South Carolina got some clutch late hitting against Winthrop on Wednesday night, coming away with a 5-2 victory to extend their winning streak to three games.
The Gamecocks took an early lead, going up 2-0 in the first inning. Brandt Belk and Braylen Wimmer both singled to start things off, then Belk later scored on a wild pitch to make it 1-0. Andrew Eyster followed with a walk and came home on a double by Talmadge LeCroy.
The Eagles got one run back in the next inning, making it a 2-1 game on a base hit by CJ Conrad. Winthrop then tied things up in the third, making the score 2-2 courtesy of a wild pitch.
After Evan Stone made a terrific catch to end the seventh inning, USC regained the lead in the eighth. Belk got hit by a pitch to lead off, advanced on a groundout by Wimmer, and later scored on a single by LeCroy, making it 3-2. The Cocks added a couple of insurance runs in the ninth. Michael Braswell started things off with a base hit, Colin Burgess walked, and Stone singled to load the bases with no outs. Belk got Braswell in with a fly out to make the score 4-2, then a wild pitch brought Burgess home for the final run of the game.
Carolina starter Eli Jones worked two innings and allowed four hits and one run. He also walked one batter and struck one out. Aidan Hunter, Cam Tringali, Cade Austin, and Matthew Becker combined to go the rest of the way, and Austin got the win, making him 3-1, while Becker earned the save, his fourth. Eagles reliever Nate Butcher took the loss and is now 0-2. Wimmer, LeCroy, and Braswell each tallied two hits for the Gamecocks, while LeCroy also recorded two RBI. Conrad, Joey Tepper, and Joseph Szvetitz notched two hits apiece for Winthrop, while Conrad had the team’s only RBI.
USC is now 19-17 overall, while the Eagles are 13-24 overall. The Cocks will be back in action on Friday, when they open up a series on the road against Auburn. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.