South Carolina scored more runs in one game against Xavier than they did in three games against Clemson, but the Gamecocks also scored less than half the number of runs the Musketeers did, losing 15-7 on Tuesday night.
USC got on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Brandt Belk walked, advanced on a balk, and scored on a double by Braylen Wimmer. Xavier tied things up and took the lead in the next inning, courtesy of a Garrett Schultz double and a groundout from Alex Helmin that made it 2-1. The lead changed again in the bottom of the second, though, as the Cocks got that second run back and added a third, thanks to a solo shot by Kevin Madden and a fly out from Wimmer that scored Carson Hornung, who had singled, making it a 3-2 game.
Carolina tacked on another run in the third, going up 4-2 when Andrew Eyster singled and later scored on a single by Madden. The Musketeers took the lead back in the for good in the next inning. They scored seven runs in the fourth, courtesy of a whole bunch of base hits, plus some help from the Gamecocks’ pitching staff in the form of a hit by pitch and a walk. When all was said and done, it was 9-4. And then it got worse.
Xavier added another insurance run in the sixth on a passed ball, then scored two more in the next inning thanks to a Jack Housinger base hit, making the score 12-4. USC made things look slightly better in the eighth inning, making it a 12-6 game after Madden and Hornung both walked, then scored on a double by Talmadge LeCroy. Their final run of the game was scored on a Belk double that bumped the score to 12-7. The Musketeers weren’t done though, tacking on three more runs in the ninth on a Luke Franzoni homer and a single by Tyler DeMartino.
Gamecocks starter Wesley Sweatt worked two innings and allowed three hits and two runs. He didn’t walk any batters and struck four out. Aidan Hunter, Michael Esposito, Parker Coyne, Cade Austin, Matthew Becker, CJ Weins, Cam Tringali, and Jalen Vasquez also all pitched in this game, and Hunter took the loss, making him 2-2. Xavier reliever Jack Lynch earned the win and is now 1-0. Madden led South Carolina at the plate with two hits, while he, Belk, and Wimmer tallied two RBI each. Andrew Walked led the Musketeers with three hits, while Franzoni recorded four RBI.
The Cocks are now 7-5 overall while Xavier is 3-9. USC will open up a series against top-ranked Texas on Friday, with first pitch set for 7 p.m.