South Carolina continued its roller coaster of a season with a 9-6 loss to USC Upstate on Tuesday night.
The Spartans got on the board first, taking a 4-0 lead in the top of the second thanks to a wild pitch and singles from Devin Buckner, Noah Myers, and Noah Sullivan. The Gamecocks answered with one run in the bottom of the inning, making it 4-1 when Andrew Eyster singled and later scored on a sac fly by Michael Braswell. USC tacked on another run in the fourth on a solo shot from Eyster, making the score 4-2.
Upstate added to their lead in the fifth, taking a 5-2 lead courtesy of a base hit by Noah Rabon, then they made the score 7-2 in the top of the sixth on a homer by Grant Sherrod. The Cocks got a few more runs in the bottom of the inning. Braylen Wimmer, Braswell, and Jalen Vasquez all walked to load the bases and Talmadge LeCroy came through with a sac fly to make it a 7-3 game, then Brandt Belk knocked a single with two outs to score two more and bump the score to 7-5.
Both teams scored their final runs of the game in the eighth. In the top of the inning, the Spartans added a couple more insurance runs, taking a 9-5 lead on a Buckner groundout and a double by Myers. In the bottom of the inning, Carson Hornung walked with two outs and came home on a double by Belk.
Carolina starter Eli Jones worked 1.1 innings and allowed three hits and four runs. He walked two batters, struck two out, and took the loss, making him 1-1. Aidan Hunter and John Gilreath combined to go the rest of the way for the Gamecocks. USC Upstate reliever Al Holguin got the win and is now 4-0, while Austin Morgan earned the save, his third. Belk led South Carolina at the plate with two hits and three RBI. Myers paced the Spartans at the plate with four hits, while he, Buckner, and Sherrod tallied two RBI each.
The Cocks are now 24-23 overall while Upstate is 31-18. Carolina will be back in action on Friday, when they open up a series against Kentucky. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Founders Park.