South Carolina’s offense was quiet on Tuesday night against Charlotte, as the Gamecocks wrapped up the home slate with an 8-3 loss.
USC got on the board early, taking a 1-0 lead in the first after Brandt Belk led off with a triple and later scored on a fly out by Kevin Madden. The Cocks’ tacked on another run in the second, making it 2-0 after Talmadge LeCroy started things off with a base hit and came home on a two-out single by Josiah Sightler. Carolina’s only other run of the game came in the fourth inning, when Andrew Eyster singled and then scored on a double by Braylen Wimmer, pushing the score to 3-0.
Things went downhill fast after that, as the 49ers scored all eight of their runs in the fifth inning. They made it a 3-2 game on a homer by Kaden Hopson, then tied the game at 3-3 on a David McCabe flyout. With the bases loaded, thanks partly to a pair of walks, another walk forced in a run to put Charlotte up 4-3, and then Will Butcher hit a grand slam to double their run total.
Gamecocks starter Matthew Becker pitched four innings and didn’t allow any hits or runs (things seemed so promising!). He walked three batters and struck out four. Aidan Hunter, Parker Coyne, Cam Tringali, CJ Weins, and John Gilreath combined to go the rest of the way for South Carolina, and Hunter took the loss, making him 5-5. 49ers reliever Tony Rossi got the win and is now 5-0. LeCroy led the Cocks at the plate with two hits, while Madden, Sightler, and Wimmer each recorded an RBI. Butcher paced Charlotte at the plate with two hits and four RBI.
USC is now 26-25 overall, while the 49ers are 34-18. The Gamecocks will be back in action on Thursday, when they open their final series of the season on the road against Florida. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.