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March 15, 2015

Box Score | Quotes | Photo Gallery media-icon-photogallery.gif

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Kentucky (13-6, 0-3 SEC) 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 0 4 9 1
South Carolina (17-3, 3-0 SEC) 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 2 6 8 1

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Kyle Martin’s two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th lifted seventh-ranked South Carolina to a 6-4 victory over Kentucky on Sunday afternoon at Carolina Stadium. The Gamecocks improve to 17-3 on the season and 3-0 in the SEC while the loss drops the Wildcats to 13-6 and 0-3 in league action.

Back and forth in the late innings it went as Kentucky rallied from a one-run deficit to take a one-run lead in the ninth inning with the Gamecocks tying it up in the bottom of the ninth on a solo home run from Elliott Caldwell, his second homer in the second consecutive day against the Wildcats. Kentucky threatened and loaded the bases with one out in the top of the 10th. Sophomore right-hander Taylor Widener fought back and got the Gamecocks out of the jam with a strikeout of Greg Fettes and coaxing a flyout from Riley Mahan. With momentum shifting into the South Carolina dugout, Gene Cone was hit by a pitch to open the bottom of the 10th before stealing second and reaching third with two outs on throwing error by Kentucky catcher Greg Fettes. With two outs, Martin crushed a 2-2 pitch over the right field wall sealing the Gamecock victory.

Widener earned the win in relief and is 1-0 on the year. He allowed one run on three hits in 1.1 innings with two walks and a strikeout. Kentucky reliever Logan Salow suffered the loss and is 1-1 for the season. He allowed one run on a walk and a strikeout in one inning of work.

The Gamecocks got on the board early plating a run in the bottom of the first. Kyle Martin reached base on a two-out single, stole second and scored on Elliot Caldwell’s RBI single. Caldwell led off the bottom of the fourth with a triple to center on a lost ball in the sun and came home on Alex Destino’s sacrifice fly to increase South Carolina’s lead to 2-0. Kentucky tied the game at 2-2 in top of the sixth on a two-out two-run double off the bat of Storm Wilson.

The Gamecocks answered with a run in the bottom of sixth to reclaim the lead. Max Schrock opened the frame with a double to right-center and scored on Martin’s sacrifice fly.

With two outs in the top of the ninth the Wildcats pushed across a pair of runs to go ahead 4-3. Pinch hitter Riley Mahan reached base with two outs on a double to left-center and scored the tying run on Kyle Barrett’s RBI single. Barrett then stole second was driven in on an infield base hit from Evan White.

Freshman right-hander Clarke Schmidt worked 6.2 innings allowing two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out seven batters. Vince Fiori and Cody Mincey combined for two innings of relief giving up just one run on two hits and struck out two batters.

Kyle Martin’s two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted the Gamecocks to a 6-4 win.

Kyle Martin and Elliott Caldwell combined to go 5-for-8 with four runs scored, five RBI and two homers.

• Clarke Schmidt`s 6.2 innings is the longest outing of his career. He tallied a career-high seven strikeouts.
• Kyle Martin recorded his team leading fourth sacrifice fly of the season.
• This was the first extra inning game of the season for both South Carolina and Kentucky.
• Gene Cone has reached base in all 20 games this season.
• South Carolina is 9-0 all-time in school history vs. Kentucky at Carolina Stadium
• This marked the first time since the 2010 season that the Gamecocks have opened SEC play with a 3-0 conference record

South Carolina Head Coach Chad Holbrook

I’m kind of speechless to be quite honest. It was a great college baseball game, there was a lot of emotional swings. We were a couple pitches away here and there a couple of times, a couple strikes away here and there and Kentucky wouldn’t quit. They battled us until the end. (Kyle) Barrett, who I think the world of as a player, got a big hit to tie the game up. Then he scored from second on a ground ball to short to take the lead. Things didn’t look good for us at that point and then Elliott Caldwell gets a home run in the bottom of the ninth to tie it up. How we got out of that inning in the top of the 10th is beyond me. Bases loaded with a 3-0 count, 99.9 percent chance Kentucky would score a run in that situation, but Taylor Widener bowed his neck. It took a lot of courage (from Taylor) and a lot of toughness to throw some strikes in that count. They (Kentucky) hit a ball at us and we ended up getting out of it. It’s just an incredible college baseball game. I’m so happy for Kyle Martin and Connor Bright, he (Connor) had a great at-bat there and he almost won the game for us with a home run. He hasn’t been playing every day but he’s handled it like a professional. I told Kyle and the team after the game, Kyle turned down a fair amount of money to come back to school and experience moments like that. I think the world of Kyle Martin. From a pitching standpoint, Clarke Schmidt did well for his first SEC start. He kept us in the game; I thought he pitched phenomenally well. Vince Fiori, Cody Mincey and Taylor Widener battled and competed and we were lucky enough to get the win.

South Carolina hosts Winthrop on Tuesday night at Carolina Stadium with first pitch set for 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network + and can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”