Different day, different South Carolina baseball team, and Saturday’s version capitalized on Georgia’s pitching struggles to even up this weekend’s series with a 13-7 win.
The Gamecocks scored first, going up 2-0 in the second. Andrew Eyster walked to start things off and Josiah Sightler doubled with one out, then Colin Burgess hit into a groundout that got Eyster home to make it 1-0. Sightler scored right after on a wild pitch. USC added three more runs in the fourth. Eyster again walked to lead off, Kevin Madden singled, and Colin Burgess walked with one out to load the bases. Michael Braswell walked too to force in a run, bumping the score to 3-0, then with two outs, Brandt Belk got hit to force another run home and make it a 4-0 game, then a wild pitch brough Burgess in to put the Cocks on top 5-0.
The Bulldogs ended the shutout in the fifth inning, when they made the score 5-2 thanks to a Cole Tate homer. Carolina answered in the bottom of the inning by getting those two runs back, plus one more. Wimmer knocked a base hit to start things off, Eyster walked yet again, and Burgess went yard with two outs to bump the score to 8-2.
UGA added two runs in the seventh, courtesy of fly outs by Tate and Corey Collins, making it 8-4. They tacked on another pair in the next inning, thanks to a home run by Parks Harber that made the score 8-6. The Gamecocks again responded by getting those runs and one more back in the bottom of the inning. Elijah Lambros, Burgess, and Braswell all walked to get things going, though Lambros was caught stealing. Evan Stone followed with a base hit, then Belk walked to force a run in and put South Carolina up 9-6. Talmadge LeCroy brought two more runs home with a pinch-hit single to make it 11-6, then Eyster doubled with two outs to make it a 13-6 game. The final run of the game came on a solo shot by Ben Anderson in the ninth.
Cocks starter Will Sanders pitched 6.1 innings and gave up five hits and four runs. He walked three batters, struck out nine, and got the win, making him 5-1. Matthew Becker went the rest of the way for USC and earned the save, his first. Bulldogs starter Garrett Brown worked 3.1 innings and allowed three hits and five runs. He walked four batters, struck one out, and took the loss, making him 0-1. Eight different Gamecocks tallied a hit, while Burgess led the way with four RBI. As a team, Carolina also worked 11 walks. Anderson and Collins paced Georgia with two hits apiece, while Tate recorded three RBI.
The Cocks are now 15-15 overall and 4-7 in conference play, while the Bulldogs are 23-8 overall and 7-4 in the SEC. USC will try to win the series on Sunday, with first pitch in the rubber game scheduled for noon.