May 10, 2015
COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS – Kyle Martin homered and drove in four runs and South Carolina belted out 12 hits on the way to an 8-7 win over second ranked Texas A&M on Sunday afternoon in the rubber game of a three-game SEC series at Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park. The Gamecocks improve to 30-22 and 12-15 in the SEC with the Aggies now 42-9 and 17-9 in the SEC.
Gamecock left-hander Josh Reagan earned the win in relief and is now 2-2 on the year. He allowed four runs on three hits in 3.1 innings with a walk and two strikeouts. Freshman right-hander Brandon Murray picked up his second save of the year allowing one run on three hits in 2.2 innings with a walk and two strikeouts. Texas A&M starter Kyle Simonds suffered the loss and is 3-2 for the year. He allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits in an inning of work.
Martin gave the Gamecocks a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning with a three-run homer, his third homer of the series and 14th of the year. Gene Cone opened the game with a single to center and Max Schrock reached base on a fielding error by A&M shortstop Blake Allemand. On a 1-1 pitch, Martin launched a homer over the wall in right field.
Texas A&M would get a run back in the bottom of the third. Blake Allemand knocked a 2-1 pitch over the right field wall for his fifth home run of the season. The Aggies added a run in the fourth to cut Carolina’s lead to 3-2. Walks to Nick Banks and Hunter Melton led to an eventual RBI groundout off the bat of Logan Nottebrok.
A four-run fifth inning for Carolina extended the lead to five runs. Max Schrock opened the frame with a double to right field and scored on Martin’s RBI single. After a wild pitch moved Martin to second, he would score on Elliott Caldwell’s RBI base hit. A wild pitch would bring Caldwell home and Mooney drove in Hunter Taylor with a two-out RBI double.
South Carolina made it 8-2 with a run in the sixth inning. Cone walked to open the bottom of the sixth and eventually scored on a sac fly from Caldwell.
Texas A&M used back-to-back two-out homers to cut Carolina’s lead to a pair of runs in the sixth inning. With two outs and runners on first and second, Logan Nottebrok knocked a 2-1 pitch just over the wall in left-center for his sixth homer of the year. Jonathan Moroney followed with his first homer of the year over the wall in right field to make it 8-6 Gamecocks.
The Aggies crept to within a run in the eighth inning. Banks tripled to open the inning and scored on a RBI groundout by Nick Choruby.
With Carolina leading 8-7, Texas A&M looked to rally one more time, but Murray closed out the game and the series. Ryne Birk led off with a single. After Mitchell Nau sacrificed him over, the Gamecocks would get the second out on a nice play by shortstop Marcus Mooney on a tough slow roller and the third out on a foulout down the left field line off the bat of Banks and into the hands of Clark Scolamiero.
A four-run fifth inning gave the Gamecocks a five-run cushion.
South Carolina out-hit Texas A&M for the second straight day with a 12-8 advantage.
â€¢ Kyle Martin homered in all three games this weekend and has 14 homers for the year to go along with 56 RBI. He finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored as well.
â€¢ Elliott Caldwell went 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI. He had three multi-hit games this weekend and leads the Gamecocks with 22 multi-hit games for the year.
â€¢ Marcus Mooney reached base in his first three plate appearances and had reached base in nine straight plate appearances before making an out in the seventh inning. He went 2-for-3 with a RBI.
â€¢ Max Schrock was 2-for-5 with two runs scored and Gene Cone went 1-for-4 with two runs scored as well.
â€¢ Sophomore right-hander Matthew Vogel made his third start of the year. He allowed two runs on three hits in three-plus innings.
â€¢ South Carolina is now 6-1 all-time in series history against Texas A&M.
â€¢ South Carolina is 18-2 on the year when scoring six or more runs and 18-2 on the year when out-hitting the opponent.
Head Coach Chad Holbrook
“Our kids played their tails off for all three games. They didn’t let what happened in the end of the game yesterday, take away from any of the adrenaline or motivation they had for today. For that reason, I am awfully proud of them. They could have easily laid down, felt sorry for themselves, after losing that tough one yesterday, but they came to the park ready to go. We held off a great team.”
“I think it was just our turn. It was our turn to make a big pitch, get a big play, Mooney made a great play on that charge play. It will go unnoticed in the box score but that’s a big time play. It was a big win for us, considering what we have been through and how good that team is over there in this environment. It’s a special win.”
“Brandon (Murray) has the right makeup to pitch in some big situations. He competes and just sitting there looking at the gun chart, his best fastballs were the last seven. That tells you a little bit about how he smelled it and ramped it up a notch when the game was really on the line.”
South Carolina returns home on Tuesday to face USC Upstate. First pitch is scheduled for 7 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.”