South Carolina’s offense stagnated in the second half of the series opener against Auburn while the Tigers pulled off a late-game rally, leading to a 6-3 loss for the Gamecocks.
USC got on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when Kevin Madden got hit by a pitch with one out and later scored on a flyout by Colin Burgess. Auburn answered in the bottom of the inning, going up 3-1 courtesy of a Brody Moore groundout and a homer from Nate LaRue.
The Cocks got one run back in the third, making it 3-2 on a two-out solo shot by Andrew Eyster. They tied things up at 3-3 in the next inning, scoring their final run of the game when Madden again got hit by a pitch and came home on a groundout by Evan Stone.
The tie held until the seventh inning, when the Tigers regained the lead, making the score 4-3 on a home run by Bobby Peirce. The final two runs of the game came in the next inning when Sonny DiChiara went yard.
Carolina starter Brett Thomas worked two innings and allowed two hits and three runs. He also walked two batters and struck three out. John Gilreath and CJ Weins also pitched in this game, and Gilreath took the loss, making him 0-2. Auburn reliever Carson Skipper got the win and is now 4-0, while Blake Burkhalter earned the save, his ninth. Eyster, Madden, Brandt Belk, and Michael Braswell each tallied a hit for the Gamecocks, while Eyster, Burgess, and Stone recorded one RBI apiece. DiChiara paced the Tigers at the plate with two hits, while he and LaRue had two RBI each.
USC is now 19-18 overall and 6-10 in the SEC, while Auburn is 27-12 overall and 9-7 in conference play. The Cocks will try to even up the series on Saturday, with first pitch set for 3 p.m.