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March 22, 2015

Box Score

COLUMBIA, MO. – Fifth ranked South Carolina fought back from an early three-run deficit and behind a 14-hit attack defeated Missouri 7-5 on Sunday afternoon in the final game of a three-game SEC baseball series. The Gamecocks improve to 18-6 and 4-2 in the SEC with the loss dropping Missouri to 18-6 and 5-1 in league play.

Freshman right-hander Brandon Murray gave the Gamecocks a quality relief outing allowing just one run on five hits in 5.1 innings of work with a pair of walks and two strikeouts. He earned the win and is now 2-0 on the year. Junior left-hander Vince Fiori allowed one run on one hit in two innings with two walks and two strikeouts for his second save of the season. Missouri reliever Austin Tribby suffered the loss and is 0-1 on the year. He allowed two runs on three hits in 1.1 innings.

Tied at 3-3 entering the top of the seventh inning, Kyle Martin reached base with a one-out double and advanced to third base on a wild pitch issued by Missouri reliever Andrew Schwaab. Elliott Caldwell would drive in Martin with a RBI single to right field to give the Gamecocks a one-run lead. That lead extended with two more in the top of the eighth inning to give Carolina a 6-3 lead. Jordan Gore led off with a walk and scored with two outs on a RBI single by Max Schrock. After a base hit by Kyle Martin put runners on the corners, Schrock would score on a wild pitch issued by Missouri reliever Bryce Mondes De Oca.

Missouri would cut the Gamecock lead to 6-5 in the bottom of the eighth on a two-out two-run double off the bat of Trey Harris. The Gamecocks would get one back though in the top of the ninth as Connor Bright reached on a fielding error by Missouri first baseman Zach Lavy and eventually scored after a pair of wild pitches. After Fiori walked the leadoff batter to open the bottom of the ninth, the southpaw dug deep and retired the next three batters to seal the victory.

South Carolina’s 14-hit effort featured a 4-for-5 day at the plate by Kyle Martin to tie a career-high in hits. Gene Cone, Max Schrock and DC Arendas added two hits apiece as well. Jordan Gore reached base four times and scored two runs also with three walks on the day.

Missouri broke ahead 3-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Brett Peel walked and stole second base with Jack Ring reaching base on a Gamecock fielding error. After a one-out walk to Josh Lester loaded the bases, Brett Bond would drive in Peel with a RBI groundout. With two outs and runners still on second and third, Zach Lavy knocked a two-out double to left field to score Lester and Bond and give Missouri a three-run lead.

South Carolina cut the deficit to a run in the top of the third inning. Jordan Gore drew a leadoff walk and scored on Gene Cone’s triple off the wall in right-center. A RBI groundout from Max Schrock would score Cone bringing the Gamecocks within a run.

The Gamecocks tied it at 3-3 in the top of the sixth with three straight batters reaching base with two outs including a RBI single from Cone. Arendas singled and Gore walked to set the stage for Cone, who knocked a base hit to center field.

Max Schrock factored in two runs in the eighth inning to extend Carolina’s lead to three runs as he tallied a two-out RBI single in the top of the eighth and eventually scored on a wild pitch.

Brandon Murray retired 13 batters in a row at one point and did not allow a base runner for Missouri in the middle innings as the Gamecocks worked back from the three-run deficit.

• Max Schrock’s first inning double was his fourth of the season.
• Kyle Martin tied a career-high with four hits. It is his first four-hit game of the season and marks fifth time of his career that he has tallied four hits in a game. His third inning single extended his hitting streak to a season-high 11 games. He has reached base in 14 straight games.
• Elliott Caldwell’s second inning single extended his hitting streak to seven games. He has reached base in 18 consecutive games.
• Gene Cone’s third inning triple was his first triple of the season and the third of his career. Cone’s last triple came vs. Florida, May 22, 2014 at the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala.
• Jordan Gore drew three walks for the afternoon. His total tied a season-high by a Gamecock player.

South Carolina Head Coach Chad Holbrook

I have some good kids that really wanted to win very badly today. They had a chip on their shoulders after how the first two games went. We battled and competed and at the end of the day that is all you can ask them to do. We gave up three unearned runs in the first and it didn’t look good for us. We dug deep and played as hard as we could possibly play and found a way to get one.

We had some good fortune on our side. Our guys were a little bit more aggressive. We had some good swings. We did some nice things offensively.

(Brandon Murray) was terrific. He gave us a chance to win and he is probably the MVP of the game. When he came in, things didn’t look good. He threw his most important outing of his career. His curveball was outstanding, slider was good. It was a big-time performance for a freshman

South Carolina closes out a four-game road swing at Coastal Carolina on Tuesday night. First pitch is 6 p.m. The game can be heard live on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”