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March 30, 2016

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COLUMBIA, S.C.. – Second-ranked South Carolina twice rallied from deficits in the ninth and twelfth innings, but College of Charleston would score once more in the 13th and defeat the Gamecocks 6-5 on Tuesday night at Founders Park. The loss snapped South Carolina’s 13-game winning streak. College of Charleston improved to 18-7 on the year, while the Gamecocks fell to 23-3.

The Cougars would get the winning run in the 13th inning. Alex Pastorious led off with a walk. With one out, Ryan Brown walked to give the Cougars a pair of runners. After a double steal moved both runners into scoring position, Luke Manzo knocked a grounder back to Gamecock reliever Canaan Cropper. On the play, Cropper chose to throw to first, and Pastorious scored from third to give the Cougars a one run lead. Carolina looked to rally one more time in the bottom of the 13th inning, as Matt Williams doubled with two outs to left field. With pinch runner TJ Hopkins on second base, John Jones grounded out to second base to end the game.

College of Charleston reliever Carter Love earned the win in three innings of relief. He is 1-1 on the year. Gamecock reliever Reed Scott suffered the loss and is 1-1 on the season. College of Charleston Clay Hunt picked up his first save of the season.

College of Charleston went ahead 1-0 in the top of the first inning. Dupree Hart led off the game with a single, stole second base and scored on Bradley Jones’ two-out RBI double to the gap in left center.

South Carolina would tie it at 1-1 in the bottom of the third inning with an unearned run. LT Tolbert reached the base on a fielding error by the Cougars’ third baseman Tommy Richter. Alex Destino would drive in Tolbert with a one-out double.

College of Charleston regained the lead with a pair of runs in the top of the third inning. Bradley Jones led off with a walk and would score on a two-out single off the bat of Erven Roper. After a walk and an infield single loaded the bases, Roper would score on a wild pitch to give College of Charleston a 3-1 lead. The Cougars added an unearned run in the fifth inning.

The Gamecocks would get a run back in the bottom of the sixth inning. Jonah Bride was hit by a pitch with one out, advance to second on a balk and eventually scored on an RBI groundout by DC Arendas.

Carolina tied it with a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Marcus Mooney doubled with one out, followed by a single by Gene Cone to put runners on the corners. Mooney would score on a fielder’s choice as College of Charleston second baseman Dupree Hart made a fielding error, attempting to get an out at second base. With two outs and runners still on first and second base, Alex Destino knocked a double to center out of the reach of center fielder Morgan Phillips. The ball however would bounce off of the warning track and over the wall, making it a ground rule double and allowing just one run to score to tie the game. College of Charleston would get out of the jam with a fielder’s choice to send the game into extra innings.

Both teams traded runs in the 12th inning. Morgan Phillips hit a solo home run for College of Charleston, the first run allowed all season by Gamecock reliever Josh Reagan. Carolina responded in the bottom half of the 12th. Jonah Bride drew a two-out walk, pinch runner Clark Scolamiero would steal second base and then scored as Dupree Hart allowed a grounder off the bat of Chris Cullen to get past him as Carolina tied the game again.

College of Charleston’s winning run in the 13th inning. College of Charleston’s RBI groundout in the 13th inning won the game for the Cougars.

The Gamecocks were 4-for-18 at the plate with runners in scoring position.

• Alex Destino extended his hitting streak to 18 games. Tonight was the first time Destino tied a single-game record with three doubles.
• Gene Cone extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
• Dom Thompson-Williams has successfully reached base in all 26 games this year.
• Today’s attendance was 8242, making it the second sell out of the season and 42nd in Founders Park history.

Head Coach Chad Holbrook

“It was a very unique game, obviously from the twists and turns, what could have been, how close we were to winning it and how close we were to losing it. At the end of the day, we didn’t play well enough in the first eight innings to give ourselves a legitimate chance to win the game. We’ve played pretty well for a pretty long stretch here. Tonight, for whatever reason, we didn’t play the game the right way, especially in the first eight innings. When it got late, we showed some moxy, grit and toughness to get back in it. That wasn’t enough against a good Charleston team. They probably could have made some plays there and the game would have been a lot shorter. It was a disappointing, but that being said, we have to regroup. One of these was bound to come sooner or later. I don’t mind getting my butt kicked, I just don’t like not playing the way we are capable of playing. I didn’t feel we did that. A lot of that you can give credit to College of Charleston because they threw a good guy at us who pitched well. Their pitchers kind of kept off balance for the most part. Our bats were very inconsistent. We dropped a fly ball. We couldn’t throw the ball to second base on a guy we should have thrown out by about 10 feet. We can’t block the ball from going into the outfield. I think we gave them their first three or four runs. That’s not how we play. We try to make people earn every run that they get, and we didn’t do that tonight.”

The Gamecocks are back in action in Nashville, Tenn., for a three-game series with Vanderbilt starting on Thursday. It will be broadcast live on ESPNU. The game can be heard on the Gamecock IMG Network including flagship station, 107.5 FM, “The Game.”