No. 11 South Carolina was largely unimpressive at the plate for a lot of the first game in the series against No. 22 Missouri, but they came through in the end, walking off with a 9-8 win on Friday night.
The Gamecocks got on the board first, taking a 4-0 lead in the second inning after Talmadge LeCroy got hit by a pitch with one out, Caleb Denny and Dylan Brewer walked to load the bases, and Will McGillis hit a grand slam. The Tigers answered in the top of the third, making it 4-2 thanks to a homer by Luke Mann. USC got one run back in the bottom of the inning, courtesy of a one-out solo shot from Ethan Petry, making the score 5-2.
Mizzou tied the game up in the next inning on another bomb from Mann, which made it a 5-5 game. The Tigers then took the lead in the sixth, going up 6-5 on a Trevor Austin single. Missouri added to its lead in the eighth inning, making it 8-5 courtesy of Mann’s third blast of the night. Then it was comeback time for the Cocks.
In the ninth, Gavin Casas walked, Petry struck out but reached on a wild pitch, and LeCroy got hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs. Denny followed with a two-run single that made the score 8-7, Jonathan French singled to bring in another run and tie the game at 8-8, and Michael Braswell singled, which led to a throwing error that allowed the winning run to come home.
Carolina starter Will Sanders worked 3.1 innings and allowed two hits and five runs. He also walked six batters and struck out five. James Hicks, Eli Jones, Matthew Becker, and Austin Williamson also pitched in this game, and Williamson got the win, making him 1-0. Tigers starter Chandler Murphy went 3.2 innings and gave up four hits and five runs. He issued four walks and struck four batters out. Reliever Zach Franklin took the loss and is now 4-1.
McGillis and Petry paced the Gamecocks at the plate with two hits each, and McGillis also recorded four RBI. Mann led Missouri with four hits and six RBI.
USC is now 21-2 overall and 4-0 in conference play, while the Tigers are 17-4 on the season and 3-1 in the SEC. They’ll meet again on Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. at Founders Park. Noah Hall is set to start on the mound for the home team.