South Carolina Baseball: Gamecocks drop crucial series to rival Georgia Bulldogs in embarrassing sweep

South Carolina baseball needed a series win over the Georgia Bulldogs this weekend, and they didn't get it. Instead, they got swept in embarrassing fashion.
South Carolina baseball coach Mark Kingston
South Carolina baseball coach Mark Kingston / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

South Carolina baseball really needed to pick up a series win over the rival Georgia Bulldogs this weekend to feel good about their chances to host a Regional in this year's NCAA Tournament. Unfortunately for Gamecock fans, that didn't happen.

In a poor showing at home at Founders Park, the Gamecocks lost all three games, allowing the Bulldogs to win their first road SEC series since the 2022 season. It was also Carolina's first home sweep in SEC play since 2019.

The first game of the series was on Thursday night, and USC pitching couldn't hold up against the mighty Georgia Bulldogs offense in the series opener. The Roman Kimball on Friday night experiment continued, and he recorded just one out before giving up two walks and two extra-base hits (including a homer to DH Tre Phelps). Ty Good matched Kimball's four earned runs allowed, but he was able to stay in the game for four innings. Tyler Dean and Drake Quinn struggled as they gave up five more runs, and Chris Veach's solid 9th inning was too little, too late.

The Gamecock offense had a good day as they actually outhit Georgia 12-11. Six Gamecocks were hit by pitches, and Kennedy Jones, Ethan Petry, Austin Brinling, and Parker Noland all reached base at least four times. Carolina managed to plate 10 runs, including 6 after trailing 12-4. 10 runs normally is enough to win, but it wasn't on Thursday.

Friday's game 2 wasn't any better for the pitching. Eli Jones gave up 7 runs in just 3 innings, and Connor McCreary struggled as the first reliever out of the 'pen. Jake McCoy, Tyler Pitzer, and Matthew Becker were solid the rest of the way, but the hole was much too big for the South Carolina offense to overcome.

Despite three home runs from Dalton Reeves (2) and Will Tippett, the Gamecocks plated just 5 runs. It wasn't a bad offensive performance, but with the pitching surrendering double-digit runs again, 5 runs was far from enough.

The series finale on Saturday looked a little different than any other game this season as lefty reliever Garrett Gainey earned the start. Thanks to a Gavin Casas home run and some poor UGA defense, Carolina jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the 3rd inning. By the time Gainey and Chris Veach had made their way through 7 frames, USC led 6-4 and felt like a win was in the cards. Unfortunately, the rest of the bullpen imploded and allowed Georgia to plate 10 more runs, including a demoralizing grand slam from pinch-hitter Logan Jordan.

The offense had a pretty good day again, scoring 6 runs and getting 10 hits. They even got a lot of help from the Bulldog defense as Georgia committed 5 errors in the game. Carolina had four players with multiple hits, but with the pitching staff giving up 14 runs, it wasn't near enough. By a score of 14-6, South Carolina baseball's Regional hosting hopes shattered at the hands of a border rival, barring a remarkable sweep next weekend and some wins in Hoover.

Despite scoring 21 runs in the series, USC couldn't win a game because they allowed Georgia to cross home plate 39 times.

The Gamecocks have an even tougher test next weekend as they must travel to Knoxville, Tennessee to take on the Volunteers in a 3-game set to finish the regular season.




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