No. 3 South Carolina couldn’t get much of anything going at the plate on Friday night as they fell to Auburn 8-3 in the series opener.
The Tigers got on the board early, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a steal of home. The Gamecocks answered in the bottom of the inning though, tying the game at 1-1 after Dylan Brewer started things off with a single and later scored on a sac fly by Ethan Petry.
Auburn regained the lead in the fourth, making it 3-1 courtesy of a two-run homer from Cole Foster. The Tigers tacked on three more runs in the next inning, going up 6-1 thanks to a fly out by Ike Irish and a pair of base hits from Cooper McMurray and Bryson Ware. USC got one run back in the bottom of the inning, when Braylen Wimmer walked with one out and later came home on a single by Cole Messina, making it a 6-2 game.
The final runs of the game for Auburn came in the seventh on a double by Irish and a base hit by McMurray, pushing their lead to 8-2. The Cocks scored the game’s final run in the eighth, after Gavin Casas singled to lead off and came home on a double from Caleb Denny.
Carolina starter Will Sanders worked six innings and allowed eight hits and eight runs. He walked two batters, struck out four, and took the loss, making him 4-2. Eli Jerzembeck and Austin Williamson also pitched in this game. Tigers starter Tommy Vail went five innings and gave up four hits and two runs. He issued six walks, struck seven batters out, and got the win, making him 4-1.
Messina and Denny paced the Gamecocks at the plate with two hits apiece, while they and Petry recorded one RBI each. Four different Auburn players had four hits apiece, while three tallied three RBI each.
USC is now 34-7 overall and 13-5 in the SEC, while the Tigers are 24-17-1 on the season and 8-11 in conference play. They’ll meet again on Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. at Founders Park. Jack Mahoney is set to start on the mound for the home team.