March 28, 2015
|SCORE BY INNINGS|
|Georgia (18-10, 5-3 SEC)||2||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||4||7||0|
|South Carolina (18-9, 4-4 SEC)||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||2||3||9||1|
|Trey Dyson and Derek Scott|
|DC Arendas and Jack Wynkoop|
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Georgia raced out to a 4-0 lead in the first two innings and despite a two-run homer by Kyle Martin and a late Gamecock rally the Bulldogs defeated seventh ranked South Carolina 4-3 on Saturday afternoon. Georgia is now 18-10 and 5-3 in the SEC with the Gamecocks dropping to 18-9 and 4-4 in league play.
Georgia would take advantage of a Gamecock error to go ahead 2-0 in the top of the first inning. Skylar Weber reached base on a one-out throwing error and Zack Bowers was hit by a pitch to give the Bulldogs a pair of runners. Jared Walsh would drive in Weber with a RBI single and Trevor Kieboom added a two-out RBI base hit. The Bulldogs increased their lead to 4-0 in the top of the second inning. Weber drove in a run with a RBI single and Bowers set down a successful safety squeeze.
The Gamecocks cut the Bulldogs lead to three runs in the fourth inning. Jordan Gore singled with one out, advanced to second on a passed ball and reached third on a wild pitch. DC Arendas would draw a one-out walk to give the Gamecocks runners on the corners. With two outs, Gene Cone would belt a RBI single into right field scoring Gore.
It would remain that way until the ninth inning when Gene Cone led off the ninth with a walk. With one out and Cone on first base, Martin launched his team-leading fifth homer over the right field wall to cut the deficit to one run. Down to the last out, the Gamecocks kept fighting as Alex Destino singled and pinch runner Clark Scolamiero stole second to get into scoring position. Georgia reliever Sean McLaughlin was able to get out of the jam on a groundout to short off the bat of Logan Koch to end the game.
McLaughlin earned the win after 4.1 innings of relief allowing two runs on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Gamecock starter Reed Scott suffered the loss and is 0-1 on the season. Scott allowed four runs, two earned, on seven hits in seven innings with six strikeouts and three walks. Right-hander Preston Johnson recorded six outs with six strikeouts in two scoreless innings of relief for the Gamecocks.
Four runs in the first two innings lifted Georgia to the 4-3 victory.
South Carolina left 12 on base in the one-run loss.
â€¢ South Carolina has played some close games as of late with nine consecutive games decided by three runs or less. The Gamecocks are 3-6 in those contests.
â€¢ Kyle Martin’s third inning triple was the first of his career. It extended his hitting streak to 14 games.
â€¢ Gene Cone tied a career-high with three hits. It marked the fourth time of his career and third of the season. The last time he had three hits was March 3 vs. Charleston Southern.
â€¢ Sophomore right-hander Reed Scott tied a career-high with seven innings pitched. Scott pitched seven innings last year vs. The Citadel, May 13, 2014.
â€¢ Preston Johnson struck out a career-high six batters in two innings of work.
â€¢ South Carolina recognized the 1975 National Runner-up team that was the first in school history to reach the College World Series before Saturday’s games.
â€¢ Attendance was 8,242, a sellout crowd, the second sellout of the season and 40th in Carolina Stadium history.
South Carolina Head Coach Chad Holbrook
Obviously it’s been a disappointing day and a disappointing stretch of days. This is a disappointing time for our team. We can’t seem to get over a hump. It’s been a struggle since the Sunday game against Kentucky. We’ve scuffled and gotten close but haven’t done enough to win. Our team’s a little bit fragile to say the least from a confidence standpoint. I have to continue to search for ways to make them feel better about themselves than they do right now. They want to win. I have good kids in the locker room who really want to win and work extremely hard. They’re just a little bit fragile right now. We have a long way to go and I think tomorrow is the halfway point for the regular season and we have to try to dig ourselves out of this rut we’re in. Hopefully that ninth inning got us a little bit of momentum heading into tomorrow with the week ahead of us. We’ll see if we can put up consistent at bats together and continue to pitch and play defense. I have no problem with how our pitchers have been throwing. Jack Wynkoop pitched his heart out today and managed to hold them to one. We had a couple opportunities to win the game and we couldn’t win the game for him. Then Reed Scott, after a slow start, kept us in the game and pitched his tail off. Throwing 111 pitches, that’s all we can ask him to do. We came up one run short. It was a tough day for us, hopefully we can bounce back and come back to the park with some juice and pull ourselves out of this rut tomorrow.
South Carolina and Georgia conclude the series on Sunday with first pitch at 1:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network Plus and can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”