Watching South Carolina baseball this season remains ... an experience, and it was a negative one on Thursday night as the Gamecocks were blown out 9-1 by Ole Miss in the series opener.
The Rebels took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on a homer by TJ McCants. They added three more runs in the next inning when Reagan Burford went yard, making it a 5-0 game. Two more runs came in the fourth inning, courtesy of a single by Tim Elko and a flyout from Kevin Graham, putting Ole Miss up 7-0.
Their final two runs of the game came in the eighth inning on a Justin Bench base hit and a groundout by Elko, making the score 9-0. USC’s only run of the game also came in the eighth. Matt Hogan got hit by a pitch to start things off, Cole Messina singled, and with one out, Josiah Sightler got hit by a pitch too to load the bases. Andrew Eyster hit into a fielder’s choice and Hogan came home, but that was all the Cocks were able to muster out of the situation.
Carolina starter Aidan Hunter worked three innings and allowed eight hits and seven runs. He walked three batters, struck four out, and took the loss, making him 5-4. John Gilreath and CJ Weins also pitched in this game. Rebels starter Dylan DeLucia went 7.2 innings and gave up six hits and one run. He walked one batter, struck out four, and earned the win, making him 2-0. Messina and Sightler led the Gamecocks at the plate with two hits each, while Eyster recorded the team’s only RBI. Bench paced Ole Miss at the plate with three hits, while Burford recorded three RBI.
USC is now 16-17 overall and 4-9 in conference play, while the Rebels are 21-12 overall and 5-8 in the SEC. The Cocks will try to even up the series on Friday, with first pitch set for 7 p.m.