May 9, 2015
COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS – South Carolina belted a out a season-high 21 hits and scored a season-high 14 runs but a three-run rally by second ranked Texas A&M in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the Aggies to a 15-14 victory over the Gamecocks on Saturday afternoon at Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park. South Carolina is now 29-22 and 11-15 in the SEC with A&M 42-8 and 17-8 in league play.
After a run in the ninth inning on a passed ball gave the Gamecocks a 14-12 lead, the Aggies struck back one more time in the bottom half of the frame for a walk-off win. Hunter Melton led off with his second homer of the game to center field to cut the Carolina lead to one run. J.B. Moss then worked a 3-2 count and on the eight pitch of the at bat lifted a fly ball down the right field line just out of the reach of right fielder Elliott Caldwell for a double. Logan Nottebrok grounded out to DC Arendas on a short roller to third to move Moss over to third base. With one out, pinch hitter G.R. Hinsley walked. Runners on the corners and one out, Blake Allemand ended the game as he knocked a 1-0 pitch deep into the gap in right-center for a double scoring both runners and sealing the win for the Aggies.
Six Gamecock players accounted for multi-hit games including a career-high four hits apiece for Marcus Mooney and Clark Scolamiero as well as four hits from Max Schrock at the plate. Alex Destino tied a career-high with three hits with Elliot Caldwell and Kyle Martin with two apiece also. The 21-hit total for the Gamecocks was the most by Carolina since April 7, 2013 at Tennessee. The Aggies finished with 15 runs on 15 hits including five homers as Ryne Birk and Hunter Melton each hit a pair for A&M.
South Carolina broke ahead 2-0 in the second inning. Mooney singled with one out and scored on Scolamiero’s double to the gap in right-center. Schrock would drive in Scolamiero with a RBI single up the middle.
Carolina increased the lead to 5-0 in the fourth inning. With one out and Schrock on second base, Caldwell knocked a 0-2 pitch over the left field wall for a two-run homer. The Gamecocks went back-to-back as Destino crushed the first pitch he saw for his fifth homer of the year over the right field wall.
Texas A&M would counter with four runs in the bottom of the fourth and two more in the fifth to take a 6-5 lead. A two-run homer from Nottebrok and a RBI double from Hunter Banks highlighted the fourth and fifth innings for the Aggies.
Carolina regained the lead with four runs in the top of the sixth inning. With two outs and runners on second and third base, DC Arendas lined a single into right-center scoring both Caldwell and Destino. That was followed up by a RBI single from Marcus Mooney and a RBI base hit off the bat of Clark Scolamiero.
Texas A&M scored three in the bottom of the sixth to tie it at 9-9. A leadoff walk and a hit by pitch gave the Aggies a pair of runners to open the frame. After a sac bunt, Allemand would drive in a run with a sac fly to left field that was followed up by a two-run homer by Birk to tie the game.
Back and forth it went as South Carolina scored four runs in the seventh on the backs of a pair of homers to take a 13-9 lead. Martin launched his second homer of the series and 13th of the season with a solo shot and freshman catcher Hunter Taylor hit a three-run blast to left field for his second round tripper of the year.
A&M answered with a run in the seventh and two more in the eighth to cut Carolina’s lead to one run. Melton hit the first of his two homers in the seventh and Birk hit his second homer, a two-run shot to cut Carolina’s lead to 13-12 entering the final inning.
Blake Allemand’s two-run double in the bottom of the ninth lifted Texas A&M to the one-run victory.
Texas A&M scored 15 runs on 15 hits and left just six on base with five homers in the contest.
â€¢ South Carolina’s season-high 14 runs and 21 hits were the most by the Gamecocks in a game since South Carolina scored 15 vs. Wofford on May 7, 2014 and tallied 21 hits at Tennessee on April 7, 2013. The Gamecocks also finished with a season-high four homers, the most home runs in a game in the Holbrook era and the most since Carolina hit four vs. College of Charleston, March 22, 2011.
â€¢ Several Gamecocks had career days at the plate on Saturday afternoon. Marcus Mooney reached base in all six plate appearances going 4-for-4 at the plate with two walks. His four hits is a career-high. Clark Scolamiero also had his first career multi-hit and multi-RBI game going 4-for-5 at the plate with a run scored and a career-high two RBI. Alex Destino tied his career-high with three hits going 3-for-6 at the plate with a career-high three runs scored. Hunter Taylor tied his career-high with two hits and drove in a career-high three runs with his second homer as a member of the Gamecocks.
â€¢ Senior first baseman Kyle Martin leads the Gamecocks with 13 homers on the year as he belted his second of the series. Martin has hit 10 of his 13 homers this year in SEC play.
â€¢ Senior outfielder Elliott Caldwell leads the Gamecocks with 21 multi-hit games as he recorded another one going 2-for-5 at the plate with two RBI and three runs scored. Caldwell hit his third homer of the year, the first since March 15 vs. Kentucky.
â€¢ Saturday’s game was played in front of a crowd of 7,296 fans, the second-highest crowd at Texas A&M at Blue Bell Park this year.
Head Coach Chad Holbrook
“They scored every inning after (the top of the fourth). They are a great offensive team. The conditions were pretty good today for hitting. I don’t think we’ve had 21 hits all year either, so we looked like an offensive juggernaut ourselves. They’re a great team, we just couldn’t put one zero up on the board from the fourth inning on; ultimately that was the difference. Our kids played as hard as they could possibly play.”
“We played our tail off and they played their tail off. They got one more big hit than we did. They scored 15 runs the last six innings; you are not going to win many games when you do that. We had a chance with the way we swung the bat, the way we played, we just couldn’t hold them at bay.”
The series concludes on Sunday with first pitch at 2:05 p.m. ET. It will be broadcast live on SEC Network Plus and can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”