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No. 16 South Carolina at Georgia game 1 recap: Gamecocks beat Bulldogs 5-4

USC rallied late in the first game of the doubleheader

The Big Spur

No. 16 South Carolina opened up conference play with a late-game rally to beat Georgia 5-4 in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.

The Gamecocks got on the board first, taking a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Cole Messina started things off with a homer to make it 1-0, then Talmadge LeCroy doubled with one out and later scored on a double by Will McGillis. The Bulldogs answered in the bottom of the inning, making it 2-1 thanks to a solo shot from Corey Collins.

USC tacked on another run in the fourth, when Ethan Petry went yard with one out to make the score 3-1. That score held until the sixth, when UGA rallied to tie the game at 3-3 courtesy of a two-run homer by Parks Harber. The Dawgs took the lead in the next inning, going up 4-3 after Fernando Gonzalez doubled to lead off and later scored on a Mason LaPlante fly out. It was the Cocks’ turn to rally in the ninth. LeCroy got hit by a pitch to start things off, Will McGillis walked with one out, and Michael Braswell came through with a pinch-hit two-run double to give the lead back to Carolina.

Gamecocks starter Will Sanders pitched seven innings and allowed seven hits and four runs. He also walked one batter and struck out six. Chris Veach, Eli Jerzembeck, and James Hicks combined to go the rest of the way for South Carolina, and Veach got the win, making him 1-0, while Hicks earned the save, his second. Georgia starter Jaden Woods also worked seven innings and gave up seven hits and three runs. He walked one batter and struck 11 out. Reliever Matthew Hoskins took the loss and is now 1-1.

McGillis had two hits to lead the Cocks at the plate, while he, LeCroy and Braswell each tallied one RBI. Harber and Gonzales had two hits apiece to pace the Bulldogs, while Harber also recorded two RBI.

USC improves 18-1 overall and 1-0 in the SEC, while UGA is now 13-5 on the season and 0-1 in conference play. They’ll meet again on Saturday for the second game of the doubleheader, with first pitch scheduled for 5:30 p.m.