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March 13, 2015

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Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kentucky (13-4, 0-1 SEC) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2
South Carolina (15-3, 1-0 SEC) 0 0 0 0 4 2 2 2 X 10 9 4

Max Schrock drove in a career-high five runs, including his first career grand slam, and Wil Crowe allowed just one hit while fanning 10 over 7.0 innings of work, as South Carolina opened its SEC slate with a convincing 10-1 win over Kentucky on a cool and rainy Friday night in Columbia.

Crowe (3-1) was outstanding all night, surrendering just one hit and one unearned run while walking three while throwing 119 pitches. He got stronger as the night went on, retiring 16 of the final 18 batters he faced, nine by strikeout. His 10 strikeouts matched a career high and he lowered his season ERA from 3.47 to 2.67.

Kentucky (13-4, 0-1 SEC) took an early lead with a run in the top of the first with the help of a pair of Gamecock errors. Leadoff hitter Kyle Barrett reached second on a throwing error by shortstop Jordan Gore, advanced to third on a fielding miscue by Gore, then scored on JaVon Shelby’s RBI single.

Kentucky starter Zack Brown (1-2) matched Crowe early on. He cruised through the first four innings, allowing just two hits and two walks before the fateful fifth, when his own wildness led to his demise. DC Arendas coaxed a leadoff walk, moved to second on an errant pickoff throw and advanced to third on Logan Koch’s two-strike sacrifice bunt. Marcus Mooney and Gene Cone followed with walks to load the bases. Schrock hammered a 1-2 pitch deep over the right field wall for his third round tripper of the season, putting the Gamecocks on top, 4-1.

The Gamecocks (15-3, 1-0 SEC) added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth, both of which were unearned. Gore started the uprising with a one-out single to second, chasing Brown. Arendas greeted reliever Dylan Dwyer with a walk. Koch bounced one to short that Connor Heady fired into right field for an error, scoring Gore. Mooney followed with an RBI grounder, putting the Gamecocks ahead 6-1.

Carolina tagged on two more runs in the seventh. Schrock walked before Kyle Martin and Elliott Caldwell produced back-to-back singles to load the bases with no outs. Patrick Harrington hit into a force out, plating Schrock, and Gore stroked an RBI single to right, scoring Martin and extending the lead to 8-1.

The Gamecocks tallied twice more in the eighth. Cone singled with one out off Taylor Martin, the Wildcats’ third pitcher of the night. Schrock followed with an RBI triple into the left-centerfield gap, and scored on Martin’s ground out for the game’s final tally.

Brown (1-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing four hits, five walks and five runs, four earned, over 5.1 innings of work. He struck out four while tossing 99 pitches.

GAME CHANGER: Max Schrock belted a grand slam over the right field wall in the bottom of the fifth inning. It was his first career grand slam, his third round tripper of the season and the Gamecocks’ third grand slam of the year. It was also the second-straight game that Schrock has homered.

KEY STAT: Wil Crowe settled into a grove, retiring 16 of the last 18 batters he faced, nine by strikeout, giving the Carolina offense a chance to rally for the win.


• Gene Cone has reached base safely in all 18 games this season.

• Max Schrock belted the first grand slam of his Gamecock career. It was the third grand slam for Carolina this season, as he joined Alex Destino (vs. Charleston Southern) and Connor Bright (vs. Miami (Ohio)).

• The 5 RBI for Max Schrock established a new career high. His previous high was four, set against Tennessee on April 7, 2013.

• Max Schrock’s grand slam snapped a 14.2 inning scoreless streak for Kentucky starter Zack Brown.

• Wil Crowe matched his career high with 10 strikeouts. He also fanned 10 against College of Charleston on February 14, 2015.

• The Gamecocks extended their winning streak to eight-straight games.

• Kentucky had its 11-game winning streak come to an end. The streak was tied for the seventh-longest winning streak in program history and was the longest since a school-record 22-game stretch in 2012.

• Max Schrock also was issued his team-leading 18th walk of the season.

• The Gamecocks reached double-digits in runs scored for the second-straight game.

• Tonight’s paid attendance was 6,604.

UP NEXT: The Gamecocks and Wildcats will square off in Game 2 of this three-game weekend set on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. ET at Carolina Stadium. The game can be seen live on SEC Network +. LHP Jack Wynkoop (3-1, 2.00 ERA) will toe the slab for the Gamecocks, while the Wildcats will counter with RHP Dustin Beggs (2-1, 2.59).