This season is nothing if not, uh, interesting, and the Gamecocks kept it that way on Saturday by beating Vanderbilt 8-6 to take the series. Surely we all saw this coming after Thursday night’s 10-0 drubbing, right? No? Huh.
Anyway, the Commodores scored first in this game, going up 1-0 in the first after South Carolina missed two chances to turn a double play, then they added another run in the second on a Davis Diaz flyout, making it 2-0. Vandy scored again in the fourth, taking a 3-0 lead on a double from Spencer Jones.
Things started to improve from there, though. In the bottom of the third, the Cocks got on the board after Kevin Madden doubled to lead off and Braylen Wimmer went yard, making it a 3-2 game. Unfortunately, the Dores got those runs right back in the next inning, when a double by Calvin Hewett scored two runners and made it 5-2. USC had an answer in the bottom of the inning, and it was a pretty good one too, since it gave them the lead. Josiah Sightler and Evan Stone walked to start things off, then with one out, Madden singled to bring Sightler in and make the score 5-3. Wimmer followed with his second homer of the game, putting the Gamecocks up 6-5.
Carolina’s final two runs of the game came in the seventh. Wimmer led off with a double, then scored on a single by Michael Braswell to bump the score to 7-5, and Braswell later scored on a Colin Burgess double to make it 8-5. Vanderbilt scored once more in the eighth, courtesy of a solo shot by Jones.
Gamecocks starter Matthew Becker pitched 4.2 innings and allowed seven hits and four runs. He also walked six batters and struck out four. Aidan Hunter and Cade Austin combined to go the rest of the way for South Carolina, and Hunter got the win, making him 4-2, while Austin earned the save, his first. Commodores reliever Hunter Owen took the loss and is now 2-1. Wimmer led the Cocks at the plate with three hits and five RBI. Jack Bulger led Vandy at the plate with three hits, while Jones and Hewett each recorded two RBI.
USC improves to 12-11 overall and 2-4 in the SEC, while the Dores are now 19-4 overall and 4-2 in conference play. The Gamecocks will be back in action on Tuesday, when they host Presbyterian. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.