South Carolina baseball took home another series win this past weekend.
Another SEC series, another series win for the South Carolina baseball team. This time, the Gamecocks travelled down to Baton Rouge for a matchup with LSU, taking two of three games from the Tigers in route to a fourth straight series win. Since dropping their first two conference games against Vanderbilt, Mark Kingston’s group has gone 10-3 against its league foes to move into a tie for third place.
For a third straight series, the Gamecocks dropped the opener, but they’d rally back to take the final two games. In the opener, Thomas Farr allowed a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning, putting South Carolina in an early deficit. While Farr wouldn’t allow another run, LSU starter Landon Marceaux threw seven scoreless frames to lead the Tigers to a 5-1 win.
The Gamecocks’ bullpen struggled a bit, allowing three runs in three innings of work, and the offense couldn’t figure out Tiger pitching, mustering just three hits and an unearned run on the night. South Carolina struck out 16 times and left seven runners on base.
The Gamecocks appeared to threaten in the top of the ninth, loading the bases with no outs, but a double play and a strike out ended the game with little drama.
After Friday’s game was cancelled due to rain, the two teams met for a double header on Saturday, and the South Carolina offense bounced back in a major way. For the second straight game, the Gamecocks got into an early 2-0 deficit, but the bats finally came alive in the seventh inning for four runs.
After managing just six hits and one run over the series’ first 15 innings, South Carolina notched four hits and four runs in what turned out to be the game’s final frame for a come-from-behind win. Brandon Wimmer tied the game up with a one-out double, while Brady Allen gave the Gamecocks the lead two batters later with a double of his own.
The bats stayed hot in the rubber match, as South Carolina jumped out to 6-0 lead over the first three innings, and cruised to a 9-0 shutout victory. Pitcher Will Sanders was fantastic, once again, throwing six scoreless innings to improve to 6-1 on the season. Julian Bosnic threw a perfect final inning, striking out three Tiger batters to close out the game.
TALE OF TWO HALVES
As mentioned before, the Gamecocks managed just six hits and a single unearned run against LSU pitching over the weekend’s first 15 innings, but the offense exploded for 13 runs over the final eight frames to escape Baton Rouge with a hard-fought series win.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Sanders is becoming a mainstay on this list, as he’s now won four of his last five starts. The freshman threw six scoreless innings in Saturday’s rubber match to earn his sixth win of the season, and dropped his ERA to 2.11 on the year.
The first baseman notched at least one hit in each game, including a triple and home run. The homer was his fourth of the season, and his four-hit weekend helped his batting average jump up 12 points to .280 on the year.
Wimmer knocked in three RBIs over the weekend, including that two-run double in Saturday’s game that knotted the score in the final inning. He’d cross the plate a few batters later to give the Gamecocks the lead, and help even the series at one game a piece. In the rubber match, Wimmer hit his sixth homer of the year as the Gamecocks exploded for nine runs in a shutout victory.
The slate doesn’t get any easier this week as South Carolina welcomes top ranked Arkansas to Founders Park, in what’s setting up to be a highly competitive SEC series. The Razorbacks currently lead the Gamecocks by one game in the conference standings, so a series win would go a long way in the race for a regular season championship. First pitch is set for 7 PM Thursday night.