May 1, 2010
|1981 Team Ring Ceremony|
Columbia, S.C. – Alabama struck for five runs in the top of the second inning and behind 7.1 innings of work from starter Adam Morgan defeated South Carolina 6-4 on Saturday afternoon to even three-game SEC baseball series. The Crimson Tide improves to 28-16 and 9-11 in the SEC while the loss drops Carolina to 33-9 and 15-5 in conference play. The rubber game of the series is set for Sunday with first pitch at 1:30 p.m. at Carolina Stadium. Live video broadcast is available at GamecocksOnline.com with the game also on the Gamecock Radio Network.
Morgan allowed four runs on eight hits with eight strikeouts and two walks. He is now 5-2 on the year. Reliever Jake Smith pitched the final 1.2 innings and retired all five batters he faced to pick up his second save of the season. Gamecock starter Sam Dyson suffered the loss and is 4-3 for the year. He allowed five runs on eight hits with a season-high 10 strikeouts and one walk in 7.1 innings.
South Carolina struck first in the game with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Whit Merrifield reached base with a bunt base hit and Christian Walker tallied an infield single. They would both score on Parker Bangs’ two-run double to left field putting Carolina up 2-0.
Alabama however struck back in the top of the second and batted around to take a 5-2 lead on the Gamecocks. The Crimson Tide put together six hits in the frame to take a three-run lead. Jake Smith got it started with a one-out single followed by a base hit by Andrew Miller. Cody Trotter roped a double to right center that scored Smith and Cal Tinsley singled on a two-strike pitch to score Miller. Taylor Dugas roped a single as well to score Trotter and Josh Rutledge connected for a two-out single that scored both Tinsley and Dugas.
That would be it for the scoring for awhile as Morgan and Dyson settled in with each not allowing a runner to score over the next five innings. Carolina looked to rally in the bottom of the eighth on a two-run homer by Christian Walker. The Gamecock first baseman stroked his fourth round tripper of the year with a man on base cutting the Alabama lead to one run.
The Crimson Tide got an important insurance run in the top of the ninth scoring an unearned run off of reliever Michael Roth. Clay Jones tallied a RBI sacrifice fly in the inning to increase the Alabama lead to two runs. Smith retired the Gamecocks in order in the bottom of the ninth to end the game.
For the second consecutive day, Alabama out-hit the Gamecocks, this time they finished with a 9-8 advantage. Dugas was 2-for-4 with Cal Tinsley also finishing 2-for-4 for the Crimson Tide. Parker Bangs tied a South Carolina single-game record with three doubles in the loss; he finished 3-for-3 at the plate on the afternoon. Walker was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI as well.
Carolina will send senior RHP Jay Brown to the hill on Sunday with the Alabama starter still to be determined.