in this game. Tennessee starter Chase Burns got the win and is now 4-0. LeCroy, Stone, Ector, Burgess, and Brandt Belk each tallied a hit for the Gamecocks, while Ector, Burgess, and Sightler each recorded an RBI. Lawson and Russell led the Vols at the plate with two runs each, while Russell also had three RBI.
Carolina is now 10-7 overall and 0-1 in conference play, while Tennessee is 17-1 overall and 1-0 in the SEC. The Cocks will look to even up the series on Saturday, with first pitch set for 12 p.m. in Knoxville.